By April Bailey
Ya’ mon, this Saturday, June 24, the Kiawanda Community Center is holding a grand re-opening of their newly remodeled, and expanded, Faye Jensen Hall. After four months of construction during a wet and wild spring, KCC is ready to celebrate good times.
The Kiawanda Community Center began the expansion of their Great Hall in late February. The construction was largely financed through a TLT grant of $382,000. The weather definitely was a contributing factor to the length of time of the project. According to project manager, and Chairman of the Board, Otis Kunz, “The only problem was the rain, everything else went smooth as silk.” For example, on the day the concrete was to be poured a torrential downpour began, and continued for four days. Despite incredible efforts and planning by the construction crew some rain was driven by the wind into the existing Great Hall. However, the damage was mostly the carpeting, which was replaced as the new flooring was laid down for the addition.
The 2000 sq. ft. addition to the side of the building will allow for a total of 200 seated guests: A feature that has potential brides very excited, according to the KCC administrator, Nettie Casiano. The new portion of the Great Hall sports a coffee bar, a storage room, and more bathrooms, besides adding to the overall floor space of the existing hall. The addition also gives the KCC the ability to host two events in the Great Hall at the same time, a great asset to a community bustling with activity. However, as the Great Hall opens, the Fireside Room will temporarily be closed due to a lack of parking spaces in relation to the total capacity, as per county codes. As the KCC is able to provide additional parking spaces, by removing some of the cement planters and other landscaping features, it will reopen its Fireside Room.
To aid in the purchasing of the necessary additional chairs and tables for the Great Hall, KCC is holding a Caribbean Night fundraiser in conjunction with their grand re-opening this Saturday, June 24. The “21 years and older” event features a Caribbean chicken dinner, no host cash bar, and “Jaskamon”, a reggae pop dance band. General Admission is $20, and the Caribbean Chicken Dinner will be $15. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Future fundraisers to help fund needed supplies for the Great Hall or additional parking, include renting parking spaces for solar eclipse watchers and Oktoberfest.