AUGUSTA — An open house at Echo Hall is planned for July 5.
The reception, which is being hosted by the Augusta College Echo Hall Association, will allow the public to see what is happening with the historical building since it was purchased by the group last year.
The open house will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the building.
ACEHA board member Dave Laskey said the open house is to give the public an opportunity to see what work has been completed and the next steps for the building.
“We’re at a point in time where we want to show off the progress we’ve made,” he said. “We want to be able to tell people our story.”
Laskey said the organization will soon begin discussions with an architect, who will want input from the community.
“We want input about the use of the building and any ideas they may have regarding its future,” he said.
Laskey said he hopes the community will visit Echo Hall during the open house.
“It’s a nice structure,” he said. “I hope they’ll be pleased.”
Several fundraising efforts to restore the building have been underway for the last year.
On of those fund-raisers, an old fashioned country auction, will take place on July 7.
The fundraiser will be from from 6-10 p.m. in the parking lot of The Augusta Irish Pub. There will be several items available for bid. The items have been donated from area people.
There is no entry fee to the auction and parking will be free. All proceeds will be used for the “Save Echo Hall” initiative.
According to Augusta College Echo Hall Association board member Jackie McMurrin, anyone interested in donating items including antiques and collectibles, can drop them off at the Augusta Pub or contact McMurrin at 843-503-0439 in order to donate large items.
“They must be tagged with the donors name so we can recognize them,” McMurrin said. “We will have a non profit forms available. All donations are tax deductible.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise money for the building. The page has a goal of $20,000. There is no deadline to donate on the page.
Money raised from fund-raisers and through capital donations will be used for stabilization of the property. Board members have been busy clearing the lower floor of the historic Augusta College dormitory. Engineers have been consulted and works is expected to begin soon to replace the roof and damaged floor joists. Once that has been completed, the restoration can begin.
The GoFundMe page to donate to the restoration efforts can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/save-historic-echo-hall. Donations call also be sent to Augusta College Echo Hall Association, P.O. Box 3, Augusta, Ky. 41002. The group has 501c3 status from the IRS and all donations are tax deductible.
The building was purchased by the Augusta College Echo Hall Association in October 2017 in order to save it from demolition and re-purpose the building.
At the time, ACEHA President Caroline Miller said the building may be the oldest standing Methodist building in the state.
The boarding house was built circa 1830 for male students attending Augusta College (1824-1849).
The building has fallen into disrepair since the 1997 Ohio River flood including the partial collapse of a back wall. It was slated for demolition until a group interested in saving the site stepped in, hoping to restore the structure. Working with the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, the former owner agreed to sell the property to the group rather than demolish it.
More information can be found on the group’s Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/BattleOfAugusta150thCommemoration or at its website, www.saveechohall.com