The Miles-Hagen Post 200 Legion Hall in Black River Falls will be getting some updates over the winter to make it more appealing to those that would like to rent it for various events throughout the year.
“There hasn’t been anything done with the inside of the Legion since 1970, so we are just upgrading it,” Miles-Hagen Post 200 American Legion fundraising chair Gavin Johnson said.
Most of the work being completed will be done to the inside of the Legion Hall including replacing three windows in the main area, leveling the ceiling in the entrance hallway, replacing fixtures and privacy walls in the bathrooms, putting up chair rails and putting up new drywall.
Johnson said the drywall will be the last step and is expected to be completed in March. If funding is available, the legion may also replace the pillars holding up the canopy outside with better-looking support posts.
While much has yet to be completed, the electric in the building has already been updated.
“The electric part we wanted to get that done because in the kitchen all of the breakers are just normal breakers. Now we have them all no-fault breakers,” Johnson said.
Randy Bjerke, Jackson County veteran service officer and member of the Miles-Hagen Post 200 American Legion, said this is a much-needed upgrade.
“We had the Lion’s here with the pancake breakfast three to four weeks ago and prior to this year, with all the griddles they were using, we kept blowing circuits. Now with the updated electrics, it worked really well,” Bjerke said.
The legion hall just got a new roof last year and some outside work has been done in the past.
“We did some work on the entrance way a few years ago that looked really nice so we decided to make the rest of the place look really nice,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the legion is looking to fundraise $20,000 for the project, “We are better than half way on our fundraising efforts.”
The legion has already asked for donations from members, the Miles-Hagen Post 200 Auxiliary and Veterans of Foreign Wars group.
“We have had a really good response from our membership that have been sending us checks,” Johnson said.
The Legion is also selling raffle tickets right now, which if they are able to sell all of the tickets, would bring in an additional $5,000.
Besides holding American Legion functions including meetings, fish boils and a steak feed, the new update is expected to be a welcome change for other events held at the Legion Hall.
“It’s one of the few place you can rent to have a wedding reception or the meal after a funeral,” Bjerke said. “We are able to rent that out very reasonably so people can take advantage of that and have a place to do those functions.”
Black River Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Gunn agrees and feels like the Legion Hall is an important part of the community.
“I think it is very important to have a good Legion Hall. I know that it is used and rented for many different events. Some people even out of the area rent it for events here in our area, and having it be remodeled it will be a great asset to the community,” Gunn said.
Even though the Legion Hall is rented out for various events, Bjerke is excited to see the updates so the building can better serve its most important use.
“The first thing it does is it gives the Legion Post an identity because we have a home. When we meet that’s where we go,” Bjerke said.