In spring 2018, local Girl Scout leaders had concerns they’d lose the historic Girl Scout House, which was built in 1940 and updated with a large porch in the 1970s.
The addition of the porch caused significant foundation problems over time, and the porch area — which had been converted into an indoor meeting space — needed restructuring. Other features, including the roof and walls, were in disrepair. Aggieland donors and businesses sprang into action, offering money, supplies and time to what was originally estimated to be a project costing upward of $290,000. Stylecraft Builders Inc. president Randy French pledged more than $145,000 toward the project last year, and many other supporters joined in until a large portion of the budget had been funded.
On Thursday, a snip of a large, green ribbon signified the beginning of a promising future as the newly restored house was unveiled to the public, allowing donors and supporters to see how much progress their charitable contributions have made, while reminding them there are still a few more steps to completion.
Dozens of Girl Scout troop members, troop leaders, volunteers and community supporters packed into the stone structure on Roundtree Drive. They munched on snacks, made crafts and learned about Girl Scout activities such as competitive robotics engineering. Visitors had the chance to walk through several newly restored rooms, including meeting spaces, a kitchen and an ADA-compliant bathroom.
“We still need new windows and insulation, and we have hopes for a deck,” said Ginny Ford, membership development executive with GSCTX. “But windows are our immediate concern, because the air conditioning is really being taxed.”
She noted that Girl Scouts leadership is still paying off $35,000 for the work done so far, and estimated 15 percent of the home’s renovations have yet to be completed. Regardless, both Girl Scouts and their leaders were excited to celebrate the progress their special spot had made. Troop meetings had already been held in the newly renovated home for about a month.
“The girls are very, genuinely excited,” said Lance Parr, GSCTX service team member and troop leader for Troop 9004. “They see the bright lighting and the beautiful view of the lake from new rooms. It’s warm and inviting, and they look forward to coming here now.”
Parr said his young daughter, a scout, likes coming to the house now. He said she saw it recently for first time, and initially was not sure what to expect. Once she opened the front door and a motion detector turned the lights on, her eyes lit up.
“She almost did somersaults coming in,” he said. “She saw the back rooms and was giddy with excitement. That sentiment has been expressed over and over by our girls”.
Claire Jungklaus, 12, and her little sister, 7-year-old Alice, attended the ribbon cutting with their mom, Rachel, who also leads their troop, Troop 9021.
“It’s definitely improved,” Claire Jungklaus said. “It’s like an upgrade.”
She added that she initially didn’t know that so many people wanted help out the Girl Scouts,
“It means someone has the Girl Scouts’ backs, which makes me smile.”
To help the Girl Scouts of Central Texas with remaining renovation costs, those interested may make donations by calling Ford at 800-733-0011 ext. 305. For more information, visit GSCTX.org.