Transforming the Historic Knights of Pythias Building in Glouster, Ohio

Glouster Revitalization Organization

The historic Knights of Pythias building in downtown Glouster is set to undergo a transformative redevelopment. This project, sponsored by the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP) via the Appalachian Community Grant Program, aims to revitalize the local economy and rebuild an integral community space. The Knights of Pythias Project has also sought and has pending funding through the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program via the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Community Building Partners (CBP), under the guidance of SAOP, is managing the Knights of Pythias project alongside three others in the region under the Appalachian Community Grant Program funding, demonstrating both organizations’ commitment to fostering sustainable community development and long-term regional growth.

The scope of work for the redevelopment of the Knights of Pythias building is detailed and extensive, aiming to meet specific community needs such as easier food access, improved health outcomes, workforce development, and downtown revitalization. Gudknecht Construction has transformed GRO’s vision into comprehensive building plans. In addition to the Appalachian Community Grant Program award, SAOP and GRO received funding through the American Rescue Plan Act awarded by the Athens County Commissioners to complete these designs. CBP has offered support by publishing an RFP for construction services, coordinating predevelopment efforts, and will continue assisting community partners throughout the project timeline.

Gudknecht Construction

The renovated Knights of Pythias building will feature a ground floor dedicated to local food ventures and entrepreneurship. This space will host six distinct areas for bakers, restaurateurs, and other food professionals, facilitated by a shared kitchen environment. On the second floor, the plan is to develop a community remote work hub with high-speed internet access. This area will include modular meeting and conference spaces capable of accommodating 24-30 workstations, providing flexible and adaptable office space for local professionals and entrepreneurs. The third-floor plans will create a catering and community event space. This area will support various activities– community meetings, music, arts, fitness events, and more– with a design that allows for versatile use to meet diverse community needs.

Each aspect of the project has been crafted to enhance community interaction and economic activity, creating a vibrant center for Glouster. The selected construction firm will play a crucial role in implementing these plans, translating strategic visions into practical realities that align with the goals of the Appalachian Community Grant Program and meet the expectations of all project stakeholders, including SAOP, GRO, and CBP. By breathing new life into the Knights of Pythias building, this initiative preserves a cornerstone of Glouster’s heritage and plays a central role in well-being and longevity. The project’s success will serve as a model for community-centered development, demonstrating how strategic investments can bring about transformational change and provide generational benefits in the Appalachian region.