McDonald Building

PRO ON TRAC Receives Harman Fund Grant

The Parsons City Council met on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, to distribute the $895,000 available this year from the William Mahan Harman Memorial Fund.  PRO ON TRAC received a grant of $64,000 to be used for the renovation of the Eddie McDonald Building in downtown Parsons.

The purpose of the Harman Fund is to provide perpetual funding for several entities in the city of Parsons.  As Parsons Attorney Pat Nichols explained last year, “There are basically four components – one is the Parsons Cemetery, another is the distribution of funds to maintain the Parsons Parks, one for the Parsons Five Rivers Public Library and finally, any remaining net income to be used for the benefit of the citizens of Parsons.”  The fund is managed by the Tucker Community Foundation and the interest distributed annually by the Parsons City Council.

The McDonald Building renovation was among the projects selected for the benefit of the citizens.  When completed, one of the most prominent dilapidated buildings in Parsons will have been transformed into a productive and appealing space.  Two apartments are planned for the second floor, while the ground floor will provide commercial space and a community events facility. 

Funding from a 2015 Harman Fund grant enabled PRO ON TRAC to stop the deterioration of the building by shoring the structure, rebuilding the floors and center wall, replacing the roof and installing windows.  All of our efforts up to this point have laid important groundwork for the next phase of the project.

PRO ON TRAC is a non-profit organization, and all future income from the building will go toward our continuing efforts to revitalize Parsons.  We are deeply grateful for the City Council's willingness to invest in this project, which we believe is an essential part of the future of our city.

Painting the Town at Parsons Community Service Day

Over 50 people came out for the Second Annual Community Service Day. Students from West Virginia University, local high school students, volunteers, and community leaders got to work bright and early Saturday morning.  The volunteers were divided into groups for several projects: washing fire trucks, clearing debris around the pond, repainting the fire hall and the Mill Race Park stage, and working on the downtown buildings.

PRO ON TRAC chairman Jimmy Judy led one group of volunteers as they scraped, primed and painted trim and doorways along Front Street.  The sunny weather (except for one brief shower) made it a great day for painting—the green paint and white trim on the Bank Building door made an especially noticeable upgrade.  The scraping yielded less visible results, but it was an important step toward caulking and repainting the Bank Building windows, which will refresh the appearance of the whole block when completed.

We greatly appreciated the hard work of all the volunteers, and and we hope that the WVU service group will be back again next year!  In the meantime, we'll keep working on downtown.  Expect to see even more fresh paint on Front Street later this week, and look for new glass in the McDonald Building windows soon!

Team picture (before we were covered in sweat and paint).

Team picture (before we were covered in sweat and paint).

Before and After - Bank Building Side Door

Getting started on the Bank Building side door.

Getting started on the Bank Building side door.

Scraping old paint off of these window frames takes a lot of elbow grease.

Scraping old paint off of these window frames takes a lot of elbow grease.

Priming the McDonald Building center door.

Priming the McDonald Building center door.

AmeriCorps member Sydney Haltom applies a coat of primer to the McDonald Building door.

AmeriCorps member Sydney Haltom applies a coat of primer to the McDonald Building door.

Priming the McDonald Building center door.

Priming the McDonald Building center door.

Lunchtime at Mill Race Park.

Lunchtime at Mill Race Park.


"Children of the Holocaust" Art Display in the McDonald Building

Children of the Holocaust, a collection of art and poetry created by students at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School, is now on display in the McDonald Building on Front Street.

The poems were inspired by the true stories of children during the Holocaust. Students then created artworks that connected with the poems they had written, using media of their choice, including charcoal, torn paper, and colored pencil.

Many thanks to the Tucker Valley students for allowing us to exhibit their wonderful, moving work.

McDonald Building Roof Update

These photos were taken today (4/17) at the McDonald Building on Front Street.  Fixing the roof is a major step that will ensure that the building remains in good shape for years to come.

The roof looks much different without its shingles and patches of rotted wood.

The roof looks much different without its shingles and patches of rotted wood.

Fresh new rafters have been put in to replace the ones that were no longer sound.

Fresh new rafters have been put in to replace the ones that were no longer sound.

A lot of junk—old shingles, tarpaper, and damaged rafters—have to be tossed down from the roof and hauled out to the dumpster.

A lot of junk—old shingles, tarpaper, and damaged rafters—have to be tossed down from the roof and hauled out to the dumpster.

McDonald Building Update & Photos

The McDonald Building renovations are making remarkably swift progress.  The floor has been replaced, and spaces for bathrooms and offices have been framed along the center of the building.  Now the second floor is being repaired; when this is complete, work will begin on the roof.

Downstairs

WEST SIDE

The tin ceiling tiles, in spite of their flaking paint, are mostly in great shape.  They will be cleaned up and repainted.

Some of the ceiling tiles have been temporarily removed in order to repair the rafters.

EAST SIDE

Replacing damaged rafters.

Passage between the east and west sides of the building.

These newly-framed rooms along the center of the building are destined to become bathrooms, offices, and storage spaces.

COURTYARD

A shed on the back of the building leads out to a courtyard.

Right now the courtyard is heaped with shingles and debris from the roof, but it will be cleaned out soon.

Upstairs

INSIDE

The main upstairs hallway with stairs down to the street.

Windows facing south over Front Street.

Windows looking out over the courtyard.

Here's where those new rafters were going in.

OUTSIDE

A huge thank-you to the team that has been doing this great work!

PRO ON TRAC Receives $65,000 from Harman Fund for Renovation

The Parsons City Council met on Tuesday, March 10 to distribute the $907,000 available this year from the William Mahan Harman Memorial Fund.  PRO ON TRAC received a grant of $65,000 to be used for the renovation of the Eddie McDonald Building.

The purpose of the Harman Fund is to provide perpetual funding for several entities in the city of Parsons.  As Parsons Attorney Pat Nichols explained, “There are basically four components – one is the Parsons Cemetery, another is the distribution of funds to maintain the Parsons Parks, one for the Parsons Five Rivers Public Library and finally, any remaining net income to be used for the benefit of the citizens of Parsons.”  The fund is managed by the Tucker Community Foundation and the interest distributed annually by the Parsons City Council.

PRO ON TRAC was among the projects selected for the benefit of the citizens.  "We cannot wait another 30 years before taking action on reviving our downtown," said Dr. Cynthia Kolsun, ON TRAC Liaison.  When the McDonald Building renovations are complete, two downtown business spaces as well as two upstairs apartments will be available for use, and one of the most prominent dilapidated buildings in Parsons will have been transformed into a productive and appealing space.

The $65,000 awarded will go a long way toward this transformation.  PRO ON TRAC will first be able to finish its current project of reconstructing the floors and center wall.  Next, the roof will be repaired, stabilizing the building's condition.  The remaining funds will go toward preparing the ground floor for commercial use.

If you would like see photos of the renovations in progress, check out our McDonald Building tag.