Funding shortfalls slow progress on Schoolhouse

Verlean McCoy

Progress continues on the restoration of Creswell’s old schoolhouse, but some projects may be delayed due to funding shortfalls. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused redirection of grant funds that might have been available for historic restoration to more pressing community needs. The Creswell Heritage Foundation (CHF) had two projects slated for this summer and fall.

First, we plan to replace the roof on the back room. This room was originally a shell used as a woodshed. In 2000 it was finished out by volunteers for use as storage space. Eventually the room will house a new ADA-compliant bathroom. First, it needs a new roof. We have architect plans and funds for the materials for this project, but CHF will be relying on volunteer labor. We are currently seeking volunteers with construction experience who could help for a day or two in June or July.

Second, we planned to replace the siding on the south side and repair other siding as needed. The new siding will be milled to match the north side, which is believed to be original. Along with this are eave and trim features to be repaired or replaced. This project is now jeopardized. We are exploring alternate funding options that might make it possible to complete this, or part of it, in the fall. If unsuccessful, the old schoolhouse will sit another year or more with its south side covered by fabric. We are grateful to Jerry’s Home Improvement for donating the fabric in 2018 that has lasted for two years already.

Window restoration is part of this project. CHF has raised $9,325 for window restoration by offering window sponsorships. Two of the windows on the north side have already been restored and the third is in process. The windows are being done by Willamette Window Restoration, based in Springfield. It is a detailed process done by a restoration specialist. A permanent plaque will be mounted adjacent to the window to recognize the donor and/or honor their designee. One window is still available for full sponsorship of $1,500 by a business, an organization or by an individual or a family. However, restoration of the windows on the south side must be done in coordination with the replacement of the siding, so those might not be done this year.

Creswell Heritage Foundation remains committed to restoring Creswell’s old schoolhouse/old library to a sustainable community use that will be a source of pride to its citizens and a link to its past. It is already a link to the past … the rest might just take a bit longer!

For more information about window sponsorship or to volunteer to help on the roof construction, contact Verlean McCoy at [email protected] or Don Ehrich at [email protected].



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