Veterans Memorial hall turns 76
Grass Valley’s jewel of architecture built in honor of the area’s Armed Forces veterans will be rededicated today, 76 years after it was first opened.
The Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building has seen boxing matches, dances, bingo and wedding receptions through the years and started showing its wear in the past decade.
“I walked in there three years ago and said ‘This is a diamond in the rough,’ and it wasn’t being used much by the community,” said Steve Monaghan, the county’s director of capital facilities. “We redid the bleachers, put in a new sound system, new stage lighting and new curtains. You could put on a nice theatrical or musical event there.”
The refurbished structure will be shown off to the public at a free gathering from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with food and dancing following a ceremony. It will culminate a three-year project for Nevada County where $335,000 in state and county funds were spent to renovate the structure at 255 South Auburn Street, and it will occur on Armed Forces Day.
Joining the county as sponsors of the event will be the Nevada County Consolidated Veterans Council. Following the ceremony, the Grass Valley Male Vocal Choir will perform patriotic songs. Swing dancers also will perform to the tunes of the Nevada Union High School Jazz Band.
Veterans groups, auxiliary members and county employees were sprucing up the place Friday in anticipation of today’s event.
“I’m hoping we’ll get a lot of veterans in here,” said Midge Starnes, a member of the Disabled American Veterans and American Legion auxiliaries. “We wouldn’t even have this place if it wasn’t for them.”
“A building like this, I don’t know if it ever gets done,” said Tom Coburn, Nevada County facilities project manager. “Now the rentable space is all redone and should help bring in more revenue” for more maintenance.
“It’s a much better environment and safer with the hood replacement in the kitchen and the updated sprinkler system,” said Monaghan.
The county also refinished an old floor and striped it for basketball, volleyball and fencing, Monaghan said. The basketball hoops that were part of the original 1932 design have also been installed in hopes of a city league playing there one day.
Overall, “It’s a very small gesture of appreciation for our local veterans and what they’ve done for the community,” Monaghan said.
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