Progress on the “dream” project
Board members gathered in late February to inspect the work on the center and collect items for a time capsule, which will be placed within the center’s walls. There are articles about the park’s development, a program from Beckner’s memorial service and other mementoes.
As walls and floors are finished, perhaps the best note to the center’s completion lies in what is felt, not seen:
"It’s the completion of Dan’s dream,” says Debra Rainey, vice president of FOHW, which supports the park and is a nonprofit partner of the CFO. “Now every little thing that gets picked or every little decision that gets made — like our utility sink — is the fun stuff. But I’m ready for it to be open.”
The center has been created from a former house, which was purchased in 2016. The priority was paying off the mortgage, which was completed in less than five years.
“We had donations, and Dan put a whole lot into it,” Picard says. “Once it got paid off, then it was a matter of raising the money to do the renovations.”
During the renovation process, much of the house was demolished and reconstructed. Among other changes, work included the removal of original windows and doors, siding, new concrete and a redesign of the building’s interior in an open floor plan.
Given FOHW’s nonprofit partner status, funding for the project was funneled through the CFO.
“I think it made it easier,” says Picard of the organization’s relationship with the CFO. “Some of the big donations we got, we wouldn’t have gotten unless we were with them because they came from people who were with the Community Foundation, who were benefactors of the Community Foundation.”