published Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Under Construction: Evelyn Davenport Navarre Educational Building

Artist's rendering of the Evelyn Davenport Navarre Educational Building
at Crabtree Farms.
Artist's rendering of the Evelyn Davenport Navarre Educational Building at Crabtree Farms.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Project: Evelyn Davenport Navarre Educational Building

Owner: Crabtree Farms, non-profit farm and foodshed

Location: 1000 E. 30th St., Chattanooga

Contractor: Ethan Collier Construction

Cost for project: $200,000

Square footage: 2,496

Scope: The new facility will be used for workshops, dinners, community meetings, events, birthday parties and weddings.

The building will also feature some elements of a farmer's market, as Crabtree Farms produce will be sold out of the facility, alongside locally-grown produce from the area.

History: The dream of adding another building at the farm goes back at least three years, and stems from the need to accomodate larger groups, like schools which take local students on trips to the farm in spring and fall.

Timeline: Construction on the educational building is expected to be finished by fall.

Contact: Crabtree Farms, 423-439-9155. Reservations for the new building can be made starting later in the summer.

Online: www.crabtreefarms.org

Donate: www.crabtreefarms.org/donate, checks payable to Crabtree Farms, 1000 E 30th St., Chattanooga, TN, 37409

A concrete slab bounces the late-May sun into the eyes of Andrea Jaeger, programs director at Crabtree Farms, as she explains what the Greek-cross shaped building-to-be will look like.

Meanwhile, groups of elementary school kids are enjoying the outdoors, a day on the 20-acre farm below.

They're part of the reason the farm took on this project, she said, because "All of our events are really rain-dependent."

And space-dependent. And it wouldn't hurt to have an air-conditioned space to take these kids when it gets too hot outside.

Hence this: a 2,400- square-foot concrete slab and several stacks of neat, bundled lumber. But some of the most exciting bundles of lumber you'll find, if you ask Jaeger.

Because the concrete, the lumber and the torn up mud look and smell like progress on something the seven employees of Crabtree Farms having looking forward to seeing -- a brand-new educational facility, slated to open by fall.

Hopefully, said Jaeger, it will mean more room and comfort to do all the things that Crabtree Farms has been doing since 1998, preserving a patch of agriculture and history in the corner of the sprawling city.

And she said it will be the community's space, not just the farm's.

And if the community wants to pitch in, by all means.

"We're always looking for more support," said Jaeger.

about Alex Green...

Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...

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