LOUISBURG — The City Council officially accepted a grant to make improvements to Fox Hall and chose a contractor among several bidders to do the work.
Fox Hall, the community building that serves Louisburg and the surrounding area, will receive a major facelift in the coming months. The council voted unanimously Aug. 5 to hire Legacy Contractors LLC of Paola as the contractor. One of Legacy’s most recently completed projects was to remodel and expand the Miami County Emergency Medical Services station No. 1, which is located at 32765 Clover Drive, off U.S. Highway 169 on the south end of Paola.
City officials were notified July 23 of grant funds the city would receive from the First Option Bank Trusteed Foundations: Roman Foundation and Velma Kelly Charitable Trust. The grant will be used to help renovate and modernize the building, which is located at the corner of Broadway and South Third Street.
The city had previously received a grant of $35,000 from the First Option Foundation to make some updates to the building. The new award brings the total grant funding to $225,000. The council accepted the grant. The city will have to fund an estimated $65,474 to complete the entire scope of work, City Administrator Nathan Law said in a memo. Law has identified potential funding for the city’s portion of the project in the general fund and Fox Hall fund.
“On behalf of the Fox Hall Board and the City, we are thrilled with the award from the First Option Foundation to bring Fox Hall into the 21st century and make it a space that people will want to use for their family reunions, club meetings and other events,” said Jean Carder, the city’s communications coordinator.
The vision for the building is to remove the metal siding, expose the original glazed brick, add windows if possible, reconstruct the front door/vestibule area, remove the interior paneling, rehabilitate the Terrazzo flooring, remove the ceiling tiles and expose the bow trusses, remove all the kitchen cabinetry and replace with stainless steel and make the kitchen more functional, rework the bathrooms to make them more accessible and ADA compliant and install new HVAC.
“By using grant dollars to update Fox Hall it is anticipated that rent for the building will remain low, making it an affordable option to continue its use as a community gathering place,” Law said.
The council opted to leave the current rental fee structure in place, with no changes.
The building was donated to the city by A.D. Fox in 1952. It was constructed in 1924 and originally housed a mechanic’s garage and later equipment sales. Mr. Fox donated the building to the city to be used as a place for “social, religious and political meetings; for dances, parties, plays and entertainment for the use of the citizens of Louisburg and the surrounding territory,” according to a story that ran in the Louisburg Herald in June 1952.