Hazard Shade Pavilion Renovation

August 6, 2018

What do you get when you combine a need for more shade, an outdated dormitory, a generous community of supporters, and several hardworking mission teams? The much needed and greatly anticipated Hazard Family Pavilion at Palmer Home for Children.

In 1964 the Hazard family saw a need to build an emergency men’s dormitory on the Columbus campus at Palmer Home. The Hazard Dormitory served its original purpose for several years, but in recent years it was utilized less and less due to the cottage family lifestyle. Meanwhile, many trees were lost due to storms and tornadoes over the years creating a shortage of shady places for children to seek refuge from the intense summer sun. In the spring of 2018, it was decided that the Hazard Dormitory would undergo a major remodel in order to be repurposed into a pavilion.

Palmer Home approached the Hazard family and told them of the remodel plans for the dormitory and the family was excited to support the project. Word about the renovation also spread locally and the community donated with their time and resources.

With Tom Green, Director of Facilities and Operations, at the helm, things began to fall into place. In addition to overseeing the upkeep and maintenance of facilities and landscaping on campus, Tom oversees all of the mission teams that volunteer at Palmer Home for Children throughout the year, usually somewhere between 25 to 35 teams per year. Mission teams range from high school and college age students to multigenerational church groups to retired people with carpentry, plumbing and painting skills. Mission trips to Palmer Home offer great experiences for youth looking toward the future with specific vocations skills in mind.

“Everything is a teachable moment at Palmer Home,” Tom said. “If we’re not teaching, we’re not doing our job. We are teaching our residents and visiting mission team youth to ‘fish’; how to feed their families with the skills and training they receive here.”

Mission trips to Palmer Home also offer an exciting and eye-opening experience for anyone considering going into ministry or the mission field.

Mission teams and residents of Palmer Home certainly learned and utilized practical life skills during the renovation of the Hazard Family Pavilion. Teams visiting between March and June helped turn the vision of the pavilion into a reality.  Mission teams and residents helped with demolition, framing, sanding floors, painting, plumbing and landscaping. A local team from Fairview Baptist Church joyfully served by taking down bricks and cinder block from the old dormitory and loading them into trucks that construction companies donated for trash removal. Palmer Home hired outside electrical and mechanical teams for jobs that required professional work.

“There are no shortcuts when it comes to a faith-based ministry,” Tom said. “ “The colors have dimension and demonstrate a spirit of caring.”

With its open front and rebuilt fireplace flanked with permanently mounted furniture, the Hazard Family Pavilion is now one of the coolest spots on campus. Along with picnic tables and oscillating fans, LED lights, a fully-equipped handicap accessible bathroom, and a big screen TV, residents and visiting mission teams find shelter from the sun and engage in fun, relationship-building activities. Tom envisions people gathered inside the Hazard Family Pavilion for movie nights and football games.

What once stood out as a commercial style building among the quaint and charming cottages now blends in beautifully with its own sense of welcome and charm.

The renovation of the Hazard Family Pavilion is part of the bigger vision and mission of Palmer Home for Children.

“It’s really all about God and people who care about children. It’s about taking children who have been abandoned and rescuing and restoring them into viable citizens who love the Lord. It’s about teaching them how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our world today.”

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