Local AmeriCorps workers are hoping members of the community will help them commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by emulating his dedication to community service and enhancing their own community in Havre.
AmeriCorps is taking part in a national Day of Service on Monday, which in Havre will consist of helping, from 10 a. m. to 3 p. m., in cleaning up, weatherizing and restoring the former post office building at 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue.
Volunteers will get a tour of the building at noon.
Lisa Smith, Havre’s AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America program assistant, said the day was meant “to encourage the community to participate in this national Day of Service in remembrance of what he did. ”
Smith said she is hoping at least around 30 people show up to help weatherize the old building with heat-shrink window covers, remove debris left by previous projects and generally restore the building to the majestic and well-maintained state in which it was originally used.
The building was bought less than two months ago by Northern Montana Vision Center’s new opthalmologist Marc Whitacre and his wife, optometrist Erica Farmer. Whitacre said the volunteers will be working on some of the simpler jobs in the restoration, but none of it in the parts of the building he actually lives in.
Everyone involved wanted to make it very clear that the work is about the preservation and restoration of a historic Havre landmark.
The volunteers, Whitacre said, would be restoring an area he believes is for the community, which he hopes to soon allow access to, once it is ready.
“Especially on first floor, will be community area, ” Whitacre said. “The scale and magnitude of both the primary post office lobby and mail sorting areas are almost uniquely suitable for community use because of their proportions and space.
“Keeping the building alive or in good health is a community asset. … It’s better to see it improved than bulldozed. ”
Those areas won’t be open and accessible until after people help clean it up and Whitacre finishes bigger tasks like reflooring parts of the building, adding heaters to rooftop drainage pipes and insulating the attic.