Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

September 4, 2013

Olive Hill Historical Society: Friend or foe?

Last of a series


Sept. 4, 2013 —

Debbie Baker Harman, vice president of the historical society, also shared her vision for the future of the Olive Hill Center for Arts and Education.

“We want to see the center become a place for learning, for preserving and experiencing our history and cultural heritage, and for creating, promoting and presenting artistic works for the community and beyond, she said. “We want the center to continue to serve as a gathering place for celebrations and remembrances across the life span of young and old.”

Olive Hill High School closed in 1971 with the opening of West Carter High School. It was used as an elementary school for several years before the hilltop property was sold by the school board.

In terms of future finances, the historical society is proud of the fact that more than 200 current and former residents of Olive Hill continue to provide financial support annually for its projects and programs.

Private giving by individuals, businesses and organizations over the past 14 years has surpassed $260,000 and an estimated $1.3 million has been received in grants from 10 local, state and federal sources.

Based on an estimate of $190 per square foot for new construction, the cost of replicating the 24,000 square feet of floor space in the old high school today would be at least $4.5 million.

Once completed, the facility will house classes from Ashland Community and Technical College and the Olive Hill branch of the Carter County Public Library.

As for the question posed by the title of this series of articles, overwhelming evidence says there is no doubt that the Olive Hill Historical Society, Inc., is a friend of the community.

Keith Kappes can be reached at or by telephone at 800-247-6142.

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