Oroville Grange receives $62K from state to kick off ‘Building Community’ campaign

Oroville Grange has had its capital request for funds approved by the state legislature for $62,000.

OROVILLE – Oroville Grange #985 has had its capital request for funds approved by the Washington State Legislature for $62,000 in the closing days of the 2024 Session.

Senator Shelley Short and Representative Joel Kretz, both from the Seventh Legislative District, sponsored the legislation, and the Washington State Grange supported the request. The Oroville Grange will use the funds to remediate critical drainage issues at the community hall.

Volunteers built the historic hall in 1957 for $17,000 and the hall has been used continuously for 65 years. This year, the Oroville Grange embarked on an ambitious two-year capital renovation program to complete much-needed retrofits and increase the building’s accessibility.

According to the Oroville Grange, poor water drainage has been a problem during snow melt and heavy rains. The remediation is the first in a series of projects aimed at creating a safe and inclusive gathering space in the North Central Okanogan region. Future efforts will include:

• ADA access and restroom improvements

• Basement panel and insulation replacement

• HVAC and electrical upgrades

• Exterior refurbishment

“Appropriations such as these are important to retain and rebuild the social fabric of rural towns. In large counties like Okanogan, vibrant rural communities are especially essential,” said Tom Gwin, President of the Washington State Grange. “We need to increase access to unifying organizations like the Oroville Grange that are inclusive and investing in the region’s future.”

The Oroville Grange Hall offers programs that are affordable, reflective of the community, and beneficial to the local economy. In 2023-24, the Grange sponsored dances, musical events by local artists, rummage and flea markets, bingo, cooking classes, and multiple community dinners. The hall is also rented out at low cost for private celebrations, business events, Quinceaneras, proms, school fundraisers, and other community activities.

In 2023, the Grange refurbished and successfully recertified its commercial kitchen on time and within budget using in-kind labor and a donation from Oroville’s largest employer, Reman & Reload. It also upgraded building safety features. Local chef entrepreneurs use the kitchen at a nominal cost to sell goods at local businesses, serve meals at winery events, and create agricultural products.

Established in 1932, Oroville Grange #985 seeks to build an inclusive and thriving community by creating a safe and healthy environment for people to gather, celebrate, share creativity, and serve others, says the Oroville Grange Treasurer Carla Scollick in a press release about the funding.

“We offer affordable programs appropriate for people of all ages regardless of income, ability level, and background. The hall is a social, economic, and community multiplier with its commercial kitchen and sponsorship of local artists, small chef businesses and musicians,” said Scollick.