Moose Lodge on the moveRenovations to Superior Moose Lodge 606 are nearly complete. Thursday, light fixtures and ceramic tile were being installed. Fifteen doors had just arrived, speakers were in place and a stuffed moose head kept on eye on the work from its new perch overlooking a blond pine bar.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Renovations to Superior Moose Lodge 606 are nearly complete. Thursday, light fixtures and ceramic tile were being installed. Fifteen doors had just arrived, speakers were in place and a stuffed moose head kept on eye on the work from its new perch overlooking a blond pine bar.
“It’s absolutely, totally different,” said Ken Grimes, a trustee with the lodge board of directors, during a walk through the structure Thursday.
A fire on Sept. 16, 2010, caused by a malfunctioning cooler, gutted the social quarters section of the lodge and left smoke and water damage throughout the structure. Although lodge officials hoped to have the building back in service shortly, it took a year to obtain money from the insurance company for the approximately $700,000 project. Lodge member John Wicklein, who worked in insurance claims for 10 years, was key in working with the insurance company.
“John knew the policy better than they did,” said Greg Yetter, project manager with J.R. Jensen, contractor for the renovations.
Wicklein said the rebuilding of the lodge was a team effort, with members volunteering every step of the way.
“It took everybody to do this,” he said.
J.R. Jensen began work on the structure in December. The building was stripped down to just the brick walls and built up again with energy efficiency in mind. The lodge has a new roof, sprinkler system, foam insulation throughout the structure, a high-tech air system and updated kitchen. The vaulted ceilings in both the social quarters and main hall give the building a sense of spaciousness. A new main entryway was built along the structure’s south side. The 8-foot addition also houses bathrooms for the lodge.
Even before work started on the structure, the community rallied to support the Moose Lodge.
Both the Superior Elks and Belgian clubs opened their doors to lodge members after the blaze.
“We didn’t miss a beat with bingo,” said Treasurer Mike Nevin. It took place at the Belgian Club the day after the fire. The Belgian Club also houses meetings for the ladies of the Moose. The Elks Club hosts men’s meetings.
“The Elks has been very good to us, very good,” Grimes said.
“We’ve had breakfasts there, fundraisers,” said Moose Lodge Administrator Duane Carlson. “They don’t charge us anything.”
Zion Lutheran Church, too, has provided space for monthly meetings of the Moose senior club, which boasts nearly 60 members.
“It’s amazing they kept the lodge together this whole time,” Wicklein said. Now it’s time for them to come home.
The Moose Lodge is poised to reopen by the end of May, with a celebration slated for the organization’s nearly 500 members on June 16. An event for the public is planned for Sept. 15.
J.R. Jensen is the contractor for the renovation, which was designed by architect Bill Moser. Other local businesses that have had a hand in rebuilding the lodge include Benson Electric, AG O’Brien Plumbing & Heating, Contract Tile, painting by Swanson & Youngdale and Sorbie Acoustics, who did ceiling work.