Community center moves forward with community meeting room
The Eureka Springs Community Center
Foundation has big things planned for
Chairwoman Diane Murphy said the
foundation is working to get the community
meeting room ready after the Eureka
Springs City Council voted Nov. 13 to
relocate city meetings to the space at the
“We have our attorney drafting a lease
agreement about that,” Murphy said.
“We’re going to move forward with the
work on it, because we want that room
available for the community to get to use.
We’re moving forward with that project.
We look forward to after the first of the
year having that available as another facility.”
The community center recently benefited
from the Greater Eureka Springs
Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet,
receiving some of the proceeds from
the live and silent auctions. That totaled
more than $9,000, Murphy said, which
was matched by a $50,000 grant from the
Windgate Charitable Foundation.
“We need to raise $20,000 more, and
we’d have a full $100,000,” Murphy said.
The community center is receiving portions
of the grant in increments, Murphy
“We had applied for the first $15,000
once we made that match,” Murphy
said. “We’ve now applied for the second
$15,000, and once we raise the final
$20,000, we’ll ask for that.”
The grant money is important, Murphy
said, because that’s the only way the community
center can continue to progress.
She said the money will go toward mold
remediation, recalling how the discovery
of mold earlier this year prevented the
community center from opening up the
gym as quickly as planned.
“We just got held up and couldn’t move
forward until we figured all that out and
got it identified and raised the funds,”
The community meeting room should
be done after other facility improvements,
Murphy said, including the mold remediation
and updates to the heat and air system.
“Then, we’ll go on with the project we
put on hold, which is renovating the lobby
and the lobby restrooms,” Murphy said.
The community center foundation has
to finish all the work by mid-February,
Murphy said, because the Chocolate Festival
will be held there Feb. 18.
“We’re going to have to be done,” Murphy
said. “That’s a huge event, and it’s a
great motivator. We’re thrilled we have
the funds available to do it, and we’ve got
people on board who can get it done. It’s
In the spring, Murphy said, the foundation
hopes to bring on a part-time director.
That would mean being able to open up
some facilities, she said.
“We can have the director manage the
rental of the meeting room,” Murphy said.
“We can be available for special events or
activities. If we can have all that happening
with the part-time director, that will be
All the progress is possible, Murphy
said, because of the donations and grants
the foundation has received. She said the
foundation is working with a professional
grant writer to keep raising money for the
project. The Windgate Charitable Foundation
grant has been vital to the community
center’s success, Murphy said.
“We’re moving forward at the pace of
money always, so this will get us to that
point and it should also then put us in a
position to be able to receive some of the
grants we haven’t been able to receive
yet,” Murphy said. “As we have these
things accomplished, we have facilities
more under control and it should now
make us eligible for other things. I hope
it will just snowball progress from here.”
Murphy said she understands how discouraging
it can be for community members
to see little activity happening at the
“I promise there’s always stuff happening
in the background, working toward
making this happen,” Murphy said. “I’ll
look forward to us being able to do a community
open house in the spring, meet the
new director and all those sorts of things.
I think that will be amazing, and it’s in