Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help) January 6, 2023
Saturday: Grange and FCCGH joint meeting–public invited!
Now that we have the lift project underway, we are thinking ahead to the next project. As everyone who looks at the exterior of the Grange Hall can see, the paint is in very sad shape. 80 years of painting, scraping, adding layers of paint, some over inadequately cleaned surfaces, with different paint chemistry have led to a lot of peeling. Like all buildings this old, the inner layers are lead paint, which must be scraped off by a qualified, licensed contractor and properly disposed of. Because of all these factors, re-painting is not cheap! And, if we want to get this done this year, we need to get on contractors’ lists soon.
To help us figure this out, Patty Giavara (Chair of the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall) and I have decided to hold a joint meeting of the Grange and the FCCGH tomorrow, Jan. 7, 4:30 to 6:00 PM to begin a broader discussion of these questions. Patty has put together a presentation about the “rough order of magnitude” estimates we’ve gotten, funding possibilities, and the decision factors we need to consider.
This meeting will invite input on our next steps to give the Grange Hall a “facelift”, in addition to “Project UpLift”, described above. Please join us in person or via Zoom. The Zoom link is available on the Calendar listing for the meeting–click HERE to go to that listing.
Patty has compiled some basic info on the choices we’re considering, which she and I will be sending out to Grange members, and board members of the FCCGH on Friday. If you plan to come to the meeting, or just want to learn more, please reply to this email and we’ll email the info packet to you as well. We really hope you will come and take part in the discussion–either in person or via Zoom.
After the meeting: it’s potluck time!
From 6:00 to about 7:00, we’ll have our monthly Community Potluck Dinner, where we socialize over tasty dishes contributed by Grange members and other good cooks. Generally we chew over the ideas we’ve discussed in the meeting, as well. We hope you will join us for the dinner, whether you make it to the meeting or not! Please bring whatever you want or can scrounge up that can be shared–beverages, cheese ‘n’ crackers, desserts, main dishes, soups, side dishes, salads…we all need to eat, so why not share food in good company?
Starting to give the Hall a lift
As we’ve planned, the construction of the “hoistway” for the wheelchair/platform lift has started this week. Our main contractor, Stan Carlson has laid out the footprint, removed the closet for the Church of Christ from the stage, and is getting ready to cut holes in the stage and the main floor (and yes, he’ll be blocking off the holes when he’s done working, to make it safe for evening and weekend Hall users). In the photo above, he’s completing the framing of the hoistway in the lower level, which will also support the upper floor around the hole he’ll be cutting in it.
We can’t yet predict just when the lift will be delivered and put in place by the installers; the first step is to get the hoistway walls framed, and to get them inspected by the Fire Marshal before sheetrocking. We’ll also be getting our electrical contractor, ARJ Electric, back to rough-in the wiring. After the sheetrocking is done, the installers from Accessibility Systems will deliver the support track, the mechanical/electrical parts, the platform and doors. Then they will lower them into the hoistway, and bolt them into place. After that, there will be more sheetrock installed around the doors. We’ll have painting to be done on all the sheetrock and trim–we’ll be happy to have some volunteer help to do the painting!
In addition to the lift, Stan will be taking out the wall between the main Hall and the foyer, and rebuilding it as a fire-rated wall, with door closers, panic-bar hardware–and also a closet for storing the tables we now have stacked in the foyer. The Fire Marshal has told us we will not be allowed to store anything in the foyer–no tables, brooms, snow shovels, trash or recycling containers, or traffic cones. The new storage closet for the tables will open into the main Hall. We’re still figuring out what to do with other items we’ve been used to storing there.
The good news is that the foyer will be much “cleaner” looking. I will post drawings soon showing what the plan view will look like. More details to come!
Dance, Sing and Jump Around–this Sunday!
The “2nd Sunday” comes early this month, so Sunday, Jan. 8th will be the next event in the Grange-sponsored series of “family dances” which Liz Benjamin, Merry Shernock and their band of volunteers started several years ago. We had a great turnout for the December event, and hope for equally good numbers this time.
What is it? From 3:00 to 4:30 PM on Sunday, Liz, plus Stan Carlson (yes, the same one building the lift hoistway) will teach and lead combination of simple dances, play-party games and songs. We’ll have a “big band” to provide live music, because we’re combining Joanne Garton’s fiddle students with musicians from the Northeast Fiddler’s Jam. It will be exciting!
These dances are particularly designed for kids in about the 3- to 8-year old range, but everyone is invited! There will be some snacks (healthy and tasty) available, plus paper to draw and color on for kids that want to take a break from dancing. We ask for a $5.00 donation for everyone except the kids, who get in free! No one is ever turned away. We usually have a combination of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who come along with kids. And you get the chance to be silly with kids, something most of us don’t get enough opportunity to do!
Find a kid you can bring along (with permission of their parents/guardians!) and join us on Sunday afternoon. For more information, check out the DS&JA website!
Just Food Hub announces: new vendors for January!
What could sound more enticing than the Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective?
If you’ve been reading about the Just Food Hub, in the Grange Notes or elsewhere, you already know that this non-profit group sells delicious items, and donates the amount that could be profit to non-profit groups–including the Grange.
But besides being such a virtuous place to buy from, check out the chocolate! Just go to the special JFH Grange fundraising page, click on “Shop Chocolate”, and you will find many choices–including the products which are new this January, from chocolate farmers who not only grow the cacao, but take part in all stages of the production of the bars and drinking chocolates sold on the site.
Did you know that commercial chocolate only uses beans from 3 of the hundreds of varieties of cacao bean?
Did you know that every purchase from the JFH page linked above gives a donation to the Grange? Now you do!
It’s 2023, and donations to the Friends are still coming in!
We continue to be grateful to the many supporters who have contributed to the Fall Appeal of the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall–at least 66 thus far. These generous folks have donated to help the Friends make major improvements to the Grange, including the just-started lift project and the upcoming exterior painting project described in this newsletter. We can’t say thanks too many times.
If you can help the FCCGH to help the Grange Hall, we’ll use the money wisely! To see the Fall Appeal letter sent out by the Friends, click here. It also describes “Project Uplift” to install a wheelchair/platform lift in the Hall–its beginnings are pictured above. We appreciate any gift, of whatever size fits your budget! And donations to the FCCGH, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit, are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law; you’ll receive a thank-you and a record for your contribution. You can see descriptions of previous FCCGH projects, and donate via Paypal on the Donate page of the Grange website.
Thanks to everyone who is helping us out–last year, this year and on into the future.