Energy grants fund Rockwall Grange remodel

By Trish Yerges / For The Observer May 28, 2013 10:02 am

The tin siding was removed and insulation and wood siding was put on. The building will be painted white with dark grey trim and a brightly colored door. (Trish Yerges photo)
The tin siding was removed and insulation and wood siding was put on. The building will be painted white with dark grey trim and a brightly colored door. (Trish Yerges photo)
 

ELGIN —  The members of Rockwall Grange No. 679 are using more than $13,000 in grant awards to complete a remodeling project that will make the grange hall more energy efficient, thanks to the generous grant programs of the Wildhorse Foundation and Meyer Memorial Trust. 

The Wildhorse Foundation awarded the grange $5,000, and Meyer Memorial Trust gave them a $8,388 energy grant.

Rockwall Grange President Cindy Chandler said the funds were deeply appreciated and will make a real difference in the hall’s heating costs.   Work has spanned almost a year bringing them close to the stipulated June deadline. 

“The whole side of the building was covered in roofing tin,” Chandler said, “and we took the tin off.  We put on house-wrap insulation, plus we had to blow in insulation throughout the whole building for the (Meyer Memorial) energy efficiency grant.”

The new siding was installed and grange members replaced the old windows with energy-efficient windows recycled from the Elgin High School library. 

The remaining work, the trim and exterior paint, will be completed by the end of this month, Chandler said.  The grange members decided recently that they would paint the hall’s exterior white with dark gray trim and a brightly colored door.

Grange members also painted the inside of the hall with a neutral, tannish white color that would be appropriate for wedding receptions. 

The hall’s addition is 10 feet by 16 feet, and it will be used as a storage area.  Chandler said it holds items previously kept in the entry way.  

“We also added an electric fireplace, which helps with some of our heating costs,” Chandler said.  “We do have a propane heater, but
during meetings it’s a little noisy, so we use the electric fireplace and it feels more homey.”

Rockwall Grange is a small organization with close to 25 members, most of them in their 70s and 80s. 

Chandler said there is a small core group of dedicated workers, including LaVeta Botz, Ray McVey and Rollie Mattson.

“This September, we’ll be having a membership drive and an open house,” Chandler said. “We’d love to have new members.”

The Rockwall Grange was originally founded as an organization that promoted agriculture, but Chandler said the grange had to change with the times, and today its role is one of community service. It collaborates on many other civic projects and offer a small scholarship to a qualifying Elgin High School senior each year.

The Rockwall Grange’s community service was recognized twice in 2012 by the National Grange and the Oregon State Grange.