Newly built community center opens in Auxvasse

Newly built community center opens in Auxvasse
Construction was recently completed on the new Auxvasse Community Center. [Nathan Lilley]
By: 
Nathan Lilley
General Manager

It’s all about filling a need for Auxvasse leaders, and thanks to their efforts, Auxvasse has a new community center.

And it fills a void that’s been present since the last center shut down just over three years ago.

“The closing caused considerable problems for our community as they planned family dinners and other functions at the center,” said Donal Knipp, member of the Auxvasse Lions Club.

The Lions have spearheaded the new center effort, which began with a committee of five advisors. Property was deeded to the Lions, with the stipulation it be maintained for community use. It was a generous act, but the building was by no means turnkey.

There was work to be done.

“The building was over 100 years old and was literally falling apart due to repairs not being made in a timely fashion,” Knipp said. “It was also too small for some community functions.”

At first, the committee was kicking the tires on revitalizing the old building located on the new site, which served as Oscar’s Steak House and Dairy Pride in years past, among other things. Donated by Roger Moser of Show Me Oil, it ushered in a new era, but after getting rehab estimates, the committee pivoted.

“It was apparent it would be cheaper to remove the old building and put up a new one, and this was the decision that was made,” Knipp said.

Out with the old, the structure was removed and a new one built at 702 S. Main St., Auxvasse.

Aside from the obvious — having a new building — the community center is considerably larger than its predecessor, measuring 40-by-80. Inside is a fully equipped kitchen, men and women’s restrooms. It is ADA compliant and can seat 200.

Lion Chris Gilman was the overseer on the project. Work was subcontractor to a variety of construction companies, with Bob and Curt Houchins razing and removing the old building and doing necessary groundwork to ready the site for construction. Other contractors involved were Mechlin Plumbing, Randall Fisher, Justin Brown, Miller Heating and Cooling, Clint Clayton Electric, and John McGrath.

“It was an expensive undertaking,” Knipp said, “ and the club knew it would need help to finance such a project.”

A 501c3 was established — the Auxvasse Community Builders, Inc. It’s sole purpose is to build a new building and operate it as a community center.

Completion was in June. Now a viable part of the community, the center is paying dividends and will play a major role in the upcoming Loafers Week, slated for Aug. 9-14. A dedication is planned for 3 p.m. Aug. 7, with a whole hog dinner starting at 5. It will be a free event; donations are accepted.

In the years since the effort began, two of the original five committee members have passed away.

“But the other three have continued to do whatever was necessary,” Knipp said.

Anyone interested in renting the Auxvasse Community Center is encouraged to call United Security Bank, 573-386-2233 during normal business hours. Cost of rental is $100 a day Sunday through Thursday and $250 a day Friday and Saturday. Hourly rates are also available.

It is available to organizations, businesses and individuals to use for any gathering, and is a prime location for weddings, anniversaries, receptions, parties, rummage sales, fundraisers and more.

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