Once the furnace was taken care of, the Chamber board determined that the deck replacement was our next priority after the roof was replaced. We had a few dollars left from the RAGBRAI Committee's donation, so we began to search for grants to help fund the project. The first grant applied for was with Clayton County Foundation for the Future. A nonprofit entity can be awarded up to $1,000 for a project through this grant, so we got to work on our application and requested quotes to first replace the deck's handicap accessible ramp, which was becoming warped, cracked, and difficult to use.
Meanwhile, we learned of a grant opportunity for community projects through the Rotary Foundation and our local Rotary Club. The application process for this grant was a little more strenuous, and required lots of paperwork and signed agreements. We were notified in April that we had been awarded the grant from Clayton County Foundation for the Future. We decided to wait to build the ramp until we heard the verdict on our Rotary grant application. In September, we learned that our Rotary grant application had been approved, and we would receive the rest of the dollars needed to complete the entire deck replacement. Unfortunately, our contractor was booked up for the rest of the fall and we would have to wait until spring to finally complete the project.
Demolition of the deck began on March 21, courtesy of Hefel Construction and several Rotarian volunteers. Huge thanks to Hefel Construction, the Guttenberg Rotary Club and Rotary District 5970, and Clayton County Foundation for the Future! The deck will be dedicated later this spring to recognize the donors and volunteers who contributed to this project's success.
With the new deck, hundreds of visitors and residents will be able to safely and easily access the resources available at the Welcome Center. The deck was first built in 1997 (see photo here).
See the project from start to finish below!