Volunteers needed to revitalize skating rink

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Dublin club seeks help with cleaning, repairs

Even though Jimmy Lawrence admits he doesn’t know how to skate, he’s now running a roller-skating rink and community center.

Lawrence, who currently lives in Centerville, has been named the Dublin Community Club’s board president. He fills the volunteer role vacated by the late Mike Buckland, 75, who spent many hours over the years providing area children a safe place to hang out before his death in October.

Since Lawrence works as an emergency medical technician for Reid Health, he said he won’t be on site at the club as much as Buckland was. However, Lawrence will oversee the building and its inventory, and scheduling of facility rentals.

He asks for volunteers to drop in at 177 S. Milton St. anytime after 9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, to help with a thorough cleaning continuing throughout the afternoon , as well as supervising events in the future.

“We’re going to need a team,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said he is taking on this new challenge because he wants the club to remain open.

“I don’t forget where I came from,” Lawrence said. “Dublin was my home for 28 years, and my heart is still here.”

He remembers hanging out at the club in the late 1980s and attending town events that ranged from picnics to scavenger hunts. He wasn’t involved again at the club until the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he would assist Buckland as a DJ or computer technician as needed.

Big projects on a tight budget

In addition to the cleanup day, Lawrence would like to make over the club’s lobby, kitchen and bathrooms as time and money allow. He called the organization’s budget “super tight,” and said donations of materials, labor and money will be essential.

A few of the building’s current challenges are more than cosmetic. Lawrence said the club has a few mechanical projects that need specialized skills.

For instance, a plumber is needed to replace a kitchen faucet that consistently sprays water, as well as remove a sink. Another handy person is sought to build a box around water lines that run across a ceiling. And, someone with drywall expertise could scrape off the kitchen’s popcorn ceiling. Lawrence said health officials don’t want a popcorn ceiling in an area where food is served because it’s not easily cleaned.

Lawrence said monetary donations are needed for large projects as well, such as replacing the club’s exterior doors for an estimated $5,300, and replacing the wooden skating floor, which is about $75,000.

In the early 2000s, a flood destroyed the club’s wood floor, so since then, skaters have been rolling on the concrete that was underneath the wood. Lawrence said he would like to install a wood floor in Buckland’s memory.

Fortunately, some support comes from the town, which continues to own the building and maintains its exterior, Lawrence said. He appreciates the help he’s received with the transition from Clerk-Treasurer Julia McCarty, town attorney Bob Bever and others.

Open house and upcoming activities

Although activities and facility rentals were paused during the club’s leadership transition, Lawrence is anticipating they will resume in January.

Lawrence said he was sorry that parties after Buckland’s death had to be canceled, and he hopes those folks will schedule their future events at the club. However, he said it was necessary to reorganize operations and “get it back to business.”

The club will kick off its annual membership drive on Sunday, Dec. 4, with a board meeting open to the public at 1 p.m., followed by an open house and optional training at 2 p.m. for potential volunteers who are willing to work parties and supervise skating sessions.

Memberships are a donation of $3 per year per family to help keep the club open. Members still need to pay the $5 each time they attend open skate nights (including skate rental).

Online donations and facility rental payments will be possible through the club’s Facebook page soon. In the meantime, mail can be sent to P.O. Box 313, Dublin, IN 47335.

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