The roof was completed and the building closed in between November and December 1961. In 1962, the floors were poured and a drywell septic system installed. The first official community meeting was held in the building on May 19, 1962; however, the building was far from finished!
From 1962 into 1963, the preliminary heating system was installed and the septic system was connected to the building, but lack of funds halted additional construction (heating, electrical, and the complete kitchen) into 1963. In 1963 a well permit application was submitted, approved and the well was installed. By 1964, the association realized that the building would need long-term maintenance and a Building Trustees group was organized to manage and maintain the building. In that year they managed to finish installing the insulation in the ceiling and in 1965 they finally installed the decorative trim.
In February 1966, a $3000 addition was proposed for additional storage of community related items, but lack of funds and a loss of interest in the idea postponed the idea. Eventually, the idea resurfaced and alternate ideas were floated for an auxiliary building to be used for storage; however, the only action taken was to begin setting aside money for the project. Finally, it wasn't until 1971 that a 12x24 foot metal storage building with electrical hookup was added on a poured concrete slab behind the association building. In that same year, full-length screens were added to the windows, land grading was completed, gutters were added, and concrete sidewalks were completed from the doors to the road and leading to the parking lot.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first four ACA meetings, including the election of the very first board members of our "civic" association were held on Beach One in 1955.
1955: A YEAR IN THE LIFE
In 1969, Arden Town Hall was officially dedicated to Russell F. Smith of the Jarrell family (still an Arden family). Russell was the only resident of Arden that died serving his country in the Vietnam War.
In 1975, on or around July 21, someone broke into Town Hall through a window, removed articles of little value and then set the drapes and the American flag on fire. The only reason the entire building didn't ignite is that volunteers had just finished applying a fire retardant so only the ceiling, wall, and floor was scorched. Through volunteer efforts the damage was repaired and the ACA Board held a series of meetings that included ideas on how to better secure the building to prevent the same damage from in the future. Ultimately, it was decided to completely enclose the front of the building with corduroy sandstone, block-up the side windows and side door. It was also decided to enclose the furnace room and bathroom windows, add ventilation and install an air conditioner.
Since that time, many adjustments have been made to the building. To further secure the building, the outer doors were replaced by steel doors with crash bars. Illuminated exit signs were added inside. Bathroom renovations were completed, kitchen renovations were completed, the front doors were replaced, fences around the building were added, signage was added, the parking lot was paved and a garden was planted in the parking lot along the road.
In over 50 years, this little building has seen a lot of history. Now it's up to the residents of Arden On The Severn to make sure the next 50 years show it even more.