Lawrence- Many want to know where the Salvation Army will go. The answer to that question lies at the corner of Lynne Street and Haskell Avenue. In 2004, the Salvation Army acquired a vacant piece of land to be the site of the new facility, but an upcoming change in leadership could make the road to construction a long one.
The wheels inside Wesley Dahlberg’s head began spinning about six weeks ago when officials with the Lawrence Arts Center approached him about buying the Salvation Army's building at the corner of 10th and New Hampshire. He began laying the foundation for a multimillion dollar fundraising effort to pay for the construction of a new facility in east Lawrence and then he got a phone call.
“They don't really tell you at that point where, just that you're going to move and you get about 4 weeks’ notice" says Dahlberg.
On the other line was Dahlberg’s superior officer, informing the seven year captain that he and his wife were being reassigned to Illinois. Now the task of raising more than $3 million falls to two newly trained officers set to arrive in Lawrence this week.
“I am very confident that we can raise the needed money to build the new facility, Dahlberg says. “They’ll get the support of our divisional headquarters staff, so they're not going to be in on it all alone, and they'll have somebody guiding them through that process.”
The Lawrence Salvation Army was built in1957, with an extension added on in the 1980s. Since acquiring the land in 2004, Dahlberg says it’s always been the organizations intention to move, and despite today's announcement that the city wants to purchase the building, Dahlberg says he doesn't anticipate moving anytime soon.
"We’ll have to be done with this building before we give up occupancy of it.” He says. “On the other hand that's not to say we won’t have made some sort of arrangement that the Lawrence Arts Center or the city will have first dibs on the building the property.”