The school is often the heart of a small community and that is definitely the case for Spencer, a rural community located in the western edge of Henry County, Virginia. This week, guest blogger Casey Hudgins explains the significance of this community's school and how it continues to serve the community and visitors to our area. Casey is the Executive Director of Spencer-Penn Centre.
The Spencer-Penn School served the small rural community of Spencer for seventy-seven years, not only as an educational institution, but also as the center of civic and social life. Today, in its new incarnation as the Spencer-Penn Centre, the renovated school stands as a testament to the remarkable volunteer spirit of the citizens of Spencer while serving once again as a vital community resource. Recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, it houses a library and a computer lab, hosts classes ranging from art to yoga, and provides space for banquets, conferences, receptions and concerts.
Since 2006, Spencer-Penn's Monthly Music Night has brought bands and an open jam session each month to entertain crowds up to 300 each night. The event is held on the second Friday of each month. Not only promoting local talent and encouraging music that is part of this area's heritage, Music Night provides entertainment for visitors from far and wide.
Music night is an experience not to miss, for sure! The atmosphere and people are one of a kind and family oriented; friends and neighbors alike come to join the fun. A variety of good entertainment can be seen: flat-footing, clogging, and dancing to bluegrass/gospel music. The concession stand is open as the doors open at 5:00. Staff and volunteers serve BBQ, hotdogs, chicken salad, pinto beans, corn bread, and homemade desserts. Some months, the line stretches around the door! So, come hungry and ready to dance the night away!
Spencer-Penn Centre is the perfect place for your luncheon, retreat, or training seminar. The facility is suitable for weddings, rehearsal dinners, lectures, reunions, performances, classes, meetings, conferences, and small parties. Spencer-Penn is located in a beautiful countryside setting, with large and small spaces for rent. While the building is historic, modern technology such as Wi-Fi, LCD projectors and sound systems are available to make events successful. The Community Kitchen is a Certified Commercial Kitchen available for rent, with catering also available.
The Centre provides a variety of services for the community. Regularly scheduled exercise programs ranging from Tai Chi to Yoga and Chair Aerobics to Zumba Gold. In the summer, camps are offered for children including: Woodworking, Cooking, Lego Camp, and our Summer Reading Program in the library. A small historical museum is located on-site to show how classrooms would have looked when Spencer-Penn was first opened.
Spencer- Penn Centre has a new nature trail, the Karl Hellreigel Memorial Trail, which was dedicated November. The natural surface trail, loops through a wooded area then emerges to circle the Spencer Ruritan Baseball Field for a total of three fourths of a mile. The trail is open for the public to enjoy from sunrise to sunset.
Spencer- Penn Centre is dedicated to "bringing our neighbors together," including those from surrounding states. We hope you can join our Spencer- Penn Family!