Community center receives great day of service

By on June 19, 2009

Church helps Elburn center with repairs it can’t afford
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—When Christ Community Church members asked whether they could send a team to fix up the Elburn & Countyside Community Center on the congregation’s Great Day of Serving, Center Board member Jack Hansen welcomed the offer.

Twenty-five people from the church spent Saturday improving the building at 525 N. Main St., inside and out.

“It was really remarkable how everybody pitched in and got so much done,” Hansen said.

The St. Charles church contacted the Community Center board in April to see what work was needed at the building, which houses Blackberry School of Dance and other recreation programs.

Hansen mailed the church a wish list of nearly 20 major and small repairs and maintenance projects for which the center has no available funds.

On the Great Day of Serving, church members of all ages did many of the projects on the list, as well as others. Hansen said when volunteers were finished with one task, they went to him right away to ask what else they could do.

Elburn village trustee Ken Anderson participated in the event, along with his daughter, Savannah, 8.

Anderson said he was glad the church chose the Community Center to be among the recipients of this year’s Great Day of Serving, seeing the building as an asset to the community.

“It has businesses and organizations located within its walls, and residents continue to utilize the facility for a variety of uses and benefits,” Anderson said.

The Andersons were among 1,500 members of Christ Community who volunteered various services to people and organizations countywide on the Day of Serving.

At the Community Center, they painted the community room, a scuffed wall, a stairway and railings; disinfected railings and door knobs; and cleaned mirrors and chalkboards.

In addition, the team volunteers planted flowers, pulled weeds and spread new mulch outside; replaced plywood covering old gym windows on the back of the building; cleaned the dance studio and gym floors; and patched a ceiling hole.

The church paid for all the materials used in the improvements except for the mulch, which was donated by Kane County Landscape Material and Supply of Elburn. In addition, it spent more than $12,000 for a new hot water heater, which was installed by Good Call Plumbing in Elburn.

Christ Community intends to go back to the Community Center on one of its monthly service Saturdays to paint ceiling spots, after obtaining a lift truck or scaffolding for the job.

“We got more done than we expected (on the Day of Serving), but we’re not finished yet,” church member Michelle Nielsen said.

Remaining building needs
The Elburn & Countryside Community Center’s goal is to be a recreational and social hub in the village. Unfortunately, the 80-year-old building needs many repairs that its nonprofit board, which relies mostly on donations, cannot afford.

The building has undergone several improvements lately, thanks to the manpower and materials offered by Christ Community Church on its Day of Serving June 13, as well as from a recent grant for a parking drainage project from Community Center of the Fox River Valley.

However, several projects remain to be done at the building that once was a high school, said Community Center Board member Jack Hansen, including the following:

• Buy, install new locks on entry doors
• Obtain funding for new windows
• Evaluate cost and fundraising for new boiler system
• Tuckpoint outside walls
• Stain and seal auditorium cement floors
• Update alarm system
• Install sound system
• Buy, install new printer/ scanner/copier/computer

Photo: Jack Hansen by Martha Quetsch