Commissioners see potential in new community center project

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Photo by JOSH MCDONALD Pastor Carey Schram address the Shoshone Board of County Commissioners — John Hansen, Jay Huber and Mike Fitzgerald — during their tour of “The Center,” a new community center being developed inside the old East Shoshone Hospital in Silverton.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the East Shoshone Medical building was donated to Summit Church. The story has been changed to show that Summit Church had to pay the closing costs of $47,000 to acquire the building from a private party.

SILVERTON — A year-and-a-half ago, Pastor Carey Schram of Summit Church began the process of converting the former East Shoshone Hospital in Silverton into a community center.

The project was and remains a massive undertaking, but on Oct. 3, Pastor Schram was able to give the Shoshone Board of County Commissioners a tour of the facility to see just how big the project is.

Beginning with the lobby, which is the most finished area of the building, Schram discussed how her vision is coming along and how it has been tweaked here and there along the way.

Initially called the WindRiver Community Center, the name has been shortened to just “The Center,” and now is moving forward with a vision to “Reclaim, Create, and Educate.”

The education portion really happened during the BOCC’s tour of the 24,000-square-foot facility.

The commissioners were reminded of the size of the structure, John Hansen included, who had visited the building when it was an active hospital.

“I’m shocked that I didn’t realize just how big this building was,” Hansen said. “I mean, I remember running in here to see my granddaughter after she was born, but it was just a quick trip in to look at the babies and then back out.”

While the tour moved through the various wings, Pastor Schram shared some of her ideas, which include two massive meeting rooms and a refurbished kitchen area.

“There is nothing like this anywhere in the Silver Valley,” Huber said as he walked through the two meeting areas. “This would be such a benefit to the community.”

The tour was a positive experience for both the BOCC and Schram, with the former realizing the latter was spot on in her belief that the building could be something special.

“After seeing their amazement, I realized that it wasn’t just me who saw the potential for something positive here for our community,” Schram said. “It’s a shame that it wasn’t being used for the community already. Not everyone sees the possibilities, but the commissioners understand the needs of the community.”

A lot of work has been done already to remodel the facility, but there is still much more to be done.

“It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the amount of work that is needed,” Schram said. “But the possibilities outweigh the work.”

The Kellogg-based Summit Church initially purchased the building from a private party in 2018 and only had to pay the closing costs of $47,000. Schram explained in a previous interview that “the plan for this building includes two large meeting rooms, a sit-down coffee shop and space for a brand new day care center with after school programs focused on creativity.”

Volunteers with Idaho Servant Adventures put in several hours of work last summer so that Summit Church could continue phase I of construction. Phase I included working on a new roof, electrical wiring, plumbing and a fire suppression system.

For more information, or to get involved in helping with the remodel, contact Pastor Carey Schram at 208-660-7251.

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