• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Future of downtown church building uncertain


VERSAILLES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH has held Sunday services at its sanctuary on Court Street in downtown Versailles since 1922. Services will move to its new Family Life Center at the corner of Paynes Mill and Lexington roads next month. (File photo by Bob Vlach)

The Woodford County Economic Development Authority's exclusive option to acquire the Versailles United Methodist Church property on Court Street expired last month, but discussions are ongoing on a potential adaptive reuse of the property through a public-private partnership, according to Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott. "It's one of those dream projects that you do the best you can and hope it comes to reality. If it doesn't, then nothing's really lost as long as the (church sanctuary) building is salvaged," Traugott said. The pending move of Versailles United Methodist Church, which has held Sunday services at its sanctuary on Court Street since 1922, spurred discussions about an adaptive reuse of the sanctuary building. City Councilwoman Ann Miller, who served on a committee exploring options for an outdoor marketplace/pavilion in downtown Versailles, has said a public-private partnership was necessary for an adaptive reuse of the sanctuary building property as an event center and a permanent site for the Woodford County Farmers' Market. Versailles United Methodist Church hopes to move into its new Family Life Center multipurpose building at the corner of Paynes Mill and Lexington roads on Sept. 10 or Sept. 17 at the latest, according to its senior pastor Tim Thompson. He said the building "looks great." Asked about the status of its current sanctuary building and adjacent properties, Thompson said, "It's still for sale." He said an adaptive reuse through a public-private partnership doesn't look very promising, but there's been some interest in the church properties. "Somebody will buy it," he added. The City of Versailles - through the EDA - still holds a right of first refusal if another interested party makes an offer to purchase the Versailles United Methodist Church building and two adjacent properties, Traugott said.

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