Portia Club

This photo from Aug. 21 shows the exterior of the Portia Club, a historic building which serves today as a community center on North Ninth Street in Payette.

PAYETTE — An emergency grant, which was more than expected, means emergency repairs can begin on a historic community hub in Payette on Tuesday.

According to Kerrie Taylor, Friends of the Portia Club board member, the Idaho Heritage Trust awarded $4,500 for the critical repairs needed to fix the slipping foundation of the building. The board made the decision to close their namesake building on Aug. 19, until repairs could be made.

“Very generous of them,” wrote Taylor in an email update. “They were also kind enough to bring their board together for an emergency vote just so we could get the funding in time.”

The plans submitted in mid-August by Foundation SupportWorks to fix the support posts were approved by a structural engineer from Source Nouveau in Boise who has already toured the facility, Taylor wrote.

“He is also following the project through to make sure all work is done correctly and we won’t have problems in the future,” she said.

The support posts are slipping off the wall due to the wall crumbling in the cellar area, directly below the dance floor.

The emergency grant still falls short of the nearly $9,000 needed to do a full repair, which includes fixing an area underneath the kitchen where the floor is sagging.

The community has been helpful and “people have been extremely supportive,” Taylor wrote, adding that they even had to turn down an offer from a local man to bring his own equipment and help with the repairs.

“We still haven’t met our [financial] goal, but we’re close,” she said, adding that Cleo Thompson has “been a fundraising juggernaut.”

The first portion of repairs are scheduled for Tuesday, and the board plans to schedule the rest later in September.

That means they’ll start the “emergency” repairs on Tuesday and schedule the rest later this month.

After that, the building should be ready to reopen, as Jeff Charter with Foundation Supportworks previously noted that other than the two areas of foundation needing fixed, the building overall “appears to be in good shape.”

Since the Portia Club’s temporary closure, regular events and activities have been moved elsewhere, but board members are hopeful they can get the space open as soon as possible to bring back those as well as rentals for private parties.

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