Construction begins on new grocery store in Perryville. (Photo: Kara Kellerman, THV 11)
PERRYVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Eight months after a fire destroyed the only grocery store in Perryville, the store is being rebuilt.
The Big Star's roof collapsed during business hours in October, but no one was injured. The store also housed a pharmacy, which was also lost.
Since that time, a temporary pharmacy went up in town and the store's owner said he planned to rebuild. Tom Watson, Big Star's owner, said in January that he was soliciting bids for the project, but a construction date hadn't been decided. With the store being gone, residents have been forced to drive 30 miles to the nearest supermarket.
A viewer emailed THV 11 this week saying, "We the people of Perryville want to know when are we gonna get our grocery store back? Some residents in this area cannot afford the gas to go else where to get the items they need."
THV 11's Meredith Mitchell went to Perryville looking for answers and learned that the store is now being rebuilt. Jackie Arnold, general superintendent for NBMC Construction said crews are in the beginning phases of the project.
"Right now we're just starting on the footings and foundation," he explained.
While there's no exact date for when the store will open, Arnold expects it to be finished within a few months.
"Everybody's been asking, everybody's been inquiring 'what's going on' and the 'is it going to be put back like it was,'" Arnold said. "It's going to be a bigger size and a lot better building than it was."
Arnold said residents can expect the project to move quickly.
"The metal building is supposed to be here around the end of the month, and we're looking at 2-3 weeks. After that we'll have the structure up and the building up."
This is the second time the Perryville Big Star Food and Drug has had to rebuild because of a fire.