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Old cannery becoming a multi-use center in Seagrove

SEAGROVE, N.C. -- The former Luck's Cannery in Seagrove is massive. It covers five acres of land and measures 90,000 square feet. And most importantly, Luck's Cannery holds a lot of history. So when Jack Lail bought the property, he gave the old cannery to the Town of Seagrove.

"I thought it would be terrible to tear down and not have any remembrance of those people," Lail said. "They gave a lot of time and effort and everything to produce jobs for Seagrove."

Mayor David Fernandez said the donation is coming just in time.

"It's opportune in that we are losing our current city hall," Fernandez said. "The timing is perfect. We are excited about the space."

Seagrove currently rents space for its town administration and police department. But that space is about to be sold. So town administration and police will move into the refurbished Luck's Cannery in February. The second phase of the renovation calls for a large section of the building to be converted into meeting space.

"We are excited," Fernandez said. "We will use it for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters festival in November."

The last phase of the renovation holds a lot of possibilities. Fernandez can see the front of the building being used for retail or classroom space for potters.

"It's amazing," Fernandez said. "We could pull from a group of talented people to do something educational in this space."

Some of the renovation work taking place at the old cannery is being done by Lail.

"I feel good about it," Lail said. "I enjoy doing that kind of thing anyway. If I can help them out. It gives me a feeling of creation."

While the former Luck's Cannery is being converted into a place for town business and community meetings, Fernandez plans to include a museum that's dedicate to a cannery that used to produce over 600 cans of vegetables a minute.

"Want to make sure that the history of this building, all of the people employed here, people a part of Luck's time are some how acknowledged," Fernandez said.

Donations and grants are helping to fund the $1.1 million renovation.