Maturity building may be donated

The Modern Maturity Building in Vandalia.

The Modern Maturity Center has become a potential candidate for donation to the City of Vandalia.

Modern Maturity Center Board Member Curtis Graves said both lacking funds and diminishing membership prompted the decision to donate the building, located at 104 Joe Street in Vandalia, to the city.

“We’re running out of funds and we’re running out of members, so we have to try to do something to leave (the building) to the community,” Graves said.  “We’re in progress of trying to work with the City of Vandalia to see the benefits to the community.”

Graves said the center was formed by and for Vandalia residents as well as the area’s rural residents — comprised of local, volunteer staff.

“That’s why we asked (The City of Vandalia) to take the building,” he said. “It would still do people in the area some good. We didn’t think there was any need of asking anybody out of town.”

Graves said it would be unfair to auction the building because of the lack of funding. He said donations had been received from time to time, but a fear is that there will be no more money to operate the center by the end of winter.

He said through December the facility is typically booked for anniversary and birthday parties, and graduation and wedding receptions, as well as an indoor yard sale.

“After that, it dies down through the year,” Graves said.

He said raising the rental price for use of the facility would just push events away from the center, and no other options are being considered other than offering the building as a donation.

City Administrator Alan Winders discussed adding the building to the city’s property during the board of aldermen’s regular December meeting.

“I’m very hesitant to tell you we need to add to the square footage of roofs the city is maintaining,” Winders told the board. “Having said that, there are some possible uses for the building in the short-term. We have two uses that are being bantered about in the community right now — one is a library and one is a YMCA. This building would suffice for neither of them permanently, and perhaps either of them temporarily.”

An option discussed by the board was using the building for temporary purposes and then offering the building for sale.

Winders said he indicated to the Modern Maturity board that he couldn’t recommend the board  accepts the building if stipulations were included with the donation.

“We would have to be free to do with it what we wanted to do,” he said.

On the premise of a “no-strings-attached” donation, the board was receptive to the idea of taking in the building.

Winders said since other spaces are available for rent in Vandalia, utilizing the Modern Maturity Center for rental space would not be an effective use for the city.

He said the building, which stands on three lots, is structurally sound with a decent roof and adequate parking.

Winders said some interior work would be needed, including some ceiling and electrical work, as well as bathroom renovations.

Graves said, pending the completion of the Lincoln School project, some of the events now held at the Modern Maturity Center, could be  held at the school.

He said donating the building may be the final step for Modern Maturity as an organization.

“It used to be quite an event for everybody to get together and socialize,” Graves said. “Anymore, this generation has computers and TVs, they don’t need that type of entertainment. It’s a different type of life.”

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 9:59 am