George Community Hall has a new roof at last

The entrance to the community hall, described as one of the future projects now that the roof is finished. 

It took five long years, but the George Community Hall finally has a new roof.

The list of fixes at the hall remains long, but no item was bigger, more worrisome and more pressing than the new roof. Crossing that item off the list is just cause for celebration.

“We have a beautiful new roof, inside and out,” said the hall’s Debby Kooy. And celebrating is just what Kooy and the rest of the hall’s leadership, and the rest of the community of George intend to do, starting with a concert under the new roof, by a longtime favorite of the Christmas season in central Washington, the Marlin Handbell Ringers on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m.

“Pretty exciting to be able to top it off and say, ‘that’s done!’” the hall’s Debby Kooy said, adding that the roof took a little longer than expected due to shipping and supply issues, but what matters is that it’s done and under budget.

“We have a little left in our building fund and we are in discussions with the board about what projects we have to prioritize and see what needs to get done next.”

The to-do list includes getting gutters on the outside of the building, getting new flooring for the upper level, painting the entire building inside and out, and enclosing the ceiling of the front porch, a move that will not be too popular with some of the seasonal residents of the hall.

“We have found that the birds try to build nests in there every summer, and it’s getting to be kind of a pest,” she said.

Of all these projects, the one that was circled in red, with capital letters, and causing plenty of worry was the roof.

“Such a relief,” Kooy said of having it done. “For sure.” The last round of rain tested the new roof and not a drop snuck through, Kooy said.

“It’s looking great.”

The Marlin Handbell Ringers concert will serve as a restart for the hall’s coffeehouse concert series. Tickets are $5 at the door for all except children ages 12 and under.

Kooy said she was hoping for a good crowd to show up and not only check out the concert, but the inside of the new roof.

“It will be a good time to come and see what has been accomplished,” Kooy said. The future also looks bright.

With the arrival of a franchised hotel to George, the city is now in possession of a few more bucks, thanks to the hotel-motel tax. As a result, the hall achieved another milestone, having applied for municipal monies for the first time in its history.

“Since we have a motel in town, we can access the hotel-motel tax funding and it’s going to be a huge boost,” Kooy said. “That’s going to pay for our giant cherry pie for the Fourth of July, it’s going to pay for fireworks and whatever is left over will help with the Fourth of July funding.”

Prior to the concert, on Dec. 4, the hall will host Deck The Hall, a community gathering where people are welcome to stop by and help decorate the building for the holiday season, including the tree. Decorating will start around 10 a.m. Kooy said.

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