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Renovated community center revives Paradox

PARADOX As dozens of Paradox residents congratulated Pauline Fuller on her 90th birthday, R. Peter Clarke had a look of satisfaction.

We started out to reconstruct this building, Clarke said, and by doing so we reconstructed the community.

Fullers birthday party was held in the newly-renovated Paradox Community Center, located on Letsonville Road in the town of Schroon hamlet of Paradox.

The Paradox Community Center was constructed in 1825 as the Paradox school. About 50 students a year attended the school until the Schroon Lake Central School District was organized in 1937, Clarke explained.

That year the building was deeded to the non-for-profit Paradox Community Center Association. It was used for community activities such as weekly square dances, family reunions, boat safety classes, gymnastics classes and as an art studio through the 1980s, Clarke said.

In 1946 I met my wife here, Clarke said. I was 13 or 14 at a square dance. It was a summer romance and we celebrated our 45th anniversary this year.

The building still had the original black board from its days as a school. But it also had problems.

In 2004 the Paradox Community Center Association began a campaign to save and restore the building. The group received more than $20,000 in donations and grants and today the center has been restored.

It now has a new kitchen and a meeting room, which still houses the original black board. The foundation has been replaced, sagging walls have been straightened, the roof repaired, new electrical service installed and more.

The Paradox Community Center has already hosted a concert by Adirondack Harpist Martha Gallagher thus summer and on Aug. 22 it hosted a lecture by Steve Engelhart on Bridges of the Adirondacks.

We would like to have a couple of community events each summer, Clarke said. Basically, the building is a community center and is open to any dues-paying member of the community.

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