SOUTHSIDE — Nothing built to last is built fast.
Just ask those tireless volunteers who have been raising money to build a new dining hall at the Mason County 4-H Camp for more than two years. Last week and this week, members of the West Virginia Army National Guard have been donating their time and labor to the project and hope to have the building under roof by Friday.
So far, around $60,000 has been raised for the entire project and right now, about $20,000 is needed for the project’s next phase — pouring the concrete. Following that phase will be financing the interior, including electrical and plumbing and purchasing appliances, installing heating and cooling, etc.
Dining hall volunteers are taking the project one steady step at a time and are focused on getting the money together for pouring the concrete at the moment. One way to do that is by hosting a spaghetti dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Wednesday at the WVU Extension Office next to the Mason County Courthouse. Delivery is available for those who have five or more orders and meals will include spaghetti, bread and dessert. Call the extension office at 304-675-0888 to place an order or just show up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to purchase a meal or make a donation.
One of the 4-H leaders involved in the dining hall project since the beginning, Lisa Arbogast, said the entire project is estimated to cost $100,000 when it’s all said and done. She said organizers hope to have the new dining hall done by next summer but that will depend on raising more funds. This year, 4-H campers were sent to Ritchie County for the annual camp.
Arbogast said she’s hoping to get the word out that progress is happening for all those who have donated to the cause and for those who were considering donating to it — help is still needed. She said the National Guard personnel have committed to providing free labor and will continue to work on the project as the money comes in and phases can be completed.
The former dining hall was more than 60 years old and had been sorely in need of repairs and updating.
For those who wish to get involved, call the extension office to donate. Memorial bricks are also being sold to be placed at the site of the new dining hall as a fundraiser with Arbogast saying several other fund raising events are being planned to keep progress moving steadily forward.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.