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Salina Masonic Center -- Salina KS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 38° 50.081 W 097° 36.569
14S E 620689 N 4299349
Quick Description: The Salina KS Masonic Center is an imposing Classical Revivial temple built in 1927. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. It remains an active center for the varied Masonic groups from central KS that are based here.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 4/25/2013 11:56:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMGYXM
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 2

Long Description:
The imposing limestone Salina Masonic Center at 336 South Santa Fe St. is a wonderful example of the Classical Revival style. Built in 1927, this temple has been serving the Salina Masonic community ever since.

Several masonic clubs occupy this center. From the website: (visit link)

"The Masonic Groups located in the building include ISIS Shrine, Scottish Rite, Salina Lodge #60, Salina York Rite, Daughters of the Nile, Harmony Chapter 2 Eastern Star, and Salina Assembly No. 229 SOOB." [end]

The Masons are justifiably proud of their temple, so much so that they have been realists about its upkeep and future. They have hit upon a creative solution to cope with costs in a era of decliningmembership, and maybe even grow masonry in the area: (visit link)

"Our Facility

Saving our historic building – implementing a successful business model

People in Salina and throughout Kansas recognize our Temple. It is on both the state and national registries of historic places and has been officially designated as one of the “Eight Wonders of Kansas.”

Our challenge: It has become difficult for a declining and aging Masonic membership to maintain and preserve it. The Foundation was created to generate philanthropic support to accomplish this and has developed a sound business plan to insure long-term financial sustainability.

The plan will establish a Community Resource and Learning Center, housing up to 10 nonprofit tenants. They will benefit through shared expenses such as reception, phone systems and access to the buildings many new and existing amenities.
The campaign to insure preservation, effect needed renovations and successfully implement the business model

Our goal is $7,000,000. Gifts, grants and investments will be sought from individuals, businesses, foundations and both Masonic and non-Masonic sources. Historic Preservation and Community Service tax credits are being pursued.

Gifts and pledges of 3 – 5 years, can include cash, securities, in-kind support and estate commitments from bequests, trusts, annuities and other arrangements so as to maximize tax benefits for donors. Memorial and tribute gifts are encouraged to recognize loved ones.

. . . .

Salina Freemasonry

The Masonic Groups located in the building include ISIS Shrine, Scottish Rite, Salina Lodge #60, Salina York Rite, Daughters of the Nile, Harmony Chapter 2 Eastern Star, and Salina Assembly No. 229 SOOB. All of these groups combined occupy only a fraction of the space available in the building. Over the past several years, the Masonic membership has been in decline, while the maintenance costs of the building have increased, thus placing a greater burden on member dues to sustain the building. While new rental and other income to be realized by the inclusion of the tenant/partners and usage fees from other community groups etc. will relieve some of the financial strain, the more important benefit for the Bodies could be the opportunity to grow membership.

Masonry is a movement that does not promote itself. New members have to petition to become Masons of their own volition. In the past, membership grew due to the many good works done by each of the bodies, such as Children’s Hospitals as funded by the Shrine, the opportunities for fellowship, and the interest in the Masonic principles and the provision of “incentives to higher thoughts and nobler deeds.” Masonry combines faith, patriotism and brotherhood.

Activities and events such as the Shrine circus also portray a group that immensely enjoys themselves while doing good works. The Temple itself was often seen by the general public as housing some sort of closed, secret society and therefore a mystery. Some of those perceptions are changing. While the circus remains “serious” fun, and hospitals continue their purpose, the bodies are becoming more transparent and the Temple is opening to the public.

The campaign and the establishment of the Community Resource Center continue this trend, giving the entire community an opportunity to understand Masonry for what it really is – an organization that accepts good people and makes them better. Once the Center is created, and there is considerable interaction between the staff and volunteers of the tenant/partners and the Masonic bodies, we believe that exposure to Masonic ideals will lead to interest in membership.

On the other hand, as Masons are individually exposed to the missions of the tenant/partners, we believe this will lead to volunteer opportunities on behalf of the nonprofits. This synergy can only benefit both groups.

Not all Masons are located in the Salina Area. A significant number of members know their affiliation through local groups throughout Western Kansas. And all, at some point utilize the Temple for Masonic gatherings, rites and ceremonies. The processes of renovation and preservation will certainly improve the desire among Masons to come to Salina and utilize the facility for those events. In addition, the model of the Center is something that might apply to their own hometown- especially as it exhibits the symbiotic relationship between the bodies and the tenant/partners.

. . . .


For Nonprofit tenant/partner and other community groups who choose the temple as their new home, they will find spaces renovated to suit their needs. Essentially, nonprofits that choose to move into the Center will do so at no relocation expense. The funds being raised for the Center will include reasonable moving costs. In addition, their new home in the building will be renovated to suit their current and projected needs. There will be occupancy savings as well through shared expenses such as reception, phone systems, secure computer networks, accounting, a business center, and free or discounted access to other amenities being put in place to fulfill the functionality of the Center. And finally, the new residents will have lots of opportunities to engage the Masonic groups and individual members in volunteer activities – after all, Masonry is based in large measure on volunteer activity and support of community programming.

So what are these amenities that tenant/partners and others in the community can look forward to in the new Center?

• A state-of-the-art training/conference center.

• Seating up to 150 as a destination breakfast/lunch meeting venue. Adjacent to the dining room will be smaller, private dining/meeting rooms that can be reserved. The plan also envisions that this operation will offer employment opportunities for clients of nonprofits and/or college students to assist with tuition payments.

• Classrooms of varying sizes will be found throughout the building, to be used for everything from quilting to yoga to client counseling.;

• The auditorium, will be refurbished and opened to nonprofits and other community groups for catered fundraising and other events. The Foundation is also open to hosting health screenings and perhaps free health clinic days in this space.

• A special needs adaptive technology lab for challenged area students and adults. A staffed center will offer opportunities for users such as school districts to learn more about techniques, software and hardware to increase students access to mobility and learning. Adults will also find this laboratory a great resource for coping with challenges such as those needed to maintain independent living and new job skills.

• An additional aspect of the project is the community asset represented by our plans for the building to be used for emergency preparedness. We have significant square footage available for emergency shelter and disaster recovery. It helps that the Temple is located directly across the street from the Salina Regional Hospital. We have met with their Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Director of Hospital Facilities to explore how the temple can best fit with their plans, and will be meeting in April with the Area Preparedness Committee to see how we might best fit with those plans. We believe funds being designated for ADA compliance will also fortify our qualifications to serve the purposes of emergency preparedness.

• And finally, new staff will be retained to aggressively pursue programming opportunities to foster professional development for area nonprofits as well as coordinate arts programming with the Salina Arts Commission.

• There are other advantages resulting from the synergy of interaction between the nonprofit staffs and volunteers working and meeting in the building. While Salina’s charitable organizations generally serve different people with different programs, there are larger areas that affect their effectiveness and ability to meet human needs. Sometimes they are really confronting similar problems and opportunities, but seldom have the chance to visit with one another to talk about their experiences and ideas. By being in the same environment, whether over lunch in the dining room, or in the business center making copies, discussions about such issues can result creative approaches to solving things that confound us. It is this principle of “productive proximity” that is often found in research institutions resulting in new approaches to solving social and scientific dilemmas.

Further, activities beyond the creation of the Center, will be formulated in cooperation with the United Way and other stakeholders to meet problems and opportunities effecting the quality of life for our citizens. For example, there are a myriad of possibilities for community events and activities that could be scheduled at the Center –

• Dinner Theatre involving local colleges

• Local band/orchestra/choir performances

• Small venue concerts

• Political debates

• Current Topic-based discussion series." [end]

Blasterz wish them well.



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Benchmark Blasterz visited Salina Masonic Center -- Salina KS 3/15/2013 Benchmark Blasterz visited it

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