Founded in 2018, the Little Lakes Community Center stands tall as a tribute to the spirit of community and the importance of preserving the past. Nestled in the historic Hemlock School on South Main Street in Hemlock, NY, it resides at the epicenter of the Little Finger Lakes Region – Canadice, Conesus, Hemlock and Honeoye Lakes. This iconic location is a cherished landmark that transcends its brick-and-mortar structure to symbolize unity, knowledge, and deep-rooted regional pride.
Jack Evans’ Vision
Behind every great institution lies a visionary. The center was founded based on the vision of 1935 school valedictorian Jack Evans. Evans co-founded Tropel Corporation (Fairport, NY), now owned by Corning Glass, and later founded Velmex Inc. (Bloomfield, NY). Evans began the effort to create a community center in the building in 1983 to preserve it, as he always felt a close bond with the school he attended.
Preserving the Past to Inspire the Future
In today’s rapidly changing world, where the allure of the new often overshadows the legacy of the old, the Little Lakes Community Center’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the Hemlock School is both refreshing and vital. It’s not merely about preservation but about honoring the countless memories, narratives, and moments that unfolded within its confines. Today, this school stands as an eloquent testimony to the region’s vibrant history, inviting all to partake in its rich heritage, exactly as Jack Evans would have wanted.
The Heartbeat of the Community
The Little Lakes Community Center is more than just a venue. It’s where the tapestry of the community is woven, reflecting unity, shared beliefs, and collective aspirations. A myriad of programs, events, and workshops beckon residents and visitors alike, promoting a culture where learning thrives. From enlightening classes about the region’s unique lakes, hills, vegetation, and wildlife to engaging workshops on local crafts, a treasure trove of knowledge awaits every inquisitive mind.
Uplifting Lives, One Experience at a Time
The purpose of the community center extends far beyond its walls. With a diverse array of activities and resources, it seeks to enhance the lives of those who step in, allowing them to discover hobbies, reignite passions, or delve into new interests.
Embracing All with Open Arms
For those visiting the Little Finger Lakes region, the community center is their gateway to the wonders of the area. It not only offers a snapshot of the region’s picturesque landscapes and rich culture but ensures visitors depart with cherished memories and an enduring affection for the community and its culture.
In essence, the Little Lakes Community Center is the embodiment of the spirit and soul of the Little Finger Lakes, NY community. Through its steadfast commitment to preservation, education, and community betterment, it ensures the essence of the Little Finger Lakes region continues to resonate vibrantly for many generations ahead.
About Little Lake Community Center: Constructed in 1929, the Hemlock School arose from the ashes of a predecessor, which succumbed to fire in 1927.
For three decades, the building played a pivotal role in the Hemlock community’s education. From 1958 to 1975, the structure was annexed to the Livonia School District, and subsequently, from 1975 to 1982, it was leased by the Honeoye Central School District.
However, it was in 1982, after the school’s closure, that Jack Evan saw an opportunity to preserve a piece of Hemlock’s history. Purchasing the building, he initiated renovations — upgrading the heating, plumbing, windows, and doors — and thus, the “Jack Evans Community Center” was born.
The building served as an incubator for small local businesses and other community needs. In a generous act in 1996, Evans donated the building to the Town of Livonia, envisioning its use as a community center.
Yet, by fall 2016, escalating operating and maintenance costs led the Town of Livonia to close its doors, with plans to label it as surplus property for potential auction.
This looming threat of sale galvanized neighbors and supporters. In a spirited response, they rallied together — organizing, advocating, and fundraising.
Their efforts culminated in the formation of a 501(c)3 organization. With a dedicated Board at its helm, the community not only acquired the building but also introduced programming, embarked on urgent repairs, and leased spaces to budding local enterprises.
For further details or inquiries, please contact Cindi Wagner, Vice President, Communications and Marketing at 201-264-8715 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org