Boy, Girl Scout building renovations underway

Alex Gladden
Fort Smith Times Record

The people of Paris have rallied together to update the buildings that the Boy and Girl Scouts use. 

At the Boy Scout building, which is known as the Hut, scout leaders have been able to add three heat and air conditioning units, said Tommy Johns, one of the troop's adult leaders. 

The Boy Scouts are also in the process of replacing the building's ceiling tiles. The scouts were able to get some used ceiling tiles from Arcbest, where Brian Stengle, another one of the adult troop leaders, works, Johns said. 

Jaxon Perreault, 16, replaces a ceiling tile in the Boy Scout Hut.

The Logan County Leadership Group has taken it upon itself to renovate the Pinewood Girl Scout Hut. 

Thus far, volunteers have painted the building and removed old cabinets, water heaters, flooring and window units, said Tonya Fletcher, who leads the organization and serves as the executive director for the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It was in such need of repairs," Fletcher said. 

Fletcher said that the group is about halfway through the remodel. The next steps will include putting in new windows, flooring and an air conditioning unit. 

Members of the Logan County Leadership Group are accepting donations to renovate the Pinewood Girl Scout Hut, where the Girl Scouts meet.

She estimated that by the end of June, the renovation will be complete. 

Johns said that the Boy Scouts are also looking into doing additional updates. Eventually, he would like to replace the Hut's roof, which has some drainage issues. 

“The roof is something we wanted to take a harder look at," Johns said. 

Johns estimated that it would cost about $20,000 to replace the roof and to do some electrical repair work. 

The Boy Scouts are also considering replacing the entire ceiling to restore it back to its former glory. Johns said he thinks that renovation would cost approximately $50,000. 

The repairs to the Girl Scout building have been made almost entirely through donations and volunteer work. 

“It’s been phenomenal to see how many people have come together to donate their time, money or supplies," Fletcher said. 

The Girl Scout Hut was built in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It was originally built as a place for Girl Scouts to meet, said Karalea Wells, who is a co-leader of the Paris Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts have been back in the building for about a year. The Girl Scouts have gone through phases where they were not as active in Paris, Wells said.

But for the last three years, the Girl Scouts have started meeting as a group again. Now the scouts have three troops and about 40 members.

The Paris Girl Scouts are seeking donations to renovate their building.

The Boy Scouts started using their Hut in 2015, and since the scouts have had a permanent home, the troop has grown to 22 active scouts, Johns said. 

“We feel like the hut, the aesthetics of the Hut, fits the flavor of the scouts," Johns said. 

The troop is able to camp on the grounds surrounding the Hut and play in the nearby creek. 

“The main thing is the scouts have a home, so we feel like we belong here," said Brian Stengel, one of the troop's adult leaders. 

Jaxon Perreault, the scout's troop leader, said the Hut allows the boys to social distance during meetings. Perreault, 16, said he enjoys using the Hut.