GRAHAM, KY. (WFIE) - Like many others in the town, Thomas Bard once walked the halls as a student at Graham School.
The school has been vacant since the the county schools consolidated. But now Bard and his wife are transforming it into what will be known as the Bard Distillery.
“This school means a lot to me, it means a lot to the community, and to generations of people who went here, so it’s part of us,” said Bard. “So to have seen it for so many years just continue to go into decay, and knowing that we can come in, breathe new life into it and into the community, it is a big deal for us, it’s a thrill.”
Bard’s plan is to use the old gymnasium for the distilling process while the rest of the old school is renovated.
The walkway leading up the the entrance will be known as Distillery Row. It will be lined with bricks that people in the community can purchase to not only help with renovations, but to seal their place in history.
“We even have a Graham Nighthawk emblem for people to use if they graduated from here, and it allows them to come here at all times, look down on the brick and say 'hey I had something to do with not only the history of this place but also with the future of the Bard Distillery," says Bard.
Once the distillery is up and running, Bard hopes it will attract visitors, not just from Muhlenberg County, but all across the Bluegrass State.
“We want to bring some very unique spirits to the industry, which the industry is growing, it’s booming right now, there is no sign of it stopping any time soon," says Bard. “We’re excited to be a part of it.”