The Crookston Eagles Club is currently renovating its banquet hall.  General Manager Jake Fee said phase one includes a safer, squared-off stage, some stonework, and backlighting.  “Right now, we’re working on phase one,” said Fee.  “Phase one is squaring off the closets, redoing the stage which had a curve to it.  So, anytime we had any additional staging to it, it wouldn’t square up very good.  We extended it just a little bit, and, on the back, we had some really bad drywall, plaster type of thing, and it didn’t look very good.  So, we completely gutted it down.  We shared a picture on Facebook with the exposed brick, and everybody kind of blew up on that. But unfortunately, with exposed brick, there is a lot of problems because it’s an exterior wall with moisture issues and deteriorating over time.  It was going to cause more headaches then not.  We are adding a stone brick look to (the stage), that’s on the bottom, the edges, and the middle.  Then, we’ll have some backlighting as well.”

In phase two, the club hopes to replace the wood floor and walls, according to Fee. “Phase two, as soon as we get approval, we’ll be replacing our older hardwood floor that has been here for 50-plus years,” said Fee.  “It’s at that time where its no longer able to be sanded down and repaired anymore.  We’re going to replace it, most likely with maple, but we’re still working through that on quotes.  Also tearing out the walls and getting rid of all the old drywall, plaster.  They get beat up over time, and you can only put on so many coats of paint to try to make it look better.  So, repair that, replace some of the pillars and do a brick, stone look as well.  Basically, at the end of the day, our banquet hall will be all-new from scratch when it’s said and done.”

Fee said the club would also like to replace the exterior windows looking out over Broadway.  “They’re not very energy efficient, not very pleasing to look at, and they’re quite frankly, beyond their use,” said Fee.  “So, it’s one of those to be proactive and try to get a nicer, fresher look to the building.  And in the front, it’s kind of mixed and matched (windows) as you go along our quarter city block. Each area is kind of different, so we’re going to give it a uniform look in the front, add a little siding, and create more of a pleasant aesthetics outside as well.”

The Eagles Club plans to apply for grant funds from the City of Crookston Small Cities Development Fund, which Fee says the club will need if they want to replace the windows now.  “We’re going to apply for the Small Cities re-program dollars,” said Fee.  “It’s money that has come back after it’s been in use. The city can use it for whatever they deem necessary, and this is holding to what those funds are deemed for, to uplift the look of downtown Crookston.  It seems to be a good fit for those funds to use and will help us to repair that.  Without those funds, it probably won’t happen anytime soon for us. So, it’s important if we can get those grant dollars and try to get a nicer look for downtown Crookston.”

According to Fee, the Eagles Club has put over $250,000 into renovations of their facility but that many of those projects weren’t visible to its patrons.  A renovated banquet hall will be a noticeable change to one of the club’s main revenue streams said, Fee. “Over the last ten years, we’ve put large investments into the club,” said Fee.  “Over a quarter of a million dollars, unfortunately, most of them haven’t been noticeable.  There was a roof, and a major remodel of the kitchen, which was gutted and rebuilt from scratch, then also a hooded Ansul system.  Those were kind of the bigger projects and then you’ve got carpet and HVAC upgrades over that time as well.  But those aren’t noticeable, so this is our chance to put a nice splash into something noticeable for one of our main revenue streams, our banquet hall.”