APSU recently purchased a building at 103 Strawberry Alley for $500,000 to give the university a presence in downtown Clarksville.

The building is 15,000 sq. ft. and three stories. The building formerly held nightclubs Joe B’s and Bar 103.

Plans are for the building to include a museum and an art gallery to host APSU’s folk art collection, donated by Ned and Jacqueline Couch and Joe Trahern.

Discussions have been made to include APSU’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the Department of Art’s Goldsmith Press in the building.

Mitch Robinson, vice president of finance and administration, said the building will give APSU “a better presence and a better opportunity to showcase what our faculty and students produce in terms of art.”

The building will undergo repairs after APSU officials consult architects on the project. The cost estimate for the building’s development is expected in April.

Interim Art Department Chair Barry Jones said he is “ecstatic” about the building. Jones said the building will serve as a “cultural center” for the university.

“The building will be great for the university and the city as a whole,” Jones said. Community outreach will be the goal of the building, according to Jones.

Although the Art Department will play “one small part” in the building, Jones said he thinks it will be beneficial to the department, which is currently hosting the 2013-2014 Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence, a program that brings regionally and nationally acclaimed artists to work with students and the community.

“What we hope is that the building will become a permanent home for our folk art collection,” Jones said.

The expected date of the building’s opening is yet to be announced. TAS