The shelter house at Maxwell’s City Park has been given new life, thanks to some grant money and volunteers.

The Maxwell Area Renewal Committee (MARC) has been applying for grants on behalf of the city, said Kathie Smith, committee member. They applied for and received a $6,000 grant from the Story County Community Foundation last fall to be used for preventing the shelter from flooding during heavy rainfalls.

"Any time we get any amount of rain, even if it’s just an inch or so, it floods because of poor drainage," Smith said.

With the help of community volunteers, the committee was able to stretch those dollars to complete further updates to the shelter, including the addition of a new shade canopy. Those who volunteered for the project included:

New fans were donated by the Methodist Church in Maxwell

Doug Fuller volunteered his time to install the new fans

Richard Wehrman removed and replaced more than 375 nails in the roof, re-caulking each one to eliminate future leakage into the shelter house

Jason Maxwell donated a number of volunteer hours, equipment and time to remove and level the existing 60’ berm and 4’ tree stump that was east of the shelter house. This berm was holding the water, not allowing proper drainage around the structure.

Scott Girard built a new shelter house canopy, east of the existing shelter house

Kirk Henderson will be hauling new pea gravel to have placed under the new canopy

While the installation of new fans and replacement of nails on the roof were completed this past spring, the majority of the work on the shelter house did not begin until Aug. 9. Smith said they wanted to wait until after Maxwell’s Old Settlers Picnic to work on the shelter since the the shelter is used during the Old Settlers weekend. Flood prevention work was completed before Aug. 30, just in time for the one-year deadline required under the grant.

"It shows a positive response for the city and that we have great community members, who are willing to donate their time toward community improvement," Smith said.

Richard Wehrman of Maxwell not only volunteered to replace the nails on the roof of the shelter, but he was also instrumental in lining up other volunteers from the community who could provide services needed for the project.

"It made sense to help when I was asked to coordinate things," Wehrman said. "It’s a really good example of what a community can do when they get together."

Additional grading work still needs to be done around the shelter, and pea-sized gravel will be added under the new canopy once the grading is finished.

Smith said very little improvements had been made to the shelter since it was built in the 1950s. They hope to someday restore or rebuild the shelter, but until additional funding becomes available, those updates will have to wait.