By NANCY KARRICK
Special to Atmore News
The Atmore Lions Club held its September 15 meeting at the Atmore Country Club. This meeting was also streamed on Zoom for members unable to attend in person.
Lion President Taylor Lee called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Lion Kevin Garrett gave the blessing and invocation.
Lion Patty Davis told the club of the passing of Flomaton Lions treasurer William Reaves. She also introduced Stephanie Rolin as the speaker for the meeting.
Stephanie is part of Rolin Construction Company, the group helping to refurbish the Strand. They are general contractors with offices in Poarch and Spanish Fort. They work mostly from Montgomery to the Gulf Coast. In the past, they limited their construction to tribal work while the tribe was developing. The company has branched out to more diverse projects and diverse customers. Rolin said her company gave some cost savings ideas and worked with the architects on the Strand before they submitted a bid and ultimately got the job. She said they felt it was important to give back to Atmore. Work started a month ago and completion is projected for September-October 2022.
Rolin was quick to tell about the problems and treasures a 120-year-old building produces. Demolition and salvage are slow and methodical. So far, they have found no termites, but have found signs in the old hardware store from the 1800s. The building materials and craftmanship was so good when the structure was built and that is why the building has lasted so long. All of the floor has been demolished and the foundation work is ready to be completed. Construction products are slow to arrive and it is slowing the whole process.
Nine hundred yards of dirt has been donated for the foundation and then concrete will be poured. Windows have been ordered with an 18-week wait period until they arrive. Steel ceiling beams are ordered with an 8-month wait. The roof cannot be completed until the beams are up and no inside work can be done until it has a roof. The dominoes are slow to be stacked.
The fact that this project is historical makes it a signature job for Rolin Construction. They are pleasantly surprised at the in-kind and monetary donations which have been given to the project.
“People obviously thought so much of the Strand,” Rolin said.
She commented that they have to be careful that everything is done historically correct because historic tax credits are at stake. One example of being historically correct is that reclaimed hard pine is being used in the hardware building in the area which will be used for events.
A treasure which was found in the Strand was the first air conditioning system in Atmore. It consists of a chute which had ice thrown down it. A fan blew cool air over the ice and it blew over the crowd to cool the room. A rather ingenuous way to solve a problem.
Obviously, the Strand is in the “ugly” stage right now with the emphasis being put on making the building structurally sound. Getting the roof on will allow the work to move on toward the “pretty” stage, when the Strand will again be the shining light in downtown Atmore.
Lion President Lee presented two new members, Noah Graham and Sandra Brown, with their membership pins, and certificates for recruiting them to Candace Wooten and Jennifer White.
Lion Bub Gideons was nominated by Lions District Governor Charlie Wigglesworth to become a Melvin Jones Fellow and the nomination was accepted. He was presented with a lovely plaque by the Atmore Lions Club President, Taylor Lee acknowledging this award.
It was announced that Taste of the South has been postponed for a week and will be on September 23. Williams Station Day is October 23, with the food drive being held at Walmart on October 30. Sign-up sheets were available for members to sign up to work at those events. A social period followed the meeting.