by Lisa Tome
Back in the 1950s, Rising Sun's Pearl Street post office was also a civil defense shelter.
That building, currently serving as a discount store for Sun Pharmacy, took a hit last week.
In the wake of that crash, owner Tom Connelly is hoping to rebuild, and possibly come back with a new use for the building.
A Rising Sun man was flown to Shock Trauma after the SUV he was driving struck a downtown building. Billy Ray Church, age unavailable, was flown from the landing zone at Community Fire Company of Rising Sun, Biggs Highway, about 9 p.m. on Monday, June 8.
The Pearl Street building, which was at one time Rising Sun's Post Office, and currently serves as a discount store for Sun Pharmacy, was condemned by Rising Sun town administrator Calvin Bonenberger.
Connelly was on site minutes after the crash.
A few days later he talked about the building.
"It was the post office, a real estate office, a musical instrument repair store. It was an insurance office. NBRS owned it and I was renting it month to month," said Connelly. He was offered the chance to buy the building and did, opening it 40-50 days a year to offer special sales on merchandise and close outs from the pharmacy.
"I would like to rebuilt it. I think it's fixable. Most of the building is intact. It was a civil defense shelter at one time, so it's sturdily built," said Connelly.
He said that inside the store, after the building was hit, a few things were damaged. Coffee mugs were cracked or broken. "I may do a big crash sale and liquidate the rest (of the items in SP Discount)," he said.
He also said he is considering opening a gift store in the building and is also mulling the idea of opening an ice cream shop. "I will have to replace the heating system in the building, but that will be a blessing. We need something more efficient than the boiler," he said.
Connelly said his top concern in the wake of the accident was the condition of the crash victim. He also said he was impressed the way people in the community offered him help.
He said that Jerry and David England supplied equipment to clear the street and make the building easier to secure. He also received service from Meulenberg Construction crews who secured the concrete block building.
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