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Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV

Longtime Pleasant Grove residents prepare to say goodbye to historic building

By Ashley Kewish  |  Posted Jun 12th, 2017 @ 10:21pm


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PLEASANT GROVE — If you walked inside the Pleasant Grove Community Center at 41 E. 200 South on Monday, you would have found two sisters. Jeanne Holdaway and Karen Harbold have been sewing there for the past three days.

The two have lived in Pleasant Grove their entire lives, and the memories they share within the community walls has lasted decades.

"It was all our first dance for the junior high," Holdaway said. "We all sat there not knowing what to do. It was real awkward."

Harbold remembered the dances fondly, as well. "Mom used to make us matching dresses so she could keep track of us," she said.

Built in 1909 as the Orpheus Dance Hall, the building would later become the high school, then the junior high, and finally the city's community center — but not for much longer.

"This is for the farewell," Holdaway said, looking down at the sewing project in front of her. "We're going to let it go out in style."

The sisters are sewing new bunting to decorate the old building for it's very last Strawberry Days. The passage of time, the crumbling façade and fading floor are no longer suitable for dancing, or much else.

"There's no money in the budget to really retrofit this building and bring it up for the code and all it needs to be for today's safety," said Pleasant Grove Mayor Michael Daniels.

The city council voted to tear the building down.

"You kind of hate to see that history to go away," Daniels said.

In its place a much-needed public safety center will be built.

"You'll have a new fire station, then a courtyard area that leads into the park, then police and city council and the courts," Daniels said.

The project is being paid for with a bond voted on and approved by Pleasant Grove residents last November.

"I don't know," Harbold said. "It's kind of sad."

Holdaway said it's tough to see the building go away. "It's hard to say goodbye," she said.

The sisters are saying goodbye the best way they know how.

"We will end with one last community dance on this great floor," Harbold said.

One last dance in a place that will soon be lost to history.

An open house and tour of the historic community center will run from Wednesday to Saturday, culminating with the last dance. Open house times vary by day. Visit strawberrydays.org for more information

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Ashley Kewish
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