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Wednesday, 25 February 2015 15:51

Folkmoot center renovation plans finalized

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Folkmoot USA has finalized its capital improvements and business plan for the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Hazelwood. 

Since taking over ownership of the building from the county last year, Folkmoot has been working on plans to renovate the building to accommodate year-round programming for the organization.

The first priority was to stabilize the building by making emergency repairs before developing a capital campaign to raise funds for future renovations. About $100,000 has been spent so far on a new roof and renovations to the cafeteria of the former Hazelwood Elementary School.

The town of Waynesville recently approved granting Folkmoot $25,000 toward the campaign after being presented with the final plans. The $1.2 million capital campaign for Folkmoot consists of three parts — $400,000 in facility improvements, $600,000 to grow the Border Foundation Endowment to $1 million, and $200,000 to boost annual programming.

The endowment was created in 1989 to provide support for Folkmoot programs. The endowment currently only contains around $400,000. 

The Folkmoot building project team consists of local architect Joe Sam Queen and Steve Kaufman with Reece Noland and McElrath. According to the building plans, the auditorium will contain 200 fixed seats plus room for 100 moveable seats and tables. A commercial kitchen will be restored in the cafeteria, which also includes a small stage. Classrooms will be converted into dorms for the international groups during the summer festival.

Other renovations include three administrative offices, three large storerooms, restrooms, two shower rooms and laundry facility.

Outgoing Folkmoot Executive Director Karen Babcock asked the town board to also consider a three-year commitment to the capital campaign. 

Town Manger Marcy Onieal said the request for additional funds would have to go through the special appropriations process during the upcoming 2016 budget discussions to be considered with other community partner requests. Applications are due to the town by March 30.

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