LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $6,000 grant for renovations at Carmine Hall
Decades-old restroom is being expanded, remodeled
Dec. 6, 2021
CARMINE, Texas – Carmine Hall, a longtime community gathering spot in Fayette County, is renovating its cramped, outdated women’s restroom thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $6,010, will pay for three new restroom stalls, including one that’s handicapped-accessible, new flooring and fixtures, and a new vanity and inset sinks.
“It’s been long overdue,” said Stuart Markwardt, president of Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein, the non-profit social organization that operates the hall. “We’re basically bringing it up to code.”
Founded in the early 1900s as a theater club, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein was an outdoor shooting club before Carmine Hall became a popular dance hall. The facility, which can seat about 700, is a popular spot for weddings, school and civic banquets, family reunions, and various local fundraisers.
“It’s the only large-scale facility in Carmine,” Markwardt said. “We’re trying to keep it open so the community has a place to fellowship. Somebody told me many years ago that if a community loses its church, its school and its place to fellowship, it’s going to die. So, we’re trying to hang onto Carmine Hall.”
Markwardt said his group started discussing plans to upgrade the women’s restroom at the hall some time ago because the restroom was roughly 30 years old, with its fixtures, sinks and paint in disrepair. With the remodel underway, the hall’s members are looking ahead now.
“We’ve been talking about what to do to get more events here,” Markwardt said. “We were looking at ways we could draw people in here, and we thought that was a good place to start – fixing the ladies’ restroom. We’re very appreciative of this grant.”
The community grant is one of 32 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.
About Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 114,000 meters and owns and maintains 12,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to bluebonnet.coop and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.
LCRA: Clara Tuma
Bluebonnet: Will Holford