In the bathroom, Sam laid a new tile floor with beautiful glass accent pieces. Just outside the door, a friend painted trees and a “Welcome” sign on the wall. One tree features a simple “S + L” message that harkens back to Sam and Lisa’s budding relationship in junior high.
Plans are being made to remake the exterior as well. In the spring Lisa wants to remove the asphalt behind the event center and replace it with pavement. A new privacy fence, wedding gardens and outdoor seating will make the exterior as lovely as the interior.
“There has been a great reception for having something on the north side of town,” she said. “Everybody wants to build on the south side. This is where I grew up and this is where I wanted to create a venue.”
After graduating from Anderson High School, Lisa left town, joined the Marines and traveled. Four years ago she found herself in Indianapolis longing for home.
“It was time for a life change,” she recalled. “I still had friends in Anderson and I wanted to raise my son in a small town. It was the best decision I ever made.”
After returning, she rekindled a relationship with her junior high school sweetheart, Sam. Together they remodeled the house he grew up in, which gave them some renovation experience to unleash on the Toscana Event Centre.
While the many changes have occurred quickly (since June), the road hasn’t been easy.
“We took our life savings and put it into this,” said Lisa. “I had a vision. I knew as soon as I walked in what I wanted it to look like. But it was so dilapidated that my friends and family couldn’t see it. That made it hard – they thought I made a mistake. When we were about a fourth of the way through this, Sam finally said: ‘I think you’re going to do this. It’s coming together.’'