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Core 6 Group to Rebuild American Legion Hall
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – If all goes as planned, members of American Legion Post 472 should have a new structure this fall to replace the Indianola Avenue house where they currently meet.
The ranch-style structure to be erected on the site of the current building will be built though the efforts of Core 6, a group of area businessmen who have collaborated on past community projects. The effort was announced during a live broadcast Wednesday morning of WKBN-AM 570 host Dan Rivers’ program.
Demolition of the existing structure is set for Oct. 2 and the intent is to have the new 2,200-square-foot building up in 45 days, said Don Murphy, general manager at Donnell Ford, Boardman, a member of the Core 6 group. The group is seeking volunteers and donations for the project.
“That’s what this project is about. It’s about bringing the community together to give back to those who are willing to put their life on the line for us,” Murphy said. The post has been in the building since 1937, he said.
“The building is very antiquated,” said Bob Raver, Post 472 commander. Among other issues, the post has limited handicap access. The second-story meeting hall can only be reached by a stairway that is only 28 inches wide. “If you have a wheelchair or any kind of scooter you can’t get into the building,” he added.
The post’s need for a new building came to Murphy’s attention from a recent newspaper story. John Morvay and other Core 6 members also were interested in helping the post. After the group agreed to do the project, members contacted Gregg Strollo of Strollo Architects, Youngstown, who put together a design in under 10 days.
“Thankfully we were able to find a window to get this done,” Strollo said.
Previously, Core 6 spearheaded the effort to build a new home for Joe Kaluza, the Kentucky Fried Chicken manager who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot during a robbery. Other members of the group are Joe Reinthaler of Reinthaler Auto Village in Canfield, general contractor Sam Pitzulo, Steve Bott of Mark Thomas Ford in Cortland, Tom Parazino of Bernard Daniels Lumber Yard in Canfield, Jim Rach of C&K Welding in Canfield and Murphy’s wife, Andrea. “She’s the one who’s here all day making sure the project is happening,” Murphy said.
In addition to improved access for handicapped veterans, the post’s new building will feature rooms for veterans to stay temporarily when they are discharged, Murphy said. Also, it will feature a social area and a commercial kitchen, which will allow the post to do more community events. I
The post has 101 veteran members, plus a ladies auxiliary and sons of legion members, Raver said.
“There’s hardly any cash donations,” mostly materials and labor, he explained. “There will be people walking up the street with food for the workers. … We need a drywall finisher and all of a sudden someone knocks on our door and says they want to help, they’re a drywall finisher,” he said.
“I swear to God this only happens in Mahoning County. This is the best town to live in,” Murphy remarked.
Simon Roofing, Boardman, will provide flooring for the structure through its BeautiFloor division, said Sue Stricklin, vice president of marketing. “One of the things that has always helped our business grow is to help others grow as well,” she said.
The plan is to dig the foundation the same day the building is demolished, Pitzulo said. “A lot of things happen real quick. It’s a tight schedule.”
Copyright 2012 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.