In the heart of Helix

The historic Helix City Hall building got its start as a schoolhouse back in the 1900s. Sometime before 1955, the school sold the building to the city for just $1. It eventually became home to the library, city hall and a single-room historical museum jam-packed with relics of centuries past. The building is currently under renovation.

A big shout out to all the individuals involved in the effort to restore the Helix City Hall.

The small, but mighty, nonprofit Helix Advancement Partnership Network kicked off restoration work on the building in September and their effort should be lauded.

The project is one of those rare feel-good ventures the community, the state and the nation need a whole lot more of.

The network, founded in 2004, will be able to move forward on the project because of help and donations from area residents. The renovation work will include new insulation and wiring along with a host of other much-needed upgrades.

The best part of the whole project is that it is a grassroots project, developed to preserve a piece of local history.

Spearheaded by former Helix Mayor Jack Bascome — who is also the president of the partnership network — the goals of the project are as about as straightforward and worthy as any local effort in a long time.

As a society we tend to abandon the past and its relics fast. Americans are, after all, a forward-looking nation. We constantly look toward the horizon and sometimes don’t give the past and its lessons much thought.

The Helix project is one that will, hopefully, carve out a little bit of the past for all to see. The building is already steeped in history tied to a small county town that was once a bustling township.

Grassroots projects are so important because they show that we have area residents who care about making a difference and go out and get involved. Getting involved isn’t as easy as one would think, and anytime anyone can step up and get a project like the Helix venture off the ground, it reflects well on all of us.

Another good thing about the effort in Helix is that it illustrates what a group of like-minded individuals can do. Determination and commitment can take a person — or a community — a long way.

We focus a great deal on all that is wrong in our country, state, county and communities. We should never shrink from pointing out how our politicians and policymakers could do things better. But we also owe it to those who find a way to make a difference to highlight their work.

Without them, we would not be a strong community.

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