Seepage into the building caused from heavy rains all but destroyed the senior center located at the corner of Front and Chestnut Streets.
George Mainprize is the Fun and Friends Board of Directors president. He said the center has been fortunate to receive funds from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
"SEMA sent us $43,643 and Dorothy Knowles with the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging helped us get $25,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Humanities and several donations have come from groups and citizens in the community," he said.
A considerable amount of work is being done at the center to get it back up and running. Mainprize said Tim Ary Construction is doing the work at Fun and Friends.
"They have removed all the mold from the inside of the building. With the seepage came standing water on the floor and the floor had to be removed. When they started that, they found out we had sewer problems, so while the place was tore-up we decided to go ahead and put in a new sewer. A new roof has also been put on our building," Mainprize said.
The ceiling at the center will be suspended when it is completed and that will hopefully cut heating and cooling costs.
"They are priming and painting the walls and new tile will be laid as soon as the floor is fixed. Then, there will just be some odds and ins, like trim work to be completed," he said.
When the center first moved out of the building they served meals at the Masonic Lodge for about a month. The last three months they have been working out of the old Dutch Oven restaurant.
"As thankful as we are to have had both of these places to go to, it's just not like our old building," Smith said.
She said there was not enough space. "At the old center we averaged serving 60 meals a day in the center and ran three home-bound meal routes serving about 368 meals a day," she said.
Since the center has been using the Dutch Oven building, Mainprize said the number of meals they are serving in the center has been about cut in half but their home-bound meal route has not been affected.
"About all the room we have here to do is eat. A few seniors put together puzzles. There is no playing pool or quilting. Not much recreation at all," he said.
Smith said they cannot bring all the equipment the cooks need from the other building and they are having to shuffle the vans from the old center to the Dutch Oven everyday for the meal routes.
"It has been a real struggle. Without the help of Sue Scott, George Mainprize and Mike Harber we could not have made this transition work and we could not have got started on the new building so quickly," Smith said.
Mainprize said the work on the center is expected to be completed by September and they can move back to downtown Thayer.
Smith has been the administrator at Fun and Friends for seven years. Sue Scott is assistant administrator. The center is governed by a board of directors. They are: George Mainprize, president, Mike Harber, vice president, Linda Amick, secretary, Jesse Mae Burkhead, treasurer, Betty Bamber, Peggy Boren and Connie Cunningham. Non-active members are Sharon Hall and Virgil Clark.