Volunteers power wash the side of the Hope Curling Club, as part of a project to update the building with the help of grants. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)

Volunteers power wash the side of the Hope Curling Club, as part of a project to update the building with the help of grants. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)

Volunteers do wonders with grant money for Hope Curling Club

Building that suffered fire damage in 1970s finally gets its deserved face lift

The Hope Curling Club has had a major face lift, thanks to a hard-working group of volunteers.

The building has been upgraded inside and out, and there is even more to come, says Steve Harvey, who is one of the club’s board directors.

Many of the improvements have been in the works for decades, since the building was nearly destroyed by fire in mid-70s. The block walls were saved, but following the fire, no paint could adhere to them.

“We did everything to try to make the paint stick” Harvey said, with no success. Then in 2019, they were chosen for the Community Forest grant through the district, for $25.000.

But, like a great many other projects, it had to be put on hold throughout the pandemic.

But earlier this year, they were confident they could start the work. A group of curlers and their friends – many of who own local businesses – got the ball rolling.

There was pressure washing to be done, with the help of Rick Limb and his man-lift, and George Ronmark who did all the digging around the building with Tony Rahnborn’s excavator.

Roman Petryk helped with just about everything, Harvey said. There was also Leighton Warner, Dave Vyner, Lou Kraszlany, Brent Stevens, Jim Price, Brock McFarlane, Jim Dent and of course, Harvey. Jim Shaw did a lot of the flooring work, with help from a second grant the club received in the amount of $5,000.

They all pitched in with their various trades expertise, Harvey said, whether they are curlers or not.

“The building looked so bad and we’ve wanted to do something for so long, this was the only way we think we could do it,” he said. “I think we did a good job.”

It would have cost twice as much if all of these local companies and workers didn’t step up to help with labour. The job wouldn’t have been possible for the club without the grants and the free labour and equipment use.

And the work isn’t over, he added.

The painting still has to be done, and again they will all be volunteering their time to keep the costs as low as possible.

And they have a third grant that will replace all the lighting in the whole building, inside and out, with LED. It’s going to mean a better rink for curling, without the shadows cast by other lighting. It will also mean a savings of about $200 a month in energy costs. That grant is through BC Hydro, and is tied in with a grant to upgrade the hockey arena. (Watch for more details on those upgrades soon.)

All of the upgrades should be complete by the time curling season starts, when they throw open the doors to the public for a week of free curling. That happens in the first week of October, so keep watching The Standard and the Hope Curling Club website for details.

They are excited to get going again in the club, Harvey said.

They’ve been closed through the pandemic and are looking to draw back curlers and fans, too.

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