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Lincolnville Comm Center

The City of Lincolnville, located in Marion County in central Kansas, has been awarded a KAN STEP grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce to construct a new community building. Construction will begin in late 2004.

Lincolnville's project has an estimated retail value of $302,773. The city will receive a KAN STEP grant not to exceed $181,664. This leaves a local contribution of $121,209 in the form of donated services. KANSTEP is an acronym Kansas Small Town Environment Program. KANSTEP has successfully used "sweat equity" to help communities reduce cost of water systems, community centers and fire stations in Kansas.

Project representatives at Lincolnville are Jane Pigorsch and David Schneider. Grant administration will be provided by Lane Massey, Massey Consulting, Inc. Donnie Marrs with DMA Architects, PA, Salina, is architect. Kansas Rural Water Association will provide inspection services and technical assistance.

Why a new community building in Lincolnville? The existing community building, located at 213 W. Sixth Street was in a floundering condition. The exterior of the building was deteriorating rapidly and the interior was worsening to the point that there were large cracks in the floor. "We could put $100,000 in this building and it might last another 30 years. But it might not," said mayor Victor Burns in an article in The Herington Times on September 18, 2003. After an on-site visit by a State Fire Marshal inspector, occupancy was limited to 29 persons until certain updates could be completed inside. Even after the updates, the old building was in much need of repair.

Volunteer involvement is not a new concept to Lincolnville residents and area citizens. The original building was constructed with the cooperation of various segments of the city's and surrounding area's population in the mid-1970s. Students from a Centre High industrial arts class, under the direction of instructor Ron Druse, handled the construction aspects at that time.

Now, with the approval of the KAN STEP grant, the community members will once again be able to showcase their abilities and sense of community pride as they donate to the construction of the new center. Instead of donating money, as Mayor Burns mentioned as one solution, they will be able to donate "sweat equity" in the form of manual labor. When the project is completed, Lincolnville will have a new 4000 sq. ft. center with kitchen, restrooms, storage rooms and a large meeting/conference room. The new community center will be placed on the same site as the old building that has been demolished. Site preparation was completed August 7, making way for this needed improvement in Lincolnville.

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