Grange Hall: Local organizations banded together several years ago to start the process of getting the Grange back as the center of community life.
Photo courtesy of Adrienne West/The Connection
A town hall meeting was held by the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) on Sept. 18 to approve the upcoming budget and hear a presentation from the Great Falls Grange Foundation on the management of the Grange complex.
Used by the community since 1929 for meetings and social gatherings, Grange Hall was sold to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 1981, when the cost of upkeep and compliance became too much. The complex includes the Grange Hall, the Forestville Schoolhouse, the Pavilion, and related grounds and parking areas. It does not include the playground, picnic pavilion or sports fields.
Local organizations banded together several years ago to start the process of getting the Grange back and formed the Great Falls Grange Foundation. Eric Knudsen, the immediate past president of the Great Falls Citizens Association and an executive board member, is the liaison to the Great Falls Grange Foundation. He led the discussion on the Grange by covering detailed PowerPoint slides and answering questions from the 33 residents in attendance.
One of the biggest concerns is the need for upgrading Grange Hall so it will attract more renters, therefore bringing in revenue to pay for maintenance and improvements. Ultimately it is where free events for residents will take place, but the revenue from catered events such as birthday parties and small weddings will ensure the success of this facility. Landscaping, Wi-Fi, and a new air conditioning system are at the forefront of GFGF’s to-do list. The GFGF will meet with Dranesville District supervisor Foust to further discuss the agreement for management and is still hoping for turnover in early 2019.
Residents are asked to contact the Grange Foundation with their ideas on how the complex might be used and on improvements to the property that would ensure its use as “the heart of the village” while maintaining its historic character.
To learn more and get involved, please go to https://gfca.org/.