By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Kevin Velten made it quite clear – a modern community center for Virginia is within reach and an Oct. 12 auction will bring it a little closer.
The Virginia’s Square One board member led an open meeting the evening of Sept. 18 to bring the community up to date on the efforts to revitalize the city’s square and develop the community center.
Square One efforts received a major shot in the arm earlier this year. An anonymous donor pledged $100,000 to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) community organization on the condition Square One raise another $100,000. The funds are earmarked for the community center project.
The project involves saving the facade of the Byus Building that housed the Ben Franklin dime store as well as the Lions Club Building. These are actually one building. The interior will be demolished and replaced with a 4,800 square foot community center. Total cost is expected to be $200,000.
Velten said Square One is now seeking donations for the Oct. 12 auction.
“We’ll accept just about anything that will sell,” Velten said, including household items, antiques, tools, furniture, collectibles, artwork and firearms. However, the auction is not accepting clothing.
To donate items, call 452-3041 to arrange for a pickup or drop-off.
Items donated to the auction are eligible for a charitable tax deduction. Square One will provide donors with a letter of receipt, but donors must establish the value of items. Questions regarding charitable deductions should be directed to a tax professional.
Velten said the auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. If the weather cooperates, the auction will be held in front of the Rexroat Building on Virginia’s square. In the event of rain, the auction will take place inside the building.
Mike Ryan, a professional auctioneer, is donating his services to conduct the auction.
In addition to the community center project, Square One is finishing exterior work on the Rexroat Building. This work includes tuck-pointing and the installation of windows.
Virginia area residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to donate time and talents to the Square One effort. Velten said information is available at the Square one website (www.squareoneinc.org) or contact any board member.
In addition to Velten, Square One board members are Susan Carson, Mike Carson. Tom Prather, Herb Snow, Ron Harris and Alex Snedeker.