Our new home is ready, and it's hard to imagine that over a year ago we had no idea of where we would find our new lodge location. The old building is now history and in it's place a new structure, a bigger structure will arise. It was in early 2019 that the Odd Fellows Association Board of Directors took the unheard of step of selling the building. This had been discussed for years earlier as the upkeep costs for the building kept rising. And in years earlier, it was thought taking a step like this would mean losing membership as the old building was centrally located, and besides, the building had a lot of history.
A survey of the old building as to remodeling brought many problems, some of which were remedial environmental problems.
The survey was conducted by Lowes Home Improvement who brought in several contractors. The final estimate was a cost of
$500,000.00 to $600,000.00 to remodel and fix environmental problems. The Board just could not justify the cost as the building was vacant about 60% of the time so the decision to sell was made.
The members of the Board spent many, many hours in looking for a new building, viewing possible buildings along with trying to find a suitable location. Many of the buildings looked at had major remodeling costs, one building was sold two hours before we were to sign a contract. One building had a lot of promised until we found it was in a flood plain.
Our new building was looked at, it had adequate parking, was on a single level, the building itself was ready to be remodeled and it had enough space, plus the fact it wasn't that old. There were no major issued to be found that would have to be addressed. The building was purchased in November of 2019. A search was then made for a contractor, Jackson Construction was selected in March of 2020, just before the coronavirus hit. Brother Richard Roesch did most of the floor layouts and then had plans drawn up. The plans were revised but before we had the final plans the person who drew up the plans, disappeared.
Fortunately for us the contractor took what we had and went with it. There were bumps in the road with some changes made, seats to purchase, colors to be chosen, etc; This all came to completion with the first lodge meeting on November 28, 2020.
Thanks go to Charles and Pam Whisenhunt, Norm and Carolyn Schultheis, C. Ray White, Lee Rauhut, Mark Schultheis, Robert Mayer Sr. and a special thanks to Richard Roesch who, without his help the new building would still be waiting.