The American Legion Post 23 is leaving its downtown headquarters.

The American Legion Post 23 is leaving its downtown headquarters.

"We are turning the building over to the bank," Post Commander Keith Melick said.

He said the building is not in foreclosure, but this move will mean post officials won't have to worry about raising the money to sustain the building, which is located at 418 Cherokee St.

"We'll be able to do the functions of the American Legion freely," Melick said.

These functions include things such as education programs.

With mortgage payments and utilities, the post was spending about $3,000 per month on the building.

He said people haven't been renting the facility, which would have provided income for the post.

He said all non-profit organizations are experiencing challenging financial times.

Melick said the post isn't going away.

"We'll just be having meetings elsewhere," he said.

The location for next month's meeting will be announced through a newsletter.

The Byron H. Mehl American Legion Post 23, which was established in 1919, moved into the building at 418 Cherokee St. in 2003, according to a history of the post previously provided by Melick.

The building had been put up for sale by the post, but Melick said no one purchased it.

He said the post is planning an auction at the building for 10:30 a.m. Saturday. He said almost everything in the building will be up for auction including tables, chairs and a safe. Some items related to post, such as photographs, won't be sold.

The building probably will be turned over to the bank next week. Melick said Country Club Bank holds the mortgage on the building.

Melick said he doesn't know yet what location in town the post of more than 500 members eventually will call its home.

"We're calling it a new beginning," he said.

He said more than a quarter of American Legion posts in the state don't have their own buildings. In some places, posts share buildings with other organizations.

Post 23 is one of two American Legion posts based in Leavenworth.