Progress report shows construction, remodeling and expsanion ongoing at several businesses in Pratt.

A flurry of activity has been taking place at several locations in Pratt at the beginning of the new year. Changes are taking place at the former Ayers-Calbeck Mortuary building, the former Kanza Coop building downtown Pratt, the former Kempton Chiropractic office on S. Main and at Jack Ewing Park.
Sawing, hammering and painting by several community and church volunteers from the Abundant Harvest Church of the Nazarene have transformed the main level of the former Ayers-Calbeck Mortuary Building at 115 E. Fourth Street into a family-friendly, multi-media equipped meeting space.
Nazarene pastor Scott Powell said a local family purchased the building with plans to gift it to the church for a broader community mission.
"We're calling it The Front Porch," Powell said. "It is going to be a place where large or small groups can meet in a coffee-house type atmosphere with full multi-media capabilities. Special interest groups can also find a place here, as well as kids for youth group activities or recovery groups for weekly meetings."
Cafe' tables and a coffee bar are ready to accommodate 80-100 people on the main level of the building, while others plans are in the works to update and utilize the additional space upstairs and in the basement.
Powell said Pratt Community College Performing Arts has already rented basement storage space for costumes and things there just wasn't room for at the college.
At some point, the side cottage at the same location will be updated as a place for small group meetings, Bible study groups or even art demonstrations.
"We're just very exciting to have this amazing ministry option open up here," Powell said. "We want it to be something everyone in the community will benefit from in some way."
Just down the street and around the corner, Doug Reh Chevrolet now has a permanent downtown location in the former Kanza Coop building commanding the southwest corner of 5th and Main.
“We’re very pleased about expanding our dealership downtown,” Doug Reh said. “We feel it will bring us new traffic from Highway 281, plus the traffic we currently enjoy from Highway 54.”
Reh purchased the Chevrolet dealership at 1501 East First Street from Dennis Lesh in 2001, after 16 years employment with the firm, working his way up from the detail crew to sales manager.
The deal for the downtown property was closed in December, according to Reh, who said some cars are already at the location, including on the outside lot and what will become an inside showroom.
Reh said plans are for the downtown location to showcase used vehicles.
“Workers are in the process of updating offices in the building,” Reh said.
For the present time, there is signage on the property with a phone number to call to contact a sales staff.
Doug Reh Chevrolet is a full-service dealership with both a service and body shop and a parts department.
“We have six certified service technicians on staff to handle emergency breakdowns and routine maintenance,” Reh said.
Work is well underway to transform the former Kempton Chiropractic building on South Main into an indoor shooting range. Much of the interior has been gutted and crews are busy transforming the interior and recycling the building for a new purpose. It's very early in the process and there is much construction work yet to do on the building, said owner Dale Withers.
Many years ago, the building was a bowling alley called "The Rose Bowl."
Work is also underway on a new sidewalk in Jack Ewing Park. A crew from Smiley Concrete is busy making forms and pouring concrete on the sidewalk that connects with East Third Street then zigzags along the north and east side of the drainage ditch that runs through the park, said Mark Eckhoff, Parks Department superintendent.
The sidewalk also hooks into the stone bridge that goes over the drainage ditch. It terminates on the south side of the park where the drainage ditch connects with a concrete box that goes under Fourth Street by Parkwood Village. Eventually, Eckhoff would like to extend the sidewalk to the east to the Walter Blake Tennis Complex.
Funding for the sidewalk came from a grant through the Pratt Health Foundation. Originally, the grant was for a sidewalk along Maple Street from Parkway Drive to K-61. But there was a technical problem with that project and the funds couldn't be used there. So, the money was used for sidewalk along the north side of Sixth Street Park and there was money left over for the Jack Ewing Park project, Eckhoff said.