January, 2006, we started our second year with the building and had lots and lots to do, not only with renovation, but also with fundraising. Fundraising in 2005 was mostly donations, one Antique Fair, and one Sweet Gospel Music and Desserts concert.
We had to get the lower level ready to rent. The lower level was presentable, but not beautiful. Alumni hall and its restrooms, the lower hall, one classroom and the library had been painted. All floors needed to be replaced due to asbestos tile. We couldn't afford new tile so we just scrubbed and waxed what was there.
The lower level was halfway functional depending on weather conditions. The entire space was heated by the oil boiler, which was practically new when the school closed, but oil had taken its first serious climb in price and the building was prone to cold wind coming through the cracks along the windows and doors. Energy efficiency was not considered when the older schools were built.
All toilets in the building were short, just the right height for small children. All were functional, but maybe not so comfortable for adults. These would definitely need replacing.
The three level building was not functional for handicapped accessibility. Trying to achieve that goal was a top priority. Bobby Nance went to work building a ramp in the Alumni Hall foyer to make the Lower Hall accessible. Other Jacklegs (Jack Turner, Jimmy Evans, John Rodgers, and Rabbit Jordan) built ramps coming into the exterior doors. A much longer and complicated ramp going into the upper level was later constructed by Bobby and Butch Dillinger.
The Organization known as SPSPO or the Spencer-Penn School Preservation Organization, met monthly with the Board meeting weekly and bi-weekly. Each meeting we brainstormed on how we could raise money. In 2006, we decided to host another Antique Fair, to start a monthly Bluegrass Music night, to sell Spencer-Penn magnets and ornaments, to host a consignment auction, to have a yard sale, and let's not forget GRANTS (which everyone thinks is free money and so easy to get)! Hang tight to your shirts because next time I will tell how we barged into the Harvest Foundation office...looking back, this was very embarrassing!!!