Make it or break it
A new arts center will focus on creativity, and a new rage room will focus on destruction. Plus, Temple's second Mobility Master Plan is around the corner.
MONDAY JANUARY 10, 2022
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
This is going to be a big year for Fourth Street in Downtown Temple. Bird Creek is expanding its burger business, the Hawn Hotel renovation is under way and a parking garage will soon rise from an asphalt-covered lot.
Two more new but very different businesses also will open on 4th, perhaps as early as this spring.
The businesses — The Art Dept. and The Wreck Center — are both owned by Lea and Brent Goates, but other than the owners, they will have very little in common.
“One will be for making things and the other for breaking things,” said Brent, who holds a business administration degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
A home for Temple’s creative community
The Art Dept. will be located at 14 S. 4th Street, and Lea hopes the facility will be a gathering spot for Central Texas artists.
“I’m hoping The Art Dept. will foster a sense of community among local artists,” she said. “We want to help grow the arts community in town.”
An art gallery featuring the work of local artists will be featured in the front of the building behind a front wall that will consist mainly of glass.
“The gallery will be out front, then we will have workshops and classrooms,” said Lea, who holds a fine arts degree from UMHB. “Our classes will offer a variety of media — watercolors, clay, drawing. I’d like to include floral design, cake decorating and maybe some sewing classes. We will see what people want to do.”
Lea said The Art Dept. will cater to creative minds of all ages, including children.
“The back half of the 3,300-square-foot building will be studio space where we will have a variety of equipment,” she said. “We’re planning on having a laser cutter, a 3D printer, a pottery wheel and kiln, an etching press and screen printing for shirts and other cloth items.”
“We’ve had requests to include some welding, woodworking and jewelry making as well,” she said.
While details are still being hammered out, the Goates plan on offering membership packages to their customers. The packages likely will include lockers for equipment and storage space for keeping projects at the studio.
“A lot of people just don’t have room to do a big project at home,” Lea said. “Some people live in apartments and are limited with what they can do at home. We have two small children, so it’s hard to keep art supplies out.”
The gallery at The Art Dept. will include a small retail area where local artists can sell what they make in the workshop.
“They can sell their crafts right here, plus the Art Dept. will have an online shop so people can purchase items from their homes,” she said.
Lea said she plans to offer sidewalk space to The Art Dept.’s members to utilize during First Friday and other downtown events.
“They can take their paintings, pottery, whatever they make, to a sidewalk booth,” she said.
Welcome to The Wreck Center
While The Art Dept. will focus on creating beauty, The Wreck Center at 16 S. 4th will feature creative ways to smash and trash.
Instead of the paint brushes and easels found next door, visitors to The Wreck Center will brannish baseball bats, golf clubs, crow bars and sledge hammers for their creative escape.
“The Wreck Center will be the place to come have a good time, let off some steam and break stuff,” Brent said. “There are rage rooms all over the world, and we checked some out. They are fun, and you get to do something that’s normally not acceptable. Plus, someone else cleans up your mess.”
So what do you break in a rage room? Whatever’s there.
“We’ll have ceramics, glassware, small electronics, whatever we can find,” he said. “We will take donations — if you have something left from a garage sale or things you just don’t want, if it’s breakable, we can give it one last use before it heads to the dump.”
The Wreck Center also will be 3,300 square feet and will feature four smash rooms, a kids area with unbreakable items, a lounge area and a party room complete with a small kitchenette.
All “smashers” will be required to wear goggles, gloves, long pants or coveralls, and closed-toe shoes.
“It’s going to be messy,” Brent chuckled. “We will do some splatter painting, play with silly string and throw some pies. Mostly whipped cream pies — there will be an upcharge for apple.”
Lea said the smash rooms will have plexiglass walls so visitors can sit in the lounge area and watch “the rage” as they await their turn to wreak mayhem.
Playing the waiting game
After purchasing the former American Printing building several months ago, the Goates had hoped to have both businesses up and running by Christmas. That didn’t happen, so now they are planning on a spring start.
“We had to have some asbestos removed from these old buildings, and the company that was going to do the work had some people out with COVID,” Brent said. “That work has been done, now we are trying to line up a construction crew.”
That’s a familiar tune being hummed by businesses throughout Temple and beyond. Construction crews are very much in demand because many projects have been delayed during the pandemic. And, construction companies are having difficulties keeping their crews at full strength.
Despite the delays, the Goates are confident they will be able to open in the not-too-distant future.
Until then, Brent is keeping busy with the couple’s original business — Backporch Outfitters.
“It’s a screen-printing business that focuses on barbecue-oriented apparel,” he said. “We make shirts, aprons and some hats. I’ve been doing this out of our home for about five years — three years full time.”
Brent sells his creations on Amazon, Etsy and eBay, he said.
“I’d like to help others set up online shops for their crafts as well,” he said. “I want to help others be successful.”
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A need for more sidewalks, expanded bus services and shorter waits at traffic lights were a few of the suggestions made by Temple residents during May’s Mobility Master Plan discussion.
That discussion continues Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Wilson Park Recreation Center, 2205 Curtis B. Elliot Drive. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and can be attended virtually at templetx.gov/mobility.
The plan, once finalized, will guide Temple’s development and implementation of a multimodal transportation system designed to meet the needs of a growing community.
Those attending the meeting — whether live or online — will be encouraged to give feedback about various modes of transportation.
May’s meeting — held virtually via Zoom and Facebook Live — was designed to gather recommendations for improving all modes of transportation in Temple, including roadways, bicycle and walking trails and bus routes.
According to Emma Martinez of Alliance Transportation Group, an Austin-based company that works with cities to develop mobile plan guidelines, the May session was a big step for Temple.
“We want recommendations and ideas from Temple residents so we can provide a vision for the future,” she said
Jason Deckman, a senior planner with the city of Temple, said the final plan should be ready by summer.
Deckman said the city already has numerous plans that address different aspects of transportation, and some need to be updated. The Mobility Master Plan rolls those plans together.
“We need a comprehensive transportation plan that meets the needs of drivers, delivery personnel, bicyclists, pedestrians and the disabled,” Deckman said. “A Mobility Master Plan will provide a bigger picture of those needs.”
The Jan. 19 meeting will provide residents with an opportunity to ask additional questions.
Many residents attending the first meeting said Temple’s infrastructure isn’t keeping pace with growth, resulting in problems such as long waits at traffic lights during peak driving times. Crossing town is also a tedious process, they said.
Several said bus service in Temple would be more popular if routes were expanded. Buses don’t serve some residential areas and places of employment, according to comments. And, some said buses aren’t a convenient means of transportation for people working late shifts.
Residents also said they would like to see more sidewalks and bike lanes, and safer ways to cross busy streets or highways. Poor lighting was also cited as a hinderance to walking or riding a bike at night.
Lengthy delays at train crossings also were mentioned at least twice by residents.
“Trains often block streets near downtown for 20 or 30 minutes,” one person wrote. Another said delays caused by stopped trains are common on 49th Street near Sammons Park.
Several residents said Kegley Road is in dire need of renovation. The road is a major connector from Midway Drive and Interstate 35 to West Adams and Airport. The two-lane road is “a roller coaster” and full of turns, according to comments.
Another person remarked that commercial air service at Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport — and public transportation to and from the airport — would benefit the city.
Deckman said Temple has several options for paying for transportation projects, including the use of capital improvement funds and state and federal transportation grants.
AROUND TOWN: FIRST FRIDAY BOOK SIGNING
Temple author Cheryl Hinckley stands with her new book, A Texas Dog Named Lucy Mae, during a book signing Friday night at Precious Memories’ Downtown location. The book is the first of nine in a series about rescue dogs that have been in Cheryl’s life. If you missed the signing and would like an autographed copy, pick one up at Precious Memories (Downtown) or email Cheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org. The price of the book via email is $20, which includes shipping and handling. David Stone | Our Town Temple
CLICK “CALENDAR” BUTTON TO VISIT THE OUR TOWN TEMPLE EVENTS CALENDAR! TRY IT!
Why the link to the Calendar? Taking the calendar to a link instead of being in the actual email allows us to get more features in every issue. Emails are limited by length by providers such as Gmail, Outlook and others. This allows for more content, while still providing you the a T-Rex-sized calendar of events (I love saying that!). Remember, if your events aren’t listed, let’s fix that. Email events with the details to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Include a high-resolution photo if you have one. I’ll try my best to get it in. — David Stone, Our Town Temple publisher
WHAT HAPPENED HERE?
This building at 120 S. 1st St. was built in 1881, so it is among the oldest buildings in Temple. It was built by the Buranelli family and was home to Buranelli’s Confectionary — a popular candy store. The Buranelli children became famous on several levels. Vincent, one of the Buranelli sons, was a designer of multi-engine airplanes and was a pioneer in the development of multi-engine transports. Prosper, another son, became a script writer for Lowell Thomas. Many long-time Temple residents remember the building as home to Veteran’s Cafe. David Stone | Our Town Temple
POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST
In 1905, the Temple Traction Company began running rail for the interurban trolley between Temple and Belton. In this postcard, workmen are laying trolley tracks. By 1908, Temple was a boom town complete with two cotton oil mills, two lumber planing mills, 22 physicians, six dentists, eight druggists, 12 real estate agents, three hotels, 12 lawyers, six cotton gins, four wholesale grocers, 12 churches, several lumber yards, three cotton compresses, a race track, a fairgrounds next to Lake Polk and six restaurants. The most popular eatery was Chinaman Ling’s (by 1920 Mr. Ling had dropped Chinaman from the name and just called it Ling’s).