At the end of this busy year, we thank the many people who have pitched in to get these projects started–and have stuck with them to get them done.
What is so important about these changes? It’s pretty simple–we are going to have a hard time surviving if we don’t improve our cash-flow. We have been losing about $2,000 per year over the last several years–as costs increase for heating, taxes, plowing and sanding, our rentals have not increased to keep pace. The good news you will find in this and the other Grange Notes is that we are making changes that will affect both income and cost sides of the ledger–how would you like to pitch in to help us make them happen?
Beginning with the fire-exits, the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall has begun the projects promised over the last year. The Friends have raised enough money (through donations, fundraisers and grants) to get going on the basement improvements which we’ve been planning for a couple of years.
The bathroom renovations will start later, we’re hoping in the spring of 2015, after we raise enough money to complete that phase. The Friends have received a grant to cover 50% of the total cost of about $50,000, but we still need to complete raising money for the remaining half.
Right now, the existing stairs that led to the fire exit on the NW corner of the building have been removed, and contractor John Mallery is showing how the new stairs will run, using a new stair-stringer. On Monday, a concrete-cutting company sliced through the foundation wall. Soon, the new stairs and a new landing inside will be framed in. A wall will divide the stairway from the upstairs Hall. New fire exit signs and emergency lights will show the way out, through a new exterior door, and there will be a new concrete landing on the outside.
After that, John will build the new vestibule around the “front” basement stairs, with a fire-door and “fire-code” sheetrock-covered walls. All of these changes will make the Fire Marshal much happier with our downstairs space, and we will ask him to increase our legal occupancy for the downstairs from 49 (our current limit) to at least 100!
Check out the changes next time you come to the Hall!
Coming soon: an updated Grange Website!
I’ve mentioned before that Patty Giavara and others have been working on an update for the www.capitalcitygrange.org website. It looks like we are just about ready to “go live”! We hope that it will be before Thanksgiving–check it out when you get a chance, and let us know what you think!
The new site will be easier to edit and update with new articles, including information on rentals and meetings, projects and photos. The Calendar will also be easier to add information to, to publicize events at our Hall. Long-time volunteer Tova Cohen will continue to update the Contra Dance Umbrella events on the “new” version of the website, and expects to be able to put in more information about bands, callers and dances.
We’ve tried to design the updated website to appeal to potential renters, as part of our strategy to increase rental of the Hall to a wider variety of tenants. If you can help us reach out to corporations, legislators, government agencies and others who schedule meetings, trainings and workshops, or to other schools which rehearse and put on plays, or to wedding planners–get in touch! Make suggestions about how we can better use this flexible new website to publicize our (improving) facilities!
Many thanks to Rob Fish of the VT Digital Economy Project, sponsored by the VT Council for Rural Development, who has worked with us to develop this new website–and to get Wi-Fi for the Hall, plus starting me using MailChimp to compose these newsletters!