SOUTH FORK—The public works department in South Fork has been working over the last several weeks, revamping and revitalizing the community building located on Highway 149. The building was originally built in the early 1960s, when a fire took the old establishment to the ground. In the late 1970s/early 1980s, a new building was constructed over the top of the old foundation and expanded into the large structure that is seen today.
Several area organizations, including the Greater South Fork Community Foundation (GSFCF) have been working for many years to raise money to either completely rebuild or at the very least refurbish the existing building. Through the years, town residents have fought the idea of using funding for the project and have postponed the project until now.
According to Public Works Director Nate Goldsberry, town officials gave him and his one-man crew the go-ahead to begin working on the floors of the building.
“The floors underneath the tile were in good condition. We tore up the old linoleum and found a hard wood floor underneath. There were a few spots that we had to tear out completely and brace because the flooring was sinking, but otherwise, it was in good condition,” explained Goldsberry.
He continued to explain that below the surface of the wood floor they had come across the original foundation and even some burnt pieces of the building that had burned to the ground.
The entire community center floor is stripped bare, exposing the plywood flooring underneath as Goldsberry and his crew work to sand, patch and finish the wood before laying down new linoleum. The flooring that will be used to replace the old was donated to the project by an organization out of Del Norte. The name of the establishment that donated the flooring material remains unknown for the time being.
Goldsberry and his crew are doing their work in the midst of the many programs that take place at the center during the winter months. Everything from line dancing to chili dinners are continuing on regardless of the work being performed in the building.
“We make room for the events that are going on and are doing sections at a time so the center can stay open,” explained Goldsberry.
Once the flooring is complete, Goldsberry will move on to the walls and some of the windows in the building. The walls are thin and lack efficient insulation, which causes high heating costs in the winter months.
Goldsberry explained that the wall paneling will be removed and then built out an additional six inches to allow for insulation to be installed. The wall paneling will be reused to cover the new walls, while the windows will be replaced. “The larger picture windows will be insulated a little better and the other smaller windows are going to be replaced. It’s on the list of things the town wants done,” said Goldsberry.
The outside of the building will be getting a metal skirting that will have a rustic appearance around the lower half of the structure. Before the skirting is installed, Goldsberry will be securing and tightening the outer logs that make up the structure. “It will have a rustic look once it is all done,” said Goldsberry.
Funding for the project is coming from several locations, some of which was added into the budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. “We want the building to look more presentable and to show the town that we mean business,” finished Goldsberry. The project is expected to be finished by the end of March or the middle of April at the latest.