TICONDEROGA - A downtown Ticonderoga building is getting a facelift.
The Knights of Columbus hall on Montcalm Street, constructed in 1920, is being renovated by members.
"We want to economize the building and make it more accessible," explained Peter Reale of the Knights' building committee. "We want to modernize the facility."
The three-story building has about 5,000 square feet on each floor. It is not presently handicap accessible.
For years the first floor has been rented commercial space, the second floor a lounge and office space, and the third floor a banquet hall and kitchen.
Amerigas, the first floor tenant, has moved, forcing the Knights to take a look at their building.
"The major operating expense of the building is to heat it," Knight Ralph Corbo explained. "The cost of heat was being offset by the income from the rent Amerigas paid. Without that rent we can not afford to maintain the building without depleting our reserves."
Reale said the building committee considered several options. To find another tenant expensive renovations were needed, he said. The group also researched selling the building and moving to another location.
"Our building committee concluded the best option is for us to move downstairs and heat only the ground floor," Corbo said.
Plans call for the renovated first floor to include a council room, office space, a kitchen, a lounge and a banquet room. It will be handicap accessible and have access to the recently-constructed parking lot at the rear of the building. A new heating system will also be installed.
Work has already started on the project. Knights, with help from inmates and officers of the Moriah Shock Camp, have gutted the first floor.
Reale estimates the project will cost the Knights $150,000 with members doing much of the work. They hope to open by July 4.
"This is a project of the whole council," Reale said. "We'll do as much of the work as possible."
Corbo is co-chairman of the capital fund drive for the project along with PJ Graney.
To date 29 members have committed to the project with $25,021 in pledges, of which $6,541 has already been contributed. Members have been contacted asking for assistance. Others who would like to contribute or make a donation in the memory of a deceased Knight can send their gifts to the Knights of Columbus, attn. Richard Liddell, 103 Montcalm St. Suite 2, Ticonderoga 12883.
Donors will be recognized in the new facility.