ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Our old buildings, and the materials inside them, are the focus of a public meeting that's coming up on the east side of St. Cloud.

"Repurposing Buildings: Turning Vacant Spaces into Community Places" will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Salem Lutheran Church.

Ann Marie Johnson is from the Stearns History Museum which is working with the St. Paul-based nonprofit Rethos. They specialize in preserving and reusing existing buildings and sites.

How you can reuse buildings and keep them in use and also save the materials that are in there from being in the landfill.  It's a good way to help the environment, help the community, and it's great for history.

Another one of the presenters is Melissa Wenzel from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She specializes in the use and reuse of buildings and building materials.

People love history, people love their own town, and people love to see that their own town is being featured from a statewide perspective.  I think it will attract a lot of people who may not know about these successes.  Or they might simply walk around St. Cloud and look at the buildings in a different way.

Benton County Historical Society Executive Director Mary Ostby will talk about the historic buildings on St. Cloud's east side.

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The event is free and open to everyone, but pre-registration is preferred.  Johnson says they have invited most of the commercial property owners on the east side, but anyone with an interest in saving historic buildings is welcome to attend.



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