Camp Fire USA of Walla Walla works toward renovation

The nonprofit continues to raise funds for the next phase of its upgrade on Park Street.

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WALLA WALLA -- Camp Fire USA of Walla Walla will kick off phase two of a three-phase facility improvement project this month.

The building at 414 S. Park St. underwent a sewer upgrade last summer as part of its first phase, and will begin a renovation of its building starting Feb. 14.

Plans are to include full handicap accessibility, an updated kitchen and a new conference room. There will be 230 square feet of new construction on the first floor, and about 280 square feet added to the basement for storage, according to a news release.

The final phase of the project will begin in July and will bring updated technology and new furnishings to the facility.

"This renovation not only meets Camp Fire needs for today, but it also plans for continued growth of Camp Fire programs and staffing structure," officials said in a statement.

The overhaul of the Camp Fire site is being covered by in part by a $270,000 grant from The Sherwood Trust awarded in June 2010.

The entire project is expected to cost $420,000, with about $54,600 still needing to be raised.

"This is the biggest step forward our council has taken since the purchase of our building in 1962," said Kaitlin Kirk, Camp Fire communications coordinator, in an e-mail.

The current building was bought by Camp Fire that year from a family that used the space as a grocery store. The building may have served as a grocery store as early as 1893, according to county records.

"Our building campaign will transform a former grocery store into a building designed for the specific needs of our organization," officials said in the news release. "In addition to serving Camp Fire programs, we will make our activity room, conference room and kitchen available to community groups and service organizations."

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317.

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