HOISINGTON — Members of Hoisington’s Chamber of Commerce had something to celebrate Thursday morning when the office doors opened once more to the public. What was once a dark and somewhat dreary and outdated meeting space had been transformed into a modern, clean and comfortable place to gather. Fresh white ceiling tiles replaced those stained and yellowed from roof leaks after the roof sustained damage in a windstorm last year. A new table and chairs replaced old, and fresh paint, flooring and accents adorned the walls.
The updates extended into the Chamber Director’s office and a newly remodeled bathroom looked neat and inviting.
Board members and Chamber Director Karen Baldyga had many thanks to offer to members who pitched in with donations of goods and services after a $10,000 grant was secured to replace the roof on the building. The outpouring touched off the major remodeling effort, and pride was evident.
In January, Chamber board members learned insurance would not cover the roof damage because of improper installation, and repairs couldn’t be put off for long.
“The roof was leaking and you could feel it was really moist in here,” board president Eric Schoendaler said. An application for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Pathways grant was submitted, and $10,000 was provided for the roof project. Then, numerous Chamber members agreed to pitch in, providing full and partial donations of appliances, paint, paneling, shelving, cabinets, curtains and more.
Others cleaned, painted, designed and sewed and spruced up landscaping. Julie Flagor painted a custom sign and created the sunflower and dragonfly painting in the newly remodeled bathroom.
“A lot of students with FCCLA helped us a lot with coming down and cleaning up the place, and the list goes on and on,” Schoendaler said.
The remodeling project really got underway after the 2019 Labor Day Weekend festivities were in the books. Chamber Coffee events took place at member’s places of business for several weeks.
“It is such a pleasure to come into this office every day now,” Baldyga said. “Thank you all for all your support and everything that you guys have done because you’ve been very patient with the Chamber this year, and we appreciate everything.”
Providing a pleasant space where people in the community could rent for showers and special events was on the mind of the board as the project was in the planning stages. Now, it is available and arrangements can be made at the Chamber office, Baldyga said.
In addition to Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the general public were held. Chili and chicken noodle soup was served for lunch, along with homemade cinnamon buns and cookies from Clara’s cafe at Clara Barton Hospital.
The Hoisington Chamber of Commerce office is located at 123 N. Main Street, and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.