The Town of Banner Elk wishes to preserve the historic site for future generations, expand much needed parking for the downtown business community, promote and sustain its tourism economy by providing a convenient and beautiful central area for festivals, fairs, and other cultural events, and enhance the appearance and character of downtown Banner Elk through complimentary uses of this space. The property is 5.39 acres in downtown Banner Elk, located next to Tate-Evans Municipal Park and the Town of Banner Elk Greenway trail.
Currently the property is home to a number of wonderful outdoor events from community gatherings like the annual Halloween Trunk-or-Trick, to the weekly Farmers Market, amazing art and craft shows, and the world famous Woolly Worm Festival. Events like these are responsible for bringing the community together on a social level as well as a business level, both with their own importance to the Town of Banner Elk. It is the intention of the Town to continue these great uses of the outdoor space along with new opportunities and ideas. The location of this site will also allow the Town to provide additional parking for its downtown merchants and is connected by municipal sidewalks to downtown businesses and other points of interest within the Town.
The Town of Banner Elk believes that through promoting the preservation of historic sites such as the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School, increasing the number of opportunities for tourism and destination related events, and encouraging a healthy and vibrant downtown are important and vital needs of the Town of Banner Elk in planning for its future success. This historic structure is central to the character of the Town and the intent is to preserve it.
There are many ideas for the buildings use. Currently the Town has entered into a lease with Mayland Community College for three classrooms. This will allow Mayland Community College to expand their program offerings and gives the Town a strong “tenant” showing support for the project. The Town Council has also shown support for designating the gymnasium as community space and restoring the cafeteria to a catering/community kitchen. While uses for the building are still being explored the Town is making decisions about opportunities as they present themselves.