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Moody Community Building to be featured in Saturday open house


Members of the Moody Community Building board of directors invite all to an open house to be held beginning 6 p.m. Saturday at the community building, off of E Highway in Moody. Sandwiches and other refreshments will be served and a tour of the new facility will be given. There is no charge, but donations for upkeep of the building will be accepted.

American Rescue Plan Act funding of $150,000 was secured through the Howell County Commission as part of a broader plan to repair and replace such buildings across the county, often the heart of rural communities for social gatherings and in some cases a staging area for fire and rescue, law enforcement and other emergency and disaster services.

Moody Community Building Board member Linda Squire spoke with the Quill about the history of the old building first as a school, then a private property and finally as a community building. Her parents, Kenneth and Rachel Squire, were some of the signers of the deed when it became a community building and led the first community building board. Both have since died.

Rachel Squire attended school at the old building, and so did Linda Squire, before it was closed after consolidation with South Fork School about 8 miles away. It was about 100 years old when the original structure was torn down, Linda Squire said, noting it had become too cost prohibitive to heat and cool, plus repairs were getting to be too expensive.

The new building replacing it is a metal construction put up by a local builder, and is wheelchair-accessible, including the restrooms. The kitchen is also brand-new, with appliances provided by a private donor.

Squire said she has fond memories of the old community building as a gathering place during musical performances, pie suppers, auctions and 4-H Club meetings and projects that drew people from that area, including nearby Salem and Viola across the Arkansas state line.

She hopes the community will continue to use the new facility for large gatherings like family reunions, fundraisers, funeral dinners, birthday parties and wedding receptions. It is also used as a voting location, she added.

The cost to use it is $100 per event; to reserve it, call Squire at 417-293-9630, or call Moody Community Building Board President Lynn Tyree at 417-293-4143.