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story.lead_photo.caption The United Way of Greater Texarkana office building at 214 Spruce St. in the middle of a remodeling project, which is funded by grants. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

The United of Greater Texarkana office building is getting a little TLC.

Located at 214 Spruce St., Texarkana, Texas, the UW office needed work.

"We're remodeling my office and the middle of the building. There were two grants that allowed us to do this project," said Mark Bledsoe, United Way President/CEO. "We're taking out siding on the interior and replacing some ceiling tiles that were coming down. We're not out to build a new building, just remodeling and shoring up what we already have so more money can go to the United Way campaign. I try to do things with grants so we don't have to use money from the operating expenses."

The project, which includes new carpet, cost less than $9,000.

"It's really pretty inexpensive. We're doing it in phases. We did the front office last year. This year it's the middle and then next year we'll do the back conference area," he said.

"We want to spruce the place up a little bit."

The building where the United Way office is housed was built around 1925, in part using wooden boards left over from the railroads, Bledsoe said. "Those boards have so many nail holes. It's amazing they used materials from the railroad and built that house," Bledsoe said.

The house was dedicated to the United Way in 1965.

"We don't want to get a new location. We feel like where we're located is a good area to serve the population. We're not too far from Randy Sams' or Mission Texarkana. A lot of the non-profits we serve are really close so we're trying to stay in the downtown area," Bledsoe said. "This project will definitely help us. We want to have board meetings and Stuff the Bus meetings at our office but it has looked a little rough. We want folks to feel comfortable when they come in. We'll have a place we can be proud of."

The project is expected to be complete by June 7.

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