Washington County VA

Attendance up, parking down at Jonesborough's arts center

Town Leaders looking for a solution to lack of parking at McKinney Center

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - Since it opened last November, activities have been full at the new McKinney Center in Jonesborough. But, so has the parking lot. It's created a bit of a parking issue at the fledgling arts and community center..

"For big events it can be a little bit of an issue," Center Director Theresa Hammons said. "Our parking holds about 32 spots."

"The parking is limited," Jonesborough Public Safety Training Officer Chad Proffitt added.

So what's the solution to this parking problem? It may lie in the street that's parked right beside the McKinney Center, Franklin Avenue. "There's a conversation about making Franklin Street one way," Hammons said. "So there will be parking along Franklin Street which will ease the congestion within the parking lot itself which will be great."

Easing that congestion would help a place that's become a popular spot for art classes and exhibitions, play rehearsals, weddings, church services, conferences, club meetings and in service and training for town employees.

"We're a small agency we have limited room at our headquarters," Proffitt said. "Without a facility such as this where we can come and do our in service training, we would have to go to other avenues and pay a lot of extra money that we don't have."

Continuing the legacy of the center's namesake, Ernest McKinney, people do keep coming to use the center, learn and enhance their lives. More people, less parking spaces for now. Not exactly the worst problem the McKinney Center could have.

"We're doing the best we can with what we've got," Hammons said. "But it's a good problem to have when you've got people coming and wanting to use the McKinney Center for various reasons, we're happy to have the issue."

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