2 Moffat County organizations find synergy in respective projects
There’s a handwritten sign next to the old Simmons Rooming House in the 700 block of Yampa Avenue. The sign seeks “destructive” volunteers.
Neil Folks, president of the Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing, explained.
“If somebody wants to get some animosity out, we’ll hand them a wrecking bar and say, ‘Here, take your aggression out on the building,’” Folks said.
The local Fuller Center group is in the midst of its first project — tearing down the Simmons Rooming House to make room for a new, two-unit residence for low-income buyers.
The Fuller Center for Housing is a young organization that grew out of the now-defunct local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Although the sign implores destructive volunteers to sign up, the project has attracted an organization centered on preservation.
Shannan Koucherik, regent of the Augusta Wallihan Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, said five or six of her members have signed on.
“They’re tearing down a 1910 building and we just bought a 1911 building,” Kourherik said. “And, we approached them about perhaps salvaging some of the building materials to re-use in our school.”
In October 2010, the DAR purchased the Lay School, a one-room schoolhouse, from the Moffat County School District for $10. The plan is to renovate the building, turn it into a museum, and get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
That the buildings are of similar vintage could be beneficial to the DAR’s efforts.
Koucherik said her organization might be able to salvage flooring and dimensional lumber from the rooming house.
The lumber could be a good fit for the schoolhouse.
“They measured things differently in 1910,” Koucherik said. “If you buy a 2-by-4 now, it’s 3 1/2 (inches) by 1 1/2 (inches). When they used to cut 2-by-4s (in 1910), they were 2-by-4. … The lumber was actually the full dimension.”
Of particular interest are the 1-by-12s at the Simmons Rooming House. They closely match the rafters at the Lay School that need to be replaced.
Koucherik said she isn’t sure if the lumber is salvageable. In fact, the group could use modern materials for roofing and still gain a spot on the National Register.
Nonetheless, Koucherik said the DAR will help the Fuller Center even if they opt for newer materials.
“We’ll still help the Fuller Center,” she said. “We’ll give them some hours because we do community service … whether we take the lumber or not.”
Folks said he and members of his organization are happy to work with the DAR, and he extends an open invitation to other community groups.
“If there’s a union that can benefit both parties, hey, we’re for it,” Folks said.
The next Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Jan. 27 at First Congregational Church, 630 Green Street.
“Anybody is welcome,” Folks said. “You bet.”
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