History

History of the Bayview Community Center Foundation

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Building the Center

In 1991 the Bayview Community Center project was conceived by the Bayview Chamber of Commerce after the Bayview Schoolhouse was condemned. Several local residents, including Hobart Jenkins, Liz Justis, Barbara Malnorich, and Ernie Simpson, each contributed $100 to file incorporation papers for The Bayview Community Center Foundation.

An election was held to form a Community Center taxing district, but the election failed and other means were sought to finance the project.

Several grant sources were contacted. Most grants required matching funds and would not pay for a land purchase so in January of 1991 Charles and Gail Waller donated half an acre to the Foundation to be used for a Community Center. This property had been in the Wallers' family for years, owned by Jim and Mary Feely in the 1940s and 50s, then Charles and Alyce Thompson, and finally Charles and Gail Waller. The Wallers would later donate an additional parcel of land, on the west half of the current property, to be used as a park.

The Panhandle Area Council was selected to manage a grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce but in order to secure the grant matching funds and volunteer labor were needed. Hobart Jenkins conceived a plan to provide the funds: The Foundation borrowed $35,000 from a bank using ten year pledges from community members as collateral.

The Foundation received the promised $100,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce on May 12, 1993 and wasted no time. Meyer-Anderson Architects of Pocatello created the original Center plans, and the Foundation applied for a building permit in October of 1993. The next step was to send out a request for proposals.

By November, the Army Reserve had begun digging up the site. They completed excavation in the spring of 1994.  A subsequent resolution by the Fire Department granted easement to a portion of property east of the Center property for parking.

By this time construction proposals were coming in but all of the bids were beyond the Foundation's budget. An alternate approach was proposed to the Idaho Department of Commerce: Contract only the building shell and let the people of Bayview complete the project with donated labor and materials. This had not been done before but the request was granted.

The new bid was awarded on March 31, 1994 to Gene Salois for construction of the Center shell and work began in May.

By August, it was clear that the Foundation was running low on funds. Even with generous grants of $25,000 from the U.S. Forest Service, $5,000 from Kootenai Electric, and an additional $5,000 from Verizon, there wasn't enough money to finish the Center.

Jim Hawkins of the Idaho Department of Commerce visited the build site that August while local volunteers were working. He was so impressed by the community's efforts that he provided the Foundation with an additional grant of $42,000 to complete the project.

The Certificate of Occupancy was finally issued on June 30, 1995.

The Bayview Community Center would not exist today were it not for the hard work and generous contributions of the people of Bayview. Many businesses donated materials and labor to this project, and the donated labor alone was valued at $154,000 over the course of the construction.  The total amount of cash and labor contributions to this project was $288,000, plus the additional money pledged as collateral for the original bank loan.

Improvements

The Bayview Community Center Foundation has continued to make improvements to the Center since its completion in 1995. Recent additions include an upgraded deck for outdoor entertaining, a small community library, a projector and speaker system, additional storage on both levels, and the creation of the Bayview Memorial Gardens and Memorial Wall.

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South Deck

Completed 2015

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Community Library

Completed 2016

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Memorial Wall

Phase 1 Completed 2014

Add to the Story

Do you know an interesting fact about the construction or history of the Bayview Community Center? Did you volunteer? Do you have photos from an event that took place at the Center? Please send a message and tell us all about it. Because ultimately, our story is your story.