What Lexington Needs: Ms. Georgia Henkel- Festival Market

What Lexington Needs: Ms. Georgia Henkel- Festival Market

What Lexington Needs: Ms. Georgia Hinkle – Festival Market

By Ms. Georgia Hinkle

This What Lexington Needs was part of a class project initiated by Ms. Georgia Henkel, a teacher at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and some of her sixth grade students.

Adults have answers to many problems, but it seems that there is a lot of thumb-twiddling and head-scratching when it comes to finding a creative solution to downtown’s “pimple,” Festival Market.

Yes, it is a big annoying problem and is not going away. But we’d like to make a proposal that would “oxycute” the problem. Our first objective was to find uses for the building that would serve many interests in the community.

The first thing we suggest is putting a Hard Rock Cafe on the first floor. We think this a is a good idea for the following reasons: DeSha’s restaurant, just across the street, is thriving; Hard-Rock t-shirts are collector’s items; and this type of restaurant appeals to the 20- and 30-year old crowd.

There are approximately 34,000 square feet on each floor of Festival Market. An I-MAX theatre would be a perfect solution for the remainder of the first floor as well as part of the second floor. Our society is becoming so high-tech, and I-MAX would appeal to all ages and would be a great way to spend time with grandparents.

Every school in Fayette County, public and private, had students participate in field trips to either Louisville’s natural History Museum (with an I-MAX), the Lexington Children’s Museum and / or the Living Arts & Science Center last year. The next part of our plan includes an expansion of the Lexington Children’s Museum combined with the Living Arts and Science Center. This new “Arts & Science Children’s Museum” would occupy the remainder of the second floor and the entire third floor of Festival Market. Our reasons for combing these programs are that they seem to compete a lot for the same money and participants. Why compete when a merger would make them both stronger? The Children’s Museum currently occupies 16,000 square feet. This move would more than double that space. We were thinking that the Living Arts & Science Center could teach the classes and provide an art gallery space just for children, and the Children’s Museum could organize permanent exhibits and hands-on stuff.

We found out that if the current Living Arts & Science Center is ever abandoned, the building would go to Planned Parenthood. The current site of the Children’s Museum could become a skateboard park with a half pipe. YO! But that’s another proposal.

While our idea may not be a panacea (that’s our new word,) we think that it is a creative way to “oxycute” the blight on downtown while serving the needs of many people in the community.