Fresno County veterans to get new building for community events

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- After years of talking about it, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 73-80 of Firebaugh are getting a new facility.

City leaders recently secured a Community Development grant to tear down the old building and begin construction in the coming weeks.

The veterans will soon have a new building to gather and host community events.

"Now that the word's out everyone is getting excited about it," said post commander Yogi Rodriguez.

At one time the VFW hall was just about the main spot where people gathered in Firebaugh.

But it's become outdated and is now deteriorating. It was built by World War II veterans in the 1950s.

Over the years the building has hosted everything from weddings to bingo fundraisers but started to rack up expenses in recent times.

After an upgrade, the new 5,800 square building will have a conference room, central heating and air along with a veteran memorial out front.

City leaders secured the funding for the $2.5 million project with grant money.

The town of Firebaugh owns the building and plans to open the bidding process in the coming weeks with the hope of having construction completed by the end of the year.

Rodriguez is looking forward to the new building but says the walls hold a whole lot of memories.

He remembers coming here as a kid and then later as a teenager for dances.

"For anybody that's lived here for any length of time, they hate to see it go down," he said.

Demolition on the old building is expected to take place sometime in February.
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