GREAT BEND, Kansas – Last year, the dining hall at Camp Aldrich burned down, leaving Camp Hope, which is for kids battling cancer, without a home. Barton Community College let Camp Hope use their campus last summer and is now in the process of rebuilding with some changes.
“There’s no fire pit or fire place anymore, they had to make sure it just wouldn’t burn. It’s going to be built out of concrete and steel,” said Brandon Steinert with Barton Community College.
The new building is designed to be extra-fire resistant.
Officials with camp hope are exited to get back and say: “We are thrilled that the dining hall is being rebuilt and we are looking forward to returning to Camp Aldrich in June 2016. Thank you Barton Community College for allowing us to hold Camp Hope on their campus in 2014 and again this year.”
“It’s a wonderful partnership and it’s obviously a good thing for those kids who are dealing with a pretty tough situation,” said Steinert.
Kans for Kids, which organizes Camp Hope, donated three-hundred thousand dollars in tax credits to rebuilding the new dining facility and to include items on their wishlist such as making the dining hall bigger than it was originally. The main floor will be twenty-five percent bigger and the basement will be twice as big.
The foundation is being laid for the new building and officials with Barton Community College and Camp Hope say they are looking forward to the next camp to begin.
“We’re doing it again this year and hopefully next year, April, we’ll hopefully open it up to the community and then they’ll be able to use it next summer,” said Steinert.
Barton Community College hopes to have Camp Aldrich reopened by April of next year.