Barbara Lawlor, Nederland
Extreme weather has been good to the Nederland Community Center. It used the insurance money from a seven-foot snowstorm in 2003 to update and rebuild a large portion of the old elementary school to the state-of-the-art green facility that hosts many of Nederland’s events.
Recently, the insurance claims gleaned from last September’s flood damage paid for the update and renovation of the workout facility, entrance, and administrative offices.
On Saturday, May 17, the NCC held an open house and reception, welcoming residents to come see the changes.
Facility director Dawn Baumhover beamed as she gave tours of the upgrades.
“We’re done with the work,” she pronounced, “and now we are open for business.”
Gone is the carpet, replaced by gleaming easy-to-clean tiles in the reception area and the lobby of the lower level. Eugene Titov and Natalie Zubkova, formerly of Russia, recently moved to Nederland and arrived to check out the fitness center. “It is a good gym and we are impressed by the art on the walls as well,” they told Dawn.
The couple said they moved to Nederland because they liked the lifestyle and “we will live longer here.” They said they will come back to work out soon.
The concession stand for the Backdoor Theater has been repainted and tiled, and the renovated kitchen has become the home for the seniors’ meal site, as well as Dawn Dennison’s Crust pizza, Evie Blodgette’s Altitude Catering, Kim Culver’s catering, Tungsten Toffee, and Great Nana’s Homemade Real Fruit Ice which has been recently launched and may be found in the grocery stores.
Great Nana owner Sue Ayer says she will be making her parfaits and fruit ices in the Center kitchen and will sell them in the vending cart she purchased, ready for summer.
For the first time since Dawn Baumhover took over managing the Community Center in 2007, she has her own office and administrative space, which has allowed her to employ an administrative assistant.
The Town of Nederland helped fund the costs above the insurance claims.
Baumhover says that a few of the regular weight lifters, along with former trustee Roger Cornell, volunteered to help with the gym. Jeff Muskatt works out five or six days a week; he and Addison Waite and Michael Robillard, all serious weight lifters, helped arrange the equipment.
During the gym downtime, the cardio equipment was available for free and Baumhover says many of those who came for the free equipment have become believers who are now regulars in the gym.
Pickle Ball, in its infancy, attracted many senior citizens, but now more than half the players are not seniors and the popular new sport is fast becoming a habit with many locals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The doors to the gym are original Nederland Elementary School doors which have been refinished, a tribute to the building’s history as well as an appropriate entry adding space to the gym.
Although the facility is up and running, Baumhover says it will be September before all the details and fine tuning will be finished— about a year since the flood that did the damage.
“The health inspection is done and it was good,” she said.
Once again, the Nederland Community Center has survived what nature had to throw at it and has come out of the storm better than ever.