Laurel Extension announces 40-acre purchase
May 26—The Laurel County Extension District Board is excited to announce that it has purchased a tract of real estate for the expansion and future development of its programs. The 40-acre property is located on Johnson Road in London and will provide additional room for programming in the next few years, with ample space to expand operations in the future.
The local Extension office, currently located on County Extension Road, provides research-based community programs for Laurel County residents. Most programs are free or include a small fee for class materials. Program areas include 4-H Youth; agriculture and natural resources; family and consumer sciences; and horticulture. The workshops offered through the programs include a variety of arts and crafts, home gardening, commercial horticulture, soil testing, healthy eating, food preservation, youth programs, money management, livestock care and management, and many more.
After reviewing the current programming and anticipating future community needs, Extension board members and agents concluded that the present offices and meeting room facilities are being utilized at capacity. Some weekly programs are being held off-site due to the lack of available space. Due to the limited size of the current property, expansion at the existing facility Is not possible. The new property will provide ample space for more offices; larger classrooms and meeting room facilities; and storage for supplies and equipment. Eventually, the board plans for the property to also include outdoor instruction and demonstration areas for gardening classes, greenhouses, research plots, animal health demonstrations, and other educational programs that will benefit the community.
When asked whether the property will include a new fairground facility, the board stated they do not intend to construct a fairground on the property. Extension programs utilize the fairground facility only one week each year to host the Laurel County Agricultural Fair for local and state youth, making it impractical to construct a separate facility. Extension fully supports the Laurel County Fairgrounds and hopes to continue working with its administration in future.
The board is currently in the initial stages of planning and anticipates working with an architect in the near future to establish a final layout for the Extension facility.
For a list of upcoming events at the Extension office, visit the web page at laurel.ca.uky.edu.