Evicted Mont Vernon karate school moving to Amherst

MONT VERNON – The Mont Vernon Karate Studio, facing eviction from a town-owned building, has found new space in Amherst’s Salzburg Square.

Owner Jim Peacock said there will be a big farewell party in the McCollom building from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27.

Peacock has used the building’s second floor for nearly 25 years, and in December, Mont Vernon selectmen decided it would have to go, giving several reasons, including the need for more town space and police department safety issues. The Mont Vernon Police Department is on the first floor of the 19th century building.

The new studio will open at the Route 101 shopping center March 1.

“I’m very excited about this fresh start,” Peacock said. “We want to go out with a bang.”

On Jan. 12 more than a dozen people attended a Board of Selectmen’s meeting, asking the board to reconsider and saying that the town has no current plan for the space and there has never been a safety problem they are aware of.

Selectmen said they have been talking about the issue for a long time and declined to take another vote.