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Developers in Pulaski hope to revamp historic school building into indoor farming facility

Plans to rehab a former school building in Pulaski and turn it into an indoor farming facility.
Courtesy photo
Plans to rehab a former school building in Pulaski and turn it into an indoor farming facility.

Real estate developers in the New River Valley are hoping to revitalize a historic elementary school and turn it into a state of the art, indoor agriculture facility, called Vegg Inc.

Jefferson Elementary School in Pulaski closed in 1995, and the building has remained vacant for years. A team developers purchased the property last year for $100,000. Pulaski County and the town of Pulaski loaned them the money.

“The town and county made it possible for us to actually move forward with like starting the project and the planning,” said Luke Allison, the development officer for Vegg Inc. Allison said they’ll repay the loan to the town and county by the end of this year.

Their plan is to convert the school into an indoor agricultural facility, using methods like aquaponics to grow food. Allison said they don’t want to compete with existing growers. Instead, they want to rent spaces to farmers looking to scale up. Allison notes the high costs of constructing new buildings. He said climate change is bringing an increased need to be innovative, when it comes to farming.

They’re partnering with another Pulaski-based company, MOVA technologies. MOVA uses carbon capture technology, and Allison says the CO2 they pull from air pollution could be used to feed and grow plants.

First though, they’ll need to raise $500,000, much of which will be spent rehabbing the former school building.

“They don’t build buildings like they used to,” Allison said. “The structural elements are in incredible shape.”

Allison said they hope to begin construction on the building by this time next year.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.