Old Schoolhouse projects continue during pandemic

CRESWELL – The Creswell Heritage Foundation completed several projects in 2020 related to the Old Schoolhouse, and project leaders expressed thanks for community members who made it possible despite shortfalls caused by COVID-19.

Julie Whalen of Willamette Window Restoration restored the four windows on the south side in 2020. Sponsors of that effort were the Winters family in memory of James Martin, the Gleason family in memory of Vivian Gleason, Donald Ehrich in memory of Jeanne Ehrich-Bradley, Patty Birch in memory of Frank Kattner, Sonja and Eldon Harrold in memory of Stella Harrold, Dave and Jocelyn Stram, Virginia Sherwood, Kenneth Parramore, Carol Campbell, Verlean McCoy, Mary Ann Howard, Linda Stancil, and Sally Weaver.

The back room roof was replaced by volunteers Belvin Taylor, Brandon Craig and board member Donald Ehrich. Blake Oelke donated his time as general contractor. Costs were covered by a $2,500 grant from Creswell First! and the Creswell City Community Services Fund. This room will eventually house an ADA bathroom.

The south and west sides were restored by Calvin L. Lewis Construction, LLC. Cal Lewis is a historic preservationist. His attention to the details of the original construction and his work to retain those details during restoration has made this outcome true to our goal of preserving Creswell’s heritage. The work was paid for by grants of $2,500 from Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund; $1,600 from Lane County Cultural Coalition; $2,600 from Cycle Oregon; $1,500 from Lane County Historical Society; $6,000 from Autzen Foundation; $1,500 from Pacific Power Foundation and $25,500 from the Kinsman Foundation. Painting was done by board members Patty Birch, Mary Ann Howard, Cheri Spaulding and Verlean McCoy, which reduced the final cost.

Additionally, construction documents for the exterior restoration were created by historic preservation architect Susan L. Licht. That work was funded by grants of $5,000 from National Trust for Historic Preservation and $5,000 from the Kinsman Foundation. With those documents in hand, we are in a position to continue with the restoration of the north and east sides. Funding is currently being sought for that work.

CHF is committed to the restoration of the Old Schoolhouse. Its leaders planned to complete the exterior in ’20, but key sources canceled grant cycles due to COVID-19 budget shortfalls and redirection of priorities. The annual fundraising garage sale and July 4 Open House also were canceled.

CHF recognizes that this effect may continue into ’21. Still, group leaders said, they will continue working toward their goal, and are encouraged by the support of the local community.

McCoy is president of the Creswell Heritage Foundation.



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