The Baptist Building, circa 1892.
Constructed in 1848, the Baptist Building is one of Fairfax’s most prominent historical structures. In 2016, the Baptist Trustees of the United Church of Fairfax generously donated the building to the Town at no cost. The Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department, supported by the non-profit group Friends of the Fairfax Community Center, Inc. (FFCC) is overseeing the transformation of the church building into a multi-generational community center.
L to R: Baptist Trustee Peg Gilbert, Parks & Recreation Director Colin Santee, and Baptist Trustee Robert Ertl. 2016.
Our goal is to restore and slightly renovate the building into a space suitable to host a wide variety of activities appealing to all residents of Fairfax. The Community Center will become the Town’s hub for educational, creative, and recreational programming.
What needs to be done?
The building is currently safe and useable for certain community functions. To increase public access to the building however, significant work must first be completed.
A multi-phased plan of improvements has been developed to convert the building from its current church/meeting hall structure to a public multiuse building.
Of the many upgrades included in this rehabilitation project, the priority is to focus on what will allow for earlier increased utilization of the building. Some of the projects identified in the earlier stages include:
• Continue work with Structural Engineer & Architect
• Begin stained glass window preservation work
• Finalize Floor Plan and Site Plan
• Renovate Bathrooms
• Continue weatherization work
Take our time and do it right
Amid the changes that need to be made, our primary concern will be to maintain the historical integrity of the building. Our task will require many changes, but we will insure that every decision made honors the building’s storied past.
Volunteers taking a breather after a busy day!
The Parks & Recreation Dept. has been working closely with the FFCC for just under a decade. The two organizations have a mutually beneficial relationship; the FFCC brings the fundraising advantages that come with a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, and the Parks & Rec. Dept. provides the established infrastructure and resources of a municipality.
How will it be financed?
A local band plays a fundraiser show on the steps of the Fairfax Community Center
No taxpayer money is being sought for this project. The Parks & Rec. Dept. is collaborating with the FFCC to source funding through municipal grants and grants available to non-profit groups. The Capital Campaign will be the primary means of funding for the project. Combined with grants, sourcing donations of materials, labor, and capital will all play a major role in the completion of the project.
Want to get involved?
We have the will, we have the building, and we have the plan. All we need is you! There are countless ways to contribute, whether it’s talent, time, or money; if you’re interested there’s a place for you!
• Check out our website: fairfaxrecreation.com/communitycenter
• Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• See us at the Town Offices: Open 9a-4p, Mon-Fri
Director, Parks & Rec. Dept.
(802) 849-6111 ext. 20