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|Skillman prepares bid specs for
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - It was announced at Mondays School Board meeting
that two bid packages are being prepared for the new high school project that will allow
work to begin this spring.
Assuming the project is approved by taxpayers in the ongoing petition
drive, the bid packages for early site work; footing, foundation and steel; and storm
water drainage work will be sent out at the end of the year, and the bids will be due Jan.
25, said Pat Portteus of the Skillman Corp.
That will allow us to get an early spring start, he said.
Bids on the actual building contract will be due May 2, Portteus said.
Splitting the project bids into two packages will allow some
additional time to complete the design for ... the building, he explained.
Portteus projected a Feb. 11, 2003 completion date for the project.
Meanwhile, architects from Armstrong, Torseth, Skold and Rydeen are
continuing design work on the building.
We are now in the process of the last go-round of design
development meetings with (high school) staff, architect Ken Grabow said.
He said architects have met with 36 groups of staff a number of times
Currently, design work is focusing on approaches to the building and
development of field areas, Grabow said.
Drawings for the courtyards in front of the schools main
entrance, the area between the bus corral and student entrance, and the interior courtyard
are being completed, he said.
Also, the necessary lighting levels for the football field is being
determined, Grabow said.
Inside the building, the industrial technology area has been modified
to include another shop area; design of the library/media center has been completed; and
acoustical design is being completed for the auditorium.
The issue of the auditorium brought comments from one audience member.
Tom Dimos, a member of the Crown Point Music Boosters, addressed a
recent newspaper article in which board member Bart Aiello, also a music boosters member,
criticized the size of the auditorium, which is smaller than the current high
Dimos said the boosters did not take positions on school policies, but
noted that the music directors were involved in the planning of the new schools
music wing and that the current schools music rooms are inadequate.
Betty Wells, left, director of the Crown Point Parks and Recreation Department, and
Karn Shook, a member of the Homestead Committee, carefully carry an old spinning wheel out
of the historic house. This spinning wheel was one of many antiques and collectibles
in the house that are being stored in safer locations while the house is being restored.
Items moved from Homestead while historic house undergoes renovation.
|By Karen Caffarini
CROWN POINT - A fainting couch sat in a corner of the nearly empty
living room of the Old Homestead house, its beauty covered by a flowered sheet draped over
The old, but well-kept, couch was waiting its turn on Sept. 8 to be
carefully moved from its longtime location in the historic house and taken to a safe,
environmentally controlled space inside the Lake County Historic Museum.
It will remain there, along with other valuable items both in
terms of sentimental and monetary value for about one year, while the Homestead
House undergoes an extensive renovation.
Still other items were moved on Saturday to the former Water Treatment
Plant on North Street, where they will be kept under lock and key, said Jessica Metros,
who with her husband Mayor James Metros, co-chairs the Homestead Committee.
Metros said Bruce Woods, director of the historic museum, chose which
pieces he would put on display at the museum in the old Courthouse according to available
space and historic value.
Other items transported to the museum by a crew of Homestead Committee
members and Park and Recreation staffers included a large spinning wheel, baby buggy and
rocking chairs owned by Wellington Clarke, who built the house in 1847, and Solon
Robinson, the founder of Crown Point.
|The rocking chairs are so old we are afraid to
fold them, Metros said. Soon after the items are removed, Dillabaugh Excavation of
Crown Point will begin the first step in the renovation process, correcting structural
We were concerned that we would lose part of the house,
Metros said, pointing to the cracked walls and ceilings. But Dillabaugh thinks by
leveling the foundation, the house will be okay.
She said the next step will be to remove a porch on the south side of
the white clapboard house, which was added on in later years. The final step will be
interior renovations, including fixing cracked ceilings and walls and bringing the house
back as close to its original look as possible.
Metros said the house was being taken care of for a number of years by
long-time resident Lillian Holley and her daughter, until ill health forced them to quit
about 15 years ago. The house was largely neglected since then.
Bringing the building back to its original state wont be easy,
But at least one committee member believes the result will be worth
Its worth saving, the whole building is. It will be dandy
when its done, said committee member Karen Shook, a life-long Crown Point
member who helped spearhead the efforts.
Bruce Woods, director of the Lake County Historic Museum, carries an old
buggy to the museum, where it will be housed for awhile.
Metros expects the work to take about a year and cost about $500,000. The committee
will be applying for various grants to pay for some of those costs, but the co-chair also
is looking for donations and volunteers from the community, and all of Lake County.
This is for all of Lake County, not just Crown Point, she
The Old Homestead is the oldest oldest documented house in Lake
County. Metros said once completed, the house will be open for school tours for free, and
to others at a nominal fee.
Metros said union laborers have promised to help with the plastering,
Hubingers Landscaping in Crown Point has said it will help landscape the grounds,
Bills Movers in Highland provided boxes for the move and she is confident that some
larger corporations will make donations.
She added that the some 20 members of the Homestead Committee have
been invaluable as well. Anyone wishing to sit on the committee should phone the
Mayors secretary, Toni Evans, at 662-3240. If you wish to donate, phone Jessica
Metros at the same number.