One Nation, Under God

Zortman Has a New Community Center

When the Malta School District decided to sell the Zortman School, which has sat empty for about 30 years, the town of Zortman jumped on the opportunity to buy it. The Zortman Volunteer Fire Department purchased it at a minimal price and then the work began.

Allen Berg, Zortman Volunteer Fire Department Chief, and those willing to put in labor, manpower, elbow grease and time, have made the first steps to turning the school into the Community Center. They have been scrambling and scurrying to get the building ready for the 4th of July festivities that are well-known in the county.

Where does one begin with such an undertaking and project staring them in the face?

Like any sizeable project, it takes communication, planning and teamwork. Unfortunately, over the last 30 years, vandals have targeted the building, breaking every window and even setting off fireworks inside the building. The ZVFD purchased and replaced all the windows and installed them.

One of the next steps, a crucial one that will prevent further damage and vandalism, is the installation of security cameras.

Work began with the basic cleanup. This was labor intense and was completed with the gathering of cheerful faces and willing hands, and an occasional backache...but all for a good cause. Following cleanup, the project was ready for painting. And daily, a project at a time, progress is being made.

Volunteers pitched in to do the plumbing and the building is now ready to receive donations of appliances, a three-well sink, cupboards and furniture. Readers are asked if they have any of these items that they could donate, please reach out to the committee and let them know what you have available.

The Phillips County Community Foundation awarded the Center a donation of $2,000, which has helped get the ball a rolling to get the project on track for an opening of July 4th. The group has also applied for a 501c3 tax status to assist in securing additional funding.

Plans at this time are to have the Center ready and kick into the holiday spirit and celebration with a Native American History demonstration, dance, drums and food.

At a point in time, when things are at a normal pace, the Center will be available to rent for events, receptions, reunions, memorials, and gatherings.

Nestled in the peaceful serene atmosphere of the Little Rockies, good things are happening in Zortman. The once, or twice, booming town was the home of some of the best gold mines in its' prime. Now it has a post office, bar, restaurant, grocery store (with gas available), fire department, and a motel. What more could one ask for amid the soothing pines, crisp clean air and inviting scenery. The historic "Church on the Hill" still holds services on a scheduled basis.

If you look around and would like to downsize your belongings, please give the committee volunteers a call and know that your donation of goods would be greatly appreciated. Of course, the ever-so-popular "cash" is always and forever appreciated, as well.

Those who wish to assist in the endeavors and measures can call Beverly Hicks at 573-280-0432, the Community Center chairperson. She can provide accurate updates on progress as well as what is needed for the Center.


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