The Sky Valley Arts Council is pleased to announce their intention to restore the historic Startup Gym and put it back into community service as an event center. The Startup Gym has a colorful, story filled history beginning with its construction in 1937. George Startup, owner of a local saw mill, donated all of the wood used in the construction and community volunteers built this very sturdy building. According to locals the only thing that was hired out during the construction was a company to set the roof beams. Arts Council President Mary Ritzman said “The Sky Valley Arts Council plans to continue this proud Sky Valley tradition by using local volunteer talent to restore the building to its former glory. We are currently raising money to buy the materials we will need to restore the building.”
The Sultan School District owns the property but due to budget constraints and the fact that the property doesn’t work programmatically for them the building has been neglected for many years. The Arts Council and the School District worked together to come up with a plan to save this important historic asset for future generations to enjoy.
According to project manager, Debbie Copple, the number one priority is a new roof and gutter system. Followed closely by repairing/replacing siding, painting, plumbing, repairing the rain damage in the kitchen area, renovating the kitchen, kitchen flooring, etc.
Mid October 2015 Update … Yes, Richard Cross a local volunteer [more about his connection with the gym in an upcoming blog post] has been quick to jump in as an early volunteer. Cross has donated the wood, his time and expertise to restoring and improving the weatherization of the handsome entry to the building. His fine craftsmanship can be seen with a stop by the building. If Cross is there working please stop and say ‘thank you’! When I visited with him last week a nearby resident stopped by with a bottle of water…demonstrating the community spirit for the restoration and future event center.
Recognition also goes to Stacy Banks, owner of Archive Secure Scanning, Sultan. Banks scanned the full set of 1937 WPA project blueprints. Copple often has a copy of the blueprints with her…wherever she goes, and readily pulls them out to share the vision for the gym and sign up volunteers. The blueprints were located early on in the restoration process and are being used by many to estimate the work to be done.