Optimist Club unveils plan for multi-purpose facility

A more than 12,000 square foot building in downtown Houston will be converted into a multi-purpose facility under a plan unveiled this week by the Houston Optimist Club, buyers of the property.

The building – known locally as the Stained Glass Theatre – is situated at Mill and First streets in Houston. The organization will close next Wednesday on the purchase of the property and a small tract to the south owned by Carol Longwell.

The club earlier was awarded Neighborhood Assistance Program state tax credits that allows donors to receive a 70 percent credit on their state return and also write the full amount off on their federal return. For example, a $1,000 donation translates into $700 worth of credit on a state return and a write off on a federal return. The program has been successfully used on other community projects.

President Chad Dzurick said the structure was purchased from Progressive Ozark Bank, which earlier acquired the property. At one time, the Texas County Health Department was situated at the building that originally was occupied by the First Baptist Church.

The three-story building has about 5,000 square feet on the first floor, where the organization is talking with Texas County Memorial Hospital about locating its fitness center. No commitment has been made. Under a floor plan, space is shown for exercise and health equipment, aerobics/fitness classes and showers.

The second floor has another 5,000 square feet that will have a large multi-purpose area for youth activities, shows or programs. Rental space also will be available for not-for-profits. There are no immediate plans for the third floor.

Renovations to the building will include new windows, a new heating system and upgrades to air conditioning and ventilation systems.

Plans also call for the construction of a 5,000 square foot gymnasium, 1,000 square foot indoor walking track and 2,000 square foot of additional recreational space. The new structure will connect to the existing one and will sit on a south parking lot.

The project is contingent on receiving enough donations through the state tax credit program. Donations must be received by Dec. 31 for credit on 2009 tax returns. Persons wishing to purchase tax credits can call 417-217-0401 or contact any Optimist Club member.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply