S.O.S. Staff Director Jake Ooley told The Brazil Times the organization has pushed back submitting its application for the $500,000 Community Focus Fund Grant, through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), until February.
"It was suggested by our OCRA advisor that we hold off on submitting the grant application because we are waiting on the environmental study to be completed," Ooley said Saturday during the organization's open house at the school.
However, the extended wait is not stopping S.O.S. from moving toward its goal of turning the gym into a community center.
"Everything is still progressing as we are still planning on working on the roof in the spring," Ooley said. "Right now, every indication we have gotten so far is that we will be a very good candidate for the grant."
Included in the plans are converting the rooms surrounding the gym floor into classrooms, while the downstairs area will be used for arts/music classes, a computer lab and tutoring, as well as storage of supplies.
In addition, S.O.S. will be installing a commercial kitchen in the area near the snack shop in the gym for a summer meal program.
"There is still a lot of work that has to be done to get the building back in shape," Ooley told The Brazil Times. "But we will be continuing all our programs and services, and if the volunteer staffing is there, we hope to expand on them even further."
He added the grant will only cover renovations to the gymnasium portion of the building, but the organization would like to expand further into the interior of the school.
"There is a lot of potential for the building," Ooley said. "If there is future funding available, we would like to do more work so we can continue to help more and more children in the future."
For Chamberlain, her hope is that the community continues to show its support for S.O.S.
"It has been great to have the backing for this huge project so far," she said. "Every thing we can do to provide something for the children can benefit the community as a whole."
S.O.S. is also selling T-shirts for $15, with all of the proceeds going to support the renovation project.
To purchase a shirt, or for more information about Serving on the Streets, call 448-8700.