Community center planned for Dubois park

Artistic rendering provided


DUBOIS — Construction of a community center building inside the Dubois Community Park could begin in just a few months.

The Dubois Ruritan Club detailed the $410,000 project — that number includes $50,000 through the Dubois County Community Foundation — at a Wednesday night meeting at the Dubois Branch Library. Currently, the group has collected about 86.5 percent of the total project cost, or $355,000, through community and club donations. The estimated cost of the building itself is $275,000. Plans to bring the structure to the park were announced earlier this month.

“Construction can really begin depending on the contractors,” said Jason Hagan, Ruritan Club president. “Because we’re at a place that as far as the building cost piece of it, we’re real close to having the cost of being able to fulfill the build, it’s a matter of furnishing the inside and building the endowment is really what we’re looking for.”

He estimated the group is hopeful to break ground in late summer or early fall. The building will be 60 by 72 feet and have a seating capacity of 125 people. Amenities include a complete kitchen, storage room, restroom, landscaping and additional parking. The building will be located directly north of the asphalt parking lot currently at the park and will face Jasper-Dubois Road.

The group is looking to the Dubois community to raise $55,000 to round out the project costs. Those include the paved parking lot and landscaping, kitchen and appliances, banquet tables and chairs, as well as filling the endowment. Hagan explained that members of the Ruritan Club wanted to build the structure and rely on the community to partner with them to sustain the center long term. Over the years, the club had saved $55,000 for the project from various events such as Septemberfest.

The group also raised funds from area businesses from November of last year to April of this year, but the idea of bringing a community center to the area was mentioned as early as 2010. Hagan said the Ruritan Club ramped up the talks in recent years and researched other community centers in the area to determine what exactly they wanted to bring to Dubois.

Donation forms and detailed project information pamphlets have been mailed to all those living inside the Dubois Fire District.

Hagan noted that all of the money raised through fundraising and the town’s annual Septemberfest celebration stays local and goes back into the community. None of it is paid back to the national Ruritan organization.

On hand at Wednesday night’s meeting were representatives from both German American Bank and the Dubois County Community Foundation. The DCCF will grant $25,000 toward the project this year and $25,000 to the center's endowment next year. German American gifted the club $25,000 for immediate use. Nona Baker, the Community Foundation’s associate director, explained that the Ruritan Club has done everything right even before the two organizations teamed up.

“Every check mark there could be for an organization and successful project, this group had,” she said. “The thoughtful process from the very beginning with the planning of the building, with their own fundraising, their own commitment to the project, utilizing guidance when putting the campaign together. Everything they did, they did well and right. So, it made a very easy decision for our board to get behind.”

The center will be rentable to host events like graduation parties and class reunions, bridal and baby showers, wedding rehearsals, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and more.

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