About Us — Our History

Founding Board Members: Front Row (L-R) Harry LaToush, Dr. Phil Phar, Wallace Robinson III and Charles Berry. Back Row (L-R) Joy Cole, Deb Lawrence and Anne Lampe. (Not pictured Bill Walker)

The Scott County Indoor Arena & Activity Center was completed in the summer of 2000, but work to build the arena started many years before. Local people had talked about an indoor facility but nothing had materialized. In December 1996, Deb Lawrence started getting bids to see what an arena would cost. She talked to Bill Walker & Joy Cole about joining forces and trying to get one built. After much discussion and brainstorming, Joy and Deb began meeting with local groups, clubs and individuals to see if they could generate support for the project. They donated money and sent out letters to all residents in the county (with Carmen Miller helping address, stamp & fold letters) describing the project and asking for donations. Gradually, donations began coming in. The William Carpenter Foundation gave the project a huge boost when they pledged $50,000 with a time table for completion. After that boost, they began fundraising in earnest and began to prepare for the arena to be built.

A board was founded and the members donated start up cash for expenses. The original board members were:

Groundbreaking

Groundbreaking, March 6, 2000. Pictured: Anne Lampe, Pam Faurot, Wallace Robinson, Deb Lawrence, Harry LaToush, Joy Cole, Phil Phar, Stan Salmans, Neal Norman, Larry Huck, Jack Frick, Larry Dearden, Jim Minnix, Rex Grothusen and Kaye Harkness.

  • Joy Cole & Deb Lawrence Co-Chairwomen
  • Harry LaToush
  • Dr. Phil Phar
  • Wallace Robinson
  • Anne Lampe
  • Bill Walker (replaced by Charles Berry when Bill moved)
Volunteers

Volunteers. Standing: Brian Rowton, Dave Appel, Wally Robinson, Phil Phar, Harry LaToush, Mike Sauer, Garett Lampe, Jamie Buhrle. Kneeling: Jess Cole, Shorty Lawrence, Charles Berry, Clayton Lampe, Mark Lampe. On stairs from top: Joy Cole, Sherrie Berry, Dakota Lawrence, Anne Lampe and Deb Lawrence.

The County Commissioners pledged the ground for the building at the Scott County Fairgrounds, and it was agreed that when the project was completed, ownership would be transferred to Scott County. County Commissioners Jack Frick, Stan Salmans and Jim Minnix were a huge help to the committee.

The community supported the project whole heartedly and donations started flowing in! The Scott County Record and News Chronicle provided extensive advertising. Groups held fundraisers to benefit the arena. When donations started slowing down and the project was in need of a final boost, the William Carpenter Board once again came through with an additional $25,000. In all, total donations topped $230,000. A complete list of the original donors is listed on the east wall of the arena meeting room. We are extremely grateful for their generosity.

Bids were opened with Donald Biehl Construction of Bellevue, Texas chosen to construct the building. Ground was broken on March 6, 2000. Jim Minnix said at the ground breaking ceremony, “Scott County can be proud of the facility, built by the people and businesses. This project shows what a community can do when we all work together.” The county, under the direction of Rich Cramer, prepared the site for construction. Once the building was up, Dave Appel, a local contractor, agreed to work with local volunteers to construct rooms inside the building for free. Dave, Shorty Lawrence and Brian Rowton started the frame work for restrooms, a meeting room and a kitchen. Dave and Shorty continued working nights and weekends throughout the summer with a group of local volunteers. People donating many weeks (and a few their entire summers) were: 

  • Dave Appel
  • Wallace Robinson
  • Charles and Sherry Berry
  • Mark, Anne, Clayton and Garrett Lampe
  • Jess and Joy Cole
  • Mike Sowers
  • Brian Rowton
  • Jamie Buhrle
  • Harry LaToush
  • Dr. Phil Phar
  • Shorty, Deb and Dakota Lawrence
Workers
Many attended the branding party at the conclusion of the summer to break in the new indoor arena.
Branding
Workers dedicating most of their summer pictured above left: (L-R) Shorty Lawrence, Wally Robinson, Jess Cole and Dave Appel.

There were many other people who stopped and helped during the summer, and although we don't have a full list, their work was greatly appreciated! Harry LaToush traveled to Oklahoma to tour different arenas and spent the summer overseeing the construction of the arena. Harry and Dr. Phil Phar did the extensive ground work for the arena. Wally Robinson worked with the local contractors and with the Lampe boys installing bathroom stalls, meeting room windows, etc. Ray Griswold of Barber Sheet Metal donated the central heat and air for the finished rooms and L&L Carpeting donated the tile and carpeting. Work continued for several months with a wide host of helpers. Kevin Davis' FFA classes refurbished the old bleachers (donated by Scott Rec) that had previously been used at the Ball Fields. The FFA classes sanded, stained and rebuilt all the bleachers and Wally Robinson moved all the bleachers with his tractor. Security State Bank donated money to build the two crows nests and the pipe perimeter fence. The pipe cattle pens and runs north of the building were donated by the Hap Silvey family in his memory. The local roping club members donated money and welded the fence south of the arena. Wally Robinson planted grass inside the south fence (donated by Sharp Brothers Seed) so children would have a safe place to play while at the Fair Grounds.   

Joy and Deb were presented with the “Scott County 2000 Volunteers of the Year” for their work to make the arena a reality. 

The building stands as a testament to the generosity and support of all the people who donated money or labor towards its completion. The building was built to give the people of Scott County and surrounding areas a place which they could use year round. It was also built with the intention of bringing people to our community, which would in turn help the local economy. Joy and Deb said, "When we started this project, cattle and crop prices were both depressed, yet the community continued to open up their hearts and their wallets. The community built this activity center and we want the community to use it!"

The stall barn and enclosed addition to the north were added in 2007. The addition provides cover for livestock and competitors during inclement weather and the stall barn has made it possible to have large events year round. Harry LaToush was a major contributor for the stall barn, along with Art Huseman and the Charles Duff family, who provided the stalls for the barn.