Shawn Blank of Ollier Masonry tuckpoints an exterior wall at the Clearinghouse building on Wednesday.
Shawn Blank of Ollier Masonry tuckpoints an exterior wall at the Clearinghouse building on Wednesday.
Crews are making headway on the food pantry in the 3,200-square-foot Clearinghouse, though the prolonged winter weather has slowed work on the exterior of the building.

The food pantry in the lower level of the building - at 100 E. Second St. - will serve Clearinghouse patrons from several counties in southeastern Indiana.

For the entire renovation project of the two-story former auto parts building, the Clearinghouse Steering Committee has raised more than $2 million in grants and pledges.

Once completed, the building will serve as a centralized location for charities, nonprofits and faith-based services, with the anchor tenant being WorkOne.

Maxwell Construction of Greensdale, Ind., was awarded a bid earlier this year for the second phase of work at $403,600. Molly Dodge, Clearinghouse project director, said because the bid came in lower than expected, organizers were able to add alternates to the project phase.

"If we had just focused on the food pantry, we would be finished in April, but because we were blessed to have these alternates, it's looking more like May," Dodge said.

During the second phase of renovations, additional improvements include fire protection, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems for the food pantry area.

The alternates include window repair and restoration, demolition of unnecessary lower level components and exterior painting of the south end of the building.

Dodge said the contractor has been focusing on brick work and restoring the windows, but cooler weather condition have slowed the process.

"We can't paint because it has to be above 40 degrees," Dodge said.

The second phase of renovations is being funded by a $500,000 grant to River Valley Resources from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. A $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will be used to purchase equipment for the food pantry.

The third and final phase of the project will focus on renovations to the first floor of the building to accommodate interior offices for tenants.