As a storehouse of Clark Lake history, the Community Center also serves as an inviting venue for events such as weddings, birthdays, and memorial services. Because of the size of the building, events are typically limited to about 50 people. Groups often need greater capacity than that, and the Community Center has been seeking ways to accommodate them.
The Community Center has come up with a plan for that would expand its space without adding on to the building. The Community Center is located in the Jackson County Park, so talking with the Parks Commission is one of the first steps in the process. Today (Wednesday 10/21) the Parks Commission held their meeting at the historic Clark Lake site and heard a presentation by the Community Center’s Walter Reed. He explained how the Community Center would construct a gazebo adjacent to the west side of the structure. Most events held at the building take advantage of the verandas around the building, and the new gazebo would make the Community Center more user friendly to larger groups.
Upon hearing the presentation and asking questions about the plan, the Parks Commission voted to provide a letter of support. The action stops short of approval, but opens the way for the process to begin.
In giving his presentation, Walter Reed told commissioners about the Community Center’s storied past. The Benjamin Graziani family built the structure in 1898 and occupied the cottage on Kentucky Point for many years. In the late 1990s, Bob and Laurice LaZebnik bought the cottage and donated the building. But there were obstacles to overcome. Moving the cottage via the road to the east end was out of the question. So innovate types at the lake found a way to move it onto a barge and float it to its new location in June 1997. The move cost about $40,000 and it took another $100,000 to restore the building. Inviting groups to use the building for events provides a source of income to improve and maintain this iconic landmark.
Moving day got everyone’s attention, including a blimp! Below the moving day photo is a recent picture of the Clark Lake Community Center. Notice the tremendous restoration that has taken place.