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Owner still plans rebuilding of Indiana music hall

January 3, 2016

The owner of southern Indiana's Little Nashville Opry site says he's still working on long-delayed plans to rebuild the concert hall that was destroyed by arson more than six years ago.

Scott Wayman bought the land at a 2012 Brown County property tax sale and has been talking since then about rebuilding the venue, which was built in the 1960s from an old horse barn and hosted performers such as Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn.

Wayman, whose family owns Wayman's Furniture in Martinsville, said he has faced troubles gaining construction approvals for the site along Indiana 46 just west of Nashville because the property is in a flood plain.

He obtained a state permit during 2015 to install a sewage treatment plant on the four-acre property, The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reported.

"There are a lot of environmental things, and it has taken longer than I ever thought," Wayman said. "Persistence is what we are working on now."

His plans call for a 2,000-seat venue made of dark brown wood with Brown County stone and a green metal roof. Wayman isn't making construction promises but says work could start during 2016.

"It will be very similar to the inside of the old Opry because the layout worked well and had a good flow for people," he said.

A Brown County jury in 2014 acquitted the concert hall's former manager of arson charges for the September 2009 fire.

Wayman said he was negotiating to buy the venue when the fire broke out after a Saturday night show. He said he's received much encouragement from country music performers and fans to rebuild the hall.

"That really says a lot about the Opry and the community over there, and what it means for Brown County and for country music," he said.

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