April 16, 2016
BENEFITING: KOINONIA WAY
Deep in the heart of southern Michigan, nestled among historic houses and only 2 blocks from quaint downtown Saranac, stands the solid and inviting former Saranac schoolhouse -- a future and much-needed Community Center for classes, events, and youth activities.
Built in 1930 during the height of the Great Depression, the B.O.S.S. (the Big Old Saranac School) served the community as its schoolhouse for 50+ years. In the 1980's, the property was sold to a private party, and was then used as an antiques mall, ever-lasting garage sale, and home, through several years.
Then, for many years it sat abandoned and left to the elements in disrepair.
With a gymnasium / auditorium and built-in stage, with large former classrooms already undergoing some restoration, the property is perfect to fill a huge need in the community: a Community Center, able to offer music, art, theater, exercise and health events, social gatherings, and youth activities! There is currently nothing else that offers such possibilities, so close to downtown Saranac, in a village that has need of a community place to gather, take classes, have special events, etc.
Now, the non-profit organization, Koinonia Way, has stepped up to head a restoration project for this historic and much-needed center for the surrounding community. The process began last year with internal projects on a couple classrooms, and working with local Boy Scouts to replace the 80+ year old retaining wall bordering the front of the building. Already the property has been made available for Alumni tours, larger-than-normal family gatherings, and themed Halloween candy walks!
However, the bane of all the internal restoration continues to be the deteriorated roof. Areas freshly repaired, even down to the first floor, have been effected by the leaks, while patching has just not been able to stem the tide.
In the beginning of this year, Koinonia Way was able to raise enough funds to begin the professional repair and replacement of the needy BOSS roof. A reputable roofing company worked with Koinonia Way and accepted a payment plan -- after a deposit -- to completely replace half of the entire nearly 9,000 square feet, flat roof! That's about 4,500 of leak-free, protected BOSS!
After raising just over $12,000, the work on half the roof was completed, and it has already been an astounding difference, a night and day difference -- or rather a very wet and completely dry difference! -- over the essential northern half of the building!
Now, they only need another $14,500 to complete the payment of the beautiful new roof protecting half the building -- including plumbing for the roof drains, repairs to the flagpole, etc. -- so they can begin negotiations for the second and final half of that all-important roof!
Since this project is being spear-headed by a non-profit organization, all deductions would be tax-deductible! And so greatly appreciated by the restorers of this essential building, in this friendly village community!