Our first year: Part2 – 2005

The Jacklegs were meeting twice a week in the winter of 2005, removing walls, dropped ceilings and the "stage" enclosure. The stage was enclosed in the early 60's for the Principal's Office, which also included a restroom, book room, closets, and of course a large open area for the secretary, copy machine and teacher's mailboxes, etc.
The Jacklegs also cut a double door in the wall between the stage and the classroom to allow actors to come on stage. A platform in this classroom (called the Green Room), was also made to house the piano which one day we hoped we would have. Our wish did come true, but that is another story that will be told later!

The winter was cold with no heat in the building. The 1927 and 1948 wings were heated by coal throughout its history. No one ever volunteered to get a fire going in the coal furnace, therefore everyone just added layers of clothing while we worked.
After we tore down all that we needed and cleaned up all the debris in the oldest wing, work was moved to the 1960 wing. This wing required less money to get it up and usable. We needed usable spaces where we could begin fundraising.

Our first huge fundraiser was an Antique Fair held in May 2005. Debbie Hensley was our chair and she became another Spencer-Penn angel! We attracted dealers from Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and local dealers. Ken Farmer, a Radford, Virginia appraiser, came and was presented with items of various sizes, shapes, and values. Huge success! (We repeated this event again in 2006, but the higher gas prices kept our customers away.)

Room 10, also known as one of the former kindergarten classrooms, was to become the community library. This room was a challenge because it was the first one to be completely renovated, making it a learning experience. Choosing the type of heat, what to do with the window blinds, floor covering, shelves for the books, color scheme, and the list went on and on.

The original library shelves that were saved were installed and additional shelves were built where needed. The radiators were removed and a new HVAC system was installed. The window blinds that were bought for the old school in the 90's were still in good shape, but they were green! Shannon Gilbert, a local professional painter, quoted us a very good price to spray paint the blinds, thus saving us a huge amount. Shelf units were painted, walls painted, carpet installed, blinds hung, and books were ready to go on the shelves.
While the Jacklegs were renovating the room, work began collecting books for our community library. Shirley Holland, Ann Chaney and other volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the spring, summer and fall, collecting, cleaning and cataloging books. We needed a computer system for the books and another angel walked through the door. Rose Hylton and her family donated money for the privilege of naming the room. The Charles and Rose Hylton Library would soon be in business!

The hall, the multipurpose room, and one classroom temporarily called the Red Room since it was painted red, had all been painted and as clean as we could get them. The floors were still the same tile floors, but we couldn't manage that project...yet! Three remaining classrooms on the lower wing had not been painted...yet!

One year since we received the deed, Spencer-Penn Centre was ready to celebrate "her" first birthday. on November 10, we were going to have a party!
The lower hall which is the 1960's wing was dedicated. The Charles and Rose Hylton Library was dedicated. Mike Pulice from the Roanoke Office of the Virginia Historical Resources presented the plaque for the distinction of being on the Virginia Landmarks of Historic Places and also on the National Register of Historic Places. Former student, Robert Flwoers, displayed his paintings and prints. Former students and local authors Paul Jones and Darryl Holland were on hand to sell their more recent books. Virginia Rodgers was in charge of refreshments. What a wonderful day with lots of friends of Spencer-Penn.