Something new is coming to historic Hale Farm & Village.
The farm and collection of historic buildings in Bath Township operated by the Western Reserve Historical Society is about to launch the fourth phase of a capital improvement project that dates back to 2007.
Work on the 2,500-foot addition to the farm's Gatehouse Welcome Center for community outreach and additional interpretive space is expected to begin this fall and be completed by summer.
Funding for the $700,000 project is a combination of state funds, the Mary Jane Hartwell estate, Lehner Family Foundation, Ohio & Erie Canalway Association and Sisler McFawn Foundation.
“Since commencement of this project, [Hale Farm] has experienced continued annual attendance growth," said Kelly Falcone-Hall, CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society. "To support this momentum, [Hale] is creating a community engagement space to promote strategic initiatives focusing on adult workshops, professional development, youth education and community connection.”
Falcone-Hall said the additional space will help to tell the story of the farm's namesake Hale family along with that of the Cuyahoga Valley, the Canalway and the businesses that called it home.
Some 75,000 guests from schoolkids to families to tourists pass through the welcome center each year.
There will be new space for crafts and trades demonstrations and workshops, space for special events and community meetings, a place for school groups to gather and classes for teachers, artists and preservationists.
Other phases of the project included work and renovation on the farm's 32 historic structures scattered throughout the 90-acre site that opened to the public 60 years ago.
Craig Webb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3547.