MPCA plans a season of Fun

While the Warm Springs Pools remain a highly visible restoration project in this area, and possibly across the state, there’s another special old building in Bath County that has been receiving some tender loving care, and it is already prepared to welcome visitors for community fun throughout the summer. The Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association began working to stabilize and repair the old Millboro School a few years ago. For anyone who may have seen inside, during the years it remained empty, they know this was not a small undertaking. The dilapidated and unsafe building was a far cry from where it is today. Allegheny Mountain Radio spoke with Jackie Plecker, a founder of the Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association to learn more about the group’s progress and plans. At first we talked about some of the work that had been completed.

After the county decided to work with the MPCA on a transfer of ownership, they took responsibility for two major improvements.

Jackie Plecker,

“They put the new roof on, and they also took the asbestos out.”

After that, the MPCA took on repairs to prepare for seasons of Bingo, Yard Sales, square dancing, and corn hole tournaments. The electricity in the part of the school with the gym was upgraded. Again, Mrs. Plecker,

”We’ve been working all this time. I can tell you what all we’ve done. We’ve replaced the windows.   Now all of the outside trim- that has all been repaired. And see we were going to go historically, so, you know, some of that trim was up there, they don’t even make it any more. So we went over to Fairfield, and had it made. And we had a bricklayer; he came and pointed up all the bricks. So we have had the outside, the masonry pointed up. We had to go in there and put on what they call scabbing. We had to put all new floor joists underneath that gym.

“We’re going to leave the original floor, the markings and everything. It was a basketball court.   See the both basketball goals are still there. It’s just a matter of lettin’ them down.”

But before any basketball games, come monthly square dancing workshops. These workshops will be led by Ellen and Eugene Ratliffe, experienced caller and teachers from Highland County, and are open to all ages, with absolutely no experience necessary. The Ratcliffes have taught at a wide range of square dancing workshops throughout this region, and around the state. The workshops being offered at the Old Millboro School are free, and will be held the fourth Fridays of every month from now until September. The first one is this coming Friday the 27th, and goes from 7:30 until 9:30.   Other dance workshops will be on June 24th, July 22nd, August 26th, September 24th.

In addition to the regular Bingo, and now the dance workshop series, there is also a yard sale at the Old School on Saturday the 28th, from 8:30 until 1:OO pm. There is a ten dollar fee to set up a table, but everyone keeps their own proceeds. And a highlight of the whole summer is the “Hi Neighbor Day “ on August 6th. This event includes lots of 20 cent games,-”You can play anything there. All you do is take them the ticket.” Then, a dunking booth, a bouncy house, live music through out the day, and a corn hole tournament. A yard sale will also be going on during the “Hi Neighbor Day”. Vendors of crafts, or specialty foods and baked goods are welcome to a space for ten dollars.

And for the higher end, items donated to raise funds for the MPCA, there will be a silent auction.  Again, Jackie Plecker,

“We’ve gotten some good silent auction items. So, we already have a lady that’s volunteered to help with that.” For information on how to participate in the

“Hi Neighbor Day”, on August 6th visit the MPCA Facebook Page, or speak to Teresa Smiley, Stephanie Forbes or Jackie Plecker.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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