Published Mon, May 7, 2012 11:48 am Dateline
A new performing arts and community events venue has opened in Athens.
The grand opening Friday night featured art, vendors and a concert show casing local bands.
The facility is owned by Central Avenue United Methodist Church, which aims to connect with the community at this new venue.
Jake Householder, director of worship and media, said the church came across the location on East Carpenter Street and realized it could be used as more than a church.
"We wanted to set this place up as something completely different (so) that when you walk in here, you don't feel like you're walking into a church, you feel like you're walking into a venue. It's much more than that," he said.
While the building on East Carpenter Street will be used to hold church services on Saturdays and Sundays, Householder says it will mostly be used for community events such as Friday's concert.
He says he hopes the community can use the space to fill a niche that doesn't currently exist.
"It's not a church that the community is also welcome to use. It's a community space that the church also happens to use," he said.
Central Avenue United Methodist Church worked a year and a half to renovate the space.
Other churches, students and community members helped with the project.