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Dutch Flat community in race against time to repair roof on historic community center

Race underway to repair roof of Dutch Flat Community Center in Placer County
Race underway to repair roof of Dutch Flat Community Center in Placer County 02:47

DUTCH FLAT -- A Placer County community hopes to rally support to repair a landmark community center with the help of their neighbors close and far. 

The Dutch Flat Community Center is a staple that has been part of the fabric of the community since the 1800s. The building's grounds once had a single-story, one-room school built around 1859, according to the Dutch Flat Community Club. Another iteration of a school on this site came in 1875 when a two-story schoolhouse was built. 

"The building reflected not only the prosperity of Dutch Flat, but the town's commitment to its children, their education and the future," the Dutch Flat website describes as part of their history. 

After last winter's storms, the 60-year-old roof was damaged due to 8 feet of snow over the course of the season. The roof is metal and there are parts where daylight shines through that are on the verge of potentially caving in. 

Now, the community is rallying to fundraise to repair the metal roof and keep the landmark standing. 

"This is where people congregate in our community. Without it, we have nothing," said Laura Glassco, president of the Dutch Flat Community Center. 

Glassco showed CBS13 around the center which includes the original floors, original windows, and other original features inside. The original classroom and gymnasium have been transformed into community gathering spaces. On the second floor, there is a larger conference room. 

Glassco pointed up the stairs to the white-painted walls that on one side appeared to be buckling. "It's from the rain," said Glassco, noting that last winter's historic storms caused water to leak into the building. 

"There are some buckets up there holding water in the attic from rain. It's about time. If we don't do it this year, we could lose the building," said Glassco. 

The concern of losing the history and the regularly used meeting space, which includes outdoor sports and meeting spaces, is the reason behind a newly started fundraising campaign to pay for the roof repairs. The cost to repair, not replace, is $25,000. The number goes up, Glassco said, when the walls and needed improvements due to weather damage are included. 

Dutch Flat's population, according to recent census data, is under 200 people. The small, tight-knit community hopes that by sharing their landmark's story -- with past visitors, regular guests, or strangers -- they may get the donations necessary to make the repairs. 

"The building's really an embrace for the children." said Glassco. 

Information on the Dutch Flat Community Center, a nonprofit, can be found online.

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