Community center project in need of donations – The Morning Sun

Financial and restoration needs continue to be identified as the former Blanchard Elementary School building continues to evolve into a community center.

Previously, those working with the ‘Save the Blanchard Elementary School’ Facebook group were interested in turning the old elementary school building into a community center after the building was vacated in 2008. The building was purchased in 2020 by former Blanchard resident Rolland Courser and, after some work negotiating and establishing a formal 501c3 organization for the project, was later turned over to those who worked on the community center.

The building should be called Courser Community Center in honor of Courser’s great-grandfather.

Some cleaning and renovations have taken place since the purchase of the building, but there have been a few issues.

“We are awaiting the results of our asbestos inspection which should be coming in any day,” said Kim Smith, one of the community members involved in the project. “Our immediate needs are roof repairs and a lawn mower for school, as we truck ours in.”

The building also had problems with vandalism as some windows and toilets were found smashed.

As they continue to move forward, the group has worked hard to secure funds for the various areas of the project.

“We’re having a Blanchard Days fundraiser dinner on June 17 from June 6-8 at Loafers Glory with live music from the Garabillys and Jen, my good friends,” Smith said. “We have also relaunched our 500 Club, in hopes that our community will once again donate $100 to this cause. Hoping that 500 citizens are willing to do just that or more.

Additionally, once the group has a better idea of ​​the cost estimates for its current concerns such as roofing and asbestos needs, it informs the public of its specific financial needs.

“If anyone wanted to donate a lawnmower, that would be amazing,” Smith said.

For more information, visit the “Save Blanchard Elementary School” Facebook Page.

Jill E. Washington