“I also had another friend that donated a track loader, and we had a guy come out and use that to haul and move a lot of the dirt,” George said. “I thought we would be moving forward after that, but we’ve slowed down.”
With a new roof and the grounds cleared, work must be done on the inside in order to preserve the classrooms.
“Now we need to get it dried in, and by that, I mean we need to get windows and doors put in to save the inside from weather and that type of thing,” George said.
So far, estimates for the types of windows needed, 3-1/2 feet wide and 8 feet high, range from $23,000 to $25,000. There are 14 spaces to fill with windows throughout the building.
“The estimates were astronomical,” George said.
As an alternate solution, the group will be taking advantage of a grant issued to the city. The grant will fund training services for troubled youth ages 18-21, teaching them skills in construction.
“They are now in training and learning how to use tools and such,” George said. “This grant provides them with training and construction experience, and they will get paid minimum wage for their work.
“The training program has told me that they think the [youth] may be able to build the windows themselves.”
The two- to three-year grant provides the training as well as $150,000 for materials, to be divided between the Mount Pleasant efforts and the Holland Lake Girl Scout Camp restoration project.
Many other businesses have contributed to the cause, including Home Depot, which donated toilets and bathroom sinks for all of the building’s lavatories.
The City of Weatherford and Weatherford Police Department have also stepped up, helping monitor the area to discourage vandals.
“I’ve really poured my heart into this project and I’ve realized that this community has been so compassionate,” George said.