By BONNIE BAILEY

H&T Correspondent

The Boone Street Market expansion project is moving ahead after earning the approval of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen on June 12. The board granted approval after Jonesborough Locally Grown, the non-profit that manages Boone Street Market, presented board members with the previously requested architectural renderings of the expansion, which were produced by C.W. Parker of Ken Ross Architects.

At the time of approval, there were questions about whether buried fuel tanks, left over from the building’s days as a gas station, would interfere with construction plans, but those questions have been to put to rest, according to Town Administrator Bob Browning.

“We ended up communicating with TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation),” Browning said.

TDEC confirmed that the tanks, which were officially closed out long ago, are not in the way of proposed construction and won’t interfere with the project as it goes forward, he said.

“The next step will be getting a final cost,” Dana York, Chairman of the Board of Jonesborough Locally Grown, said.

They already have an estimate from the architect, she said, but now they need to get estimates from builders.

“I’m waiting on a couple of construction estimates to come back,” Karen Childress, Executive Director of Jonesborough Locally Grown, said. “Then we’ll know what we really need to shoot for. We know we don’t have all the money yet, but we just don’t know how much more we need to raise.”

The project has already received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture and about $40,000 in individual contributions.

The individual contributions thus far have come from donors who helped with the initial renovation of the Boone Street Market building.

“I’m hoping it’s going to come in that we have about $30,000 more to raise,” Childress said.

At that point, she said, fundraising can start in earnest.

The expansion will add 600 square feet to the display area of Boone Street Market, which will allow the market to accommodate more produce from local farmers, some of whom have been turned away in the past due to insufficient space for their products.

“We don’t have enough space right now for all the farmers who want to sell at Boone Street Market,” York said. “It limits the sales we can make.”

This expansion remedies that, Childress said.

“This doubles the size of our display area – from 600 square feet to 1200,” she said.

The expansion also adds 250 square feet of covered patio, and an approximately 200 square foot office/workspace.

“With the expansion, we hope to accommodate more farmers and offer the community more variety, more quantity, and more regular stock,” Childress added. “If more people are coming in consistently and we grow our customer base, we will be able to offer more.”

Childress said the expansion will also allow for more community events at the market due to the increase in space and seating.

“It will allow us to be more of a community gathering space,” she said. “The community has been very supportive of this organization and what we’re trying to do. We have really loyal customers. We have volunteers coming in all the time. I think that makes all difference. It makes us want to grow and expand.”

The key hurdles, Childress said, were getting permission from the town and from the Historic Zoning Commission, and completing the design idea. All of that has been accomplished.

“Now it’s just getting the money, getting the builder, and jumping off the diving board.”

To donate to the Boone Street Market expansion project, visit jonesboroughlocallygrown.org or donate in person at Boone Street Market, located at 101 Boone St. The market is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.