City of Avoca to renovate the Avoca Legion Hall

Community members joined architects, engineers and community stakeholders for a kick-off meeting discussing the future plans for the current Avoca Legion Hall. Previously, the building was owned by the American Legion but recently was taken over by the city of Avoca.
Building renovations will next enter the design phase. Contractors from The Franks Design Group, P.C. out of Glenwood listened to the community’s input on how the building should be designed to pay homage to the original architecture. The goal is to retain as much of the historical aspects as possible.
The Legion Hall historically has been used as a meeting place for a wide variety of events like Wednesday bingo, Boy and Girl Scouts events, monthly meetings, voting, rental space for graduations and wedding receptions and many other activities.
The goal of the project is to rehab and remodel the building. A majority of the discussion revolved around the health of the building and the growth opportunities. Some complications for reconstruction include the basements and mezzanine.
Foundation concerns were also a point of conversation, as the foundation needs to be more consistent throughout the whole building. These concerns will continue to be discussed and reviewed during upcoming meetings.
Another idea that was presented is opening up the ceiling to restore the original arch the building had when it was a movie theater.
The general impression of the building is that it is a good space and has been well cared for. It is a good candidate for doing a comprehensive rehab.
“When we’re doing a project that is of this complexity and this comprehensive, the thing we want you to have at the end of construction is a building that’s going to have a lot of reliability, durability and efficiency,” principal architect Pete Franks said.
Another focus moving forward is to gain community support. A community survey showed no animosity toward the project. The intent of this project is not to be a moneymaker, but rather a service to the community.
The family of Roy Schultz will be committing $800,000 for the project, with the city of Avoca committing some as well. The rest of the balance will hopefully be paid for through community donations. An estimated total cost for the project has yet to be made available.
Looking ahead, the second meeting will be held on June 15 at 6:30 p.m. The goal is to focus on final thoughts, questions, fears and hopes for the building.



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

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