The Buckhorn Grange Hall in Wolf, between Newcomerstown and Stonecreek, is being prepared for a busy year.

Buckhorn Grange, 11072 Wolf Station Road, Newcomerstown, was once the center of social life for the surrounding agricultural community. Over the years it has hosted hundreds of square dances, plays, reunions and other community events. Across the country, Grange membership has been declining and all too often the Grange halls are left to fall into disrepair with fewer members to care for them.

Members of the Buckhorn Grange recently came to an agreement to ensure that their building would once again be filled with dancing and children as it was in its heyday. A local dance and music school is actively readying the facility for their fall classes that start in early September.

Melody and Motion School of Performing Arts will open for business on Sept. 5 with its first dance classes in the new facility.

The school was started as the Newcomerstown Dance Center more than seven years ago and has been actively looking for a facility in which to expand. The additional room will allow for a number of new programs including private music lessons, cheer classes and the only Kindermusik program in the county.

School Director Jessica Callender said, "We are very pleased to be working with the Grange members to make sure that their history of quality community programs can live on. This expansion allows to offer families in Tuscarawas County high quality programs for their families without leaving the county."

Longtime Buckhorn Grange member Don Fenton said, "The hall has been under-utilized the past few years and we are happy to see that it will be used more. We wish the new owners the best and we are very pleased with the arrangement."

The facility was designed for a variety of events including square dances, meetings, plays but was also used for many receptions, parties and reunions.

The facility features a large dance floor and stage upstairs as well as a full kitchen and seating for 100-plus downstairs for dining. The downstairs room has been repainted and will soon be equipped with round tables to make it easier for groups that want to rent the hall to set up. The two restrooms are being remodeled as well. With new carpet and paint the entryway is getting ready for its new use.

Call the school's phone number (740) 498-8090 for rental information.

The building was built in the 1930s as a hub of community life. It has stood the test of time including a fire in the early 1990s.

The school will work with Buckhorn Grange members to make sure the facility is available to Grange functions, said Callender.

The school is now registering for music and dance classes. For information visit MelodyAndMotion.org or call the above number.