Our Remodeling Journey

We’ve seen BIG ACHIEVEMENTS and heartbreaking setbacks here at the SMILE Station all along the way, but your community center keeps moving forward through it all. Here is a little history to guide you through.

March-April 2022

After years of rainy season waters flooding the basement offices, the basement was vacated and the interior walls, flooring were removed along with all other damaged materials. Several members of the SMILE Board gathered together and placed our belongings in a Uhaul Pod. Click on any of the images to the right to see where we started from.

April-May 2022

Faced with the costs of water damage remediation and rebuilding, SMILE began applying for funding assistance and grant opportunities to help restore the basement to a clean, beautiful and functional space that would serve as a location for the SMILE offices and as an additional meeting space for community groups, organizations, etc.  

In May, Commissioner Joann Hardesty’s office put forward and approved SMILE’s Capital Improvements Funding Request and awarded us a $250,000 grant allowing SMILE to move forward with the much needed basement remodel project as well as roof and and gutter replacement and some other much needed building upgrades. It was an incredibly exciting time for SMILE with tremendous hope and gratitude!

June-November 2022

SMILE was connected to Architect, Brian Murtagh of Studio Coop Architecture, llc. in early June and he began working on a few different options for reorganizing the basement space. Brian was incredibly professional and patient helping the SMILE Board consider all of our options and walking us through some of the potential pitfalls and obstacles that can come with a remodeling project on a 100 year old building! Once we had selected the design, we began accepting bids from local contractors for the project. After reviewing bids from several qualified companies, we happily selected Damon Douglass. Damon’s professional and pragmatic approach to our project was the ideal fit for SMILE. He took the time to explain the process to us and presented us with options when unexpected hurdles popped up along the way. He and Brian were a great team for us.  We began the submission process for the appropriate permitting and set a start date for ground break in March of 2023!

March 2023

The Basement remodel finally begins! Using the designs created by Brian Murtagh, Damon Douglass’s crew gets work underway.

April-May 2023

The Basement remodel continues! PDEQ required SMILE to build an enclosure for our garbage cans in order to ensure that no food waste water was making it into the drainage system. It was a large and unexpected expense but our grant monies were able to cover it and Brian was able to use a previous design that worked well to meet our needs and the city’s requirements. The other highlight of this phase was the introduction of windows. Natural light was finally brought down into the basement!

June 2023

Nearly Finished and then…. DONE!

We had walls then doors then paint and closets! 

January 2024

Using the remaining grant funds, SMILE had started a final project to remove the drop ceiling on the main floor of the Station. This was anticipated to be a three week project  with once again, Damon Douglass at the helm. 

January 18, 2024 - Pipe Ruptures

A pipe located at ground level ruptured, flooding the main floor of the Station and the newly remodeled basement destroying nearly all of the new work. Mitigation and drying work began right away thanks to Superior who were available to come out the following Sunday and begin helping us.

January 18, 2024 - Current

The work of repairing the main floor began first and foremost in order to bring our regularly scheduled groups back and to open our doors again!

Asbestos was discovered under our flooded floors and needed to be demo-ed and removed with care and under strict guidelines. Then the leveling of the floors began. All this time, the ceiling work continued as well. Suddenly, one day, we had our new LVP flooring installed! We are getting there! 

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