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Old Yarmouth jail to see new use

In the future, the old Yarmouth jail could be the site of a masters program of craftsmanship, developed by RennDuPrat and Nova Scotia Community College.
In the future, the old Yarmouth jail could be the site of a masters program of craftsmanship, developed by RennDuPrat and Nova Scotia Community College. - Tina Comeau

Site could become base for masters program of craftsmanship

YARMOUTH - Entrepreneur Mandy Rennehan has been thinking about what she’s going to do with the old Yarmouth jail on Main Street.

Three years ago she purchased the building for $60,000. The structure, built in 1865, will need considerably more investment for renovations.

The daughter of a lobster fisherman, Rennehan left Yarmouth at 18 and founded Freshco in 1995. The company is a retail maintenance provider with full coverage across Canada and the eastern U.S. with clients that include The Home Depot, Nike, Restoration Hardware, Starbucks, The Gap and Apple.

Interior designer Dustin DuPrat and Rennehan forged a partnership in recent years and created RennDuPrat, a Yarmouth-based design fabrication company.

The business has transformed The Style Merchant, a home on Cumberland Street and RennDuPrat headquarters opposite the Yarmouth South Red & White.

 The old Yarmouth jail will hopefully be added to that list soon.

“It’s always been very much a passion project for me,” said Rennehan.

She says she asked herself what the town needs for it to propel to a whole other level and to pay respect and homage to the structure.

She and her partners are now in talks with Nova Scotia Community College about developing, through RennDuPrat and Nova Scotia Community College, about basing a masters program of craftsmanship here.

Rennehan sees the program as being internationally accredited around the world, making Yarmouth a stopping ground for what she refers to as the personal development of the trade industry.

“Our idea would be for the jail to be a lead project, to be developed to be one of the most efficient heritage properties in its full entirety across Canada,” she said.

Rennehan appreciates the granite and the steel in the handsome building, and the laying of the eaves.

“When you consider what went into constructing this building around 150 years ago, it really is incredible,” she said.

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