Local businesses keeping former Coggon school open

Published: Aug. 20, 2016 at 8:15 PM CDT
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Joanne Edmonds folds clothes with a smile at the Faith Mission Thrift Store in the Coggon Center. Her whole family walked the walls of this building when it was a school, and this labor of love is helping to keep this landmark up and running.

Volunteers from the area her out. Edmonds says, “As we get older we can still be of some use to the community.”

The shop is filled with Clothes, and Christmas items its open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The money made goes towards rent for building maintenance, and helping the community

Edmonds says, "In a year and a half time we have given back 13,600 dollars.

It's one of five businesses paying rent to the Coggon Area Betterment Association. Who bought the building from the Coggon School District shortly after it closed in 2012.

A gym, a masseuse, Linn County Air Quality checks, and a bakery also there paying for upkeep. There's also Thursday afternoon card games.

Dannete Hankins from the Association says, “We wouldn't be able to survive. We wouldn't be able to pay the bills to keep the building open.’

Coggon Alum Penny Dake opened up Brother-Sister Bakery there two years ago. She says, "The town is kind of slowly, everything is closing uptown, and I think having the school open is going to help the town pickup with people.”

It's the thrift store shoppers like Robin Rickert that keeps things thriving. “I keep them in business.” She says, I bring stuff in, and I take stuff out. Most of the time when I bring stuff end I end up taking stuff out.

The building hopes to expand one day into an area that will house the elderly and low income.