The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Association seeks support

 


Last Wednesday, the Pioneer Community Association held an open house before their annual member meeting.

The fire suppression system is in place and the fire marshal gave the okay to open the doors, but there is still a lot to be done to preserve the Pioneer Church, according to PCA member Suzanne Holmes.

“It took several years to raise the money,” Holmes said about the fire suppression system. “Without an anonymous benefactor who said send me the bill, we would still be working on it.”

In July, they put in new doors custom made by a local business, Parke Construction.

Now they are looking at the other projects that need to be done. The roof needs to be repaired and will cost about $50,000. It needs to be painted, but there is rot everywhere, and will require a lot more than a coat of paint.

Water is going right through the windows to the first floor, where they have found water damage. There are concerns about the foundation and the bathrooms need work.

The paint job alone, with the repairs it will require will take weeks and weeks, Holmes said.

“We have to do it right.”

When Health and Human Services moved into the Congregational Church, they offered the pews to the PCA. They have the first right to refuse.

But this would require the PCA to remove the beautiful old pews they have now. They aren’t sure how old they are, and some are in need of repair.

“We’re torn with not having them,” Holmes said, “but we want to make this as user friendly as we can. The pews at HHS are portable and padded, and in wonderful shape.”’

If the old pews come out, the PCA will have to replace the carpet. And if that happens, they plan to paint inside as well.

“There has been a lot of money put into this building,” Holmes said. “But we’re at a crossroads. If we don’t take steps to save the building, it will be too late.”

One of the possibilities that the PCA is considering is moving the church. They’ve heard complaints about the location, that the ramp and the stairs are not friendly, that there isn’t enough parking.

“If being here presents a problem for utilization, what if we take it somewhere else?” she asked. “We’re just starting a conversation and asking the questions. No idea is a bad idea.”

 

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