WELLINGTON — Members of Eagles Aerie 2015 will not be able to complain that they can’t see the weather outside when the club’s new $1.8 million clubhouse opens later this month.
There are windows and skylights everywhere in the 12,200-square-foot building at 631 S. Main St., just south of Wellington Implement.
Club officials who have been working on the new building said they get a little claustrophobic when they go back into the current 4,800-square-foot clubhouse, which lacks windows, at 232 N. Main St.
“It’s like being in a cave,” said Tim Murray, one of the club’s trustees.
Trustee Bill Schramm credited a third trustee, Tom Smith, with doing a top-notch job as construction manager.
Schramm said the building is 99.9 percent finished, which is a good thing — the first wedding is scheduled to take place there June 20.
During a tour Tuesday, Smith beamed with pride at the spacious building. He said all members who helped should be proud because they probably saved $50,000 to $60,000 in labor costs.
The entire complex is air conditioned and clean. Smith said the banquet facility seats 300. It will rent for $600 per event but can be divided into two separate banquet rooms — the larger room renting for $400 and the smaller renting for $200, he said.
At the back of the building is a separate bar and gathering room for the Eagles, which seats 175 people.
It is separated from the banquet facilities by a kitchen that is four times as large as the kitchen in the current clubhouse.
“We won’t be running into each other any more,” said Smith.
There is parking in front and back of the building.
Everyone seems to be excited, and membership has increased from 1,050 to 1,250, with the ladies auxiliary at 400 members, Smith said.
The Eagles will continue to lease a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the 10-acre site, and there are no plans to demolish it, he said.
The Eagles began work on the new clubhouse after the state of Ohio purchased the current downtown location and an adjacent apartment complex for $535,000 to clear the way for a $20 million railroad underpass project.
The underpass project has been stalled twice but is moving ahead, according to Brian Stacy, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Among the delays was the need to add a pump to the underpass project to deal with water from an underground aquifer, Stacy said. The latest snag is a concern about a possible $2 million to $3 million funding gap, he said. The state should have a better handle on the costs by the end of this summer, he said.
Nevertheless, Stacy said support remains strong for the underpass, which will eliminate long lines of vehicles waiting for trains.
“To the region, it’s an important project, and we continue to get strong local interest in it,” he said. Additional property will be purchased soon, he said. The earliest the project could start is 2011 with completion scheduled for 2012, he said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-724 or email@example.com.