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Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 6:13pm
EL PASO (U.S. ARMY) — El Paso’s Historic Magoffin Hall was originally built as a church in 1906. For the next 49 years it hosted the First Baptist Church of El Paso. The building was turned into a community center in 1955 and operated as such until 2009. It then sat vacant for more than two years. Chuy Terrazas took over management of the building in 2012 and is now restoring it, with a little help from the “Ready First” Brigade.
“I really appreciate all the hard work these guys – and girls – have put into this project,” he said. “The Soldiers have really been a huge help in getting this place up and running and usable for the community again.”
Continuing the work begun by Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company work crew painted the back and side walls of the structure as high as tables, rollers, and shed roofs would allow, June 28.
“I would say reaching was probably the hardest part of the day,” said Spc. Katheryn Brown, one of the volunteers from HHC, 1st BCT, 1st AD. “The heat wasn’t unbearable, it was kind of cloudy, but reaching was a challenge.”
Once the Soldiers could reach no higher, they moved to the shade of the front porch and the finicky work of applying a fresh enamel coat to the wrought-iron railings and window bars. The day’s end saw them covered with paint smears and splatters, but feeling accomplished.
Brown said it was good to get to help out. “The community gives to us, so we should give back to them. I’m glad we got the chance to do this, because it lets the community see us as more than just Soldiers. We’re part of this city, too.”
“I’ve come to really value connecting, and seeing people come together to work on the restoration. This project will impact families for generations, this building already has,” said Terrazas. “True success isn’t about money or owning ‘stuff,’ it’s the connections we build with others and people coming together. To me, that’s what this project is all about.”