News Column

Former Legion building razed to make room for new Salvation Army

February 6, 2014

By Craig Haupert, Niles Daily Star, Mich.

Feb. 06--Major William Walters watched in amazement Wednesday as a front-end loader extended its bucket into the side of the former American Legion building on Miller Drive, knocking down a row of bricks.

In about a week, the building should be completely gone, clearing the way for the new home of the Salvation Army of Niles to be built.

"I think it is an exciting time for the community," said Walters, corps officer with the Salvation Army. "It will allow us to help the community better than we ever have."

The plan is to build a new 10,000-square-foot facility on the 4.3-acre property, located at the corner of South 17th and Miller streets in Niles.

Before that happens, Walters said they would need to raise a little more than $630,000 of the estimated $1 million it will cost to finish the project.

The Salvation Army has raised more than $200,000 for the project so far, leaving approximately $430,000 left to secure.

"I think we've been doing all right so far," Walters said.

Once the Salvation Army has raised two-thirds of the project cost, Walters said the national organization would allow them to take out a loan for the rest.

Walters said he hopes to begin construction in the spring.

"That's what we'd like to see happen, but it all depends on when we raise enough money," he said.

The Salvation Army currently resides in a church in the 400 block of North 15th Street. Walters said they outgrew the 6,500-square-foot building long ago.

The new structure, he said, would allow all programs to take place under one roof. Right now, the Salvation Army has to borrow space from others to make room for its many programs.

The Salvation Army purchased the former legion building in March.

Their current building remains for sale.

"If we sell it the money could be used for the new building," Walters said.

The demolition process of the former legion building began earlier this month.

Anyone interested in donating should contact Walters by phone at (616) 490-8591 or by email at


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Source: Niles Daily Star (MI)

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