December 25, 2003

State Historic Architect Visits Bible Grove, Rutledge Schools

Bible Grove Historic Preservation Committee and the Rutledge School Restoration Society hosted a visit from the state historic architect, Elizabeth Freese, December 17th. Her tour kicked off visiting with the county commissioners and officials in the courthouse.

Ms. Freese spent the day with the two groups, touring the buildings. She had several comments and information for the groups as to the restoration projects. Elizabeth felt the Bible Grove School was structurally sound. She commented that the mortar on the building seems to be in good condition. It was originally thought that the entire building would require tuck-pointing. Although, it will require some tuck pointing the main idea is to carefully chip away the cement patched areas and then properly tuck point these spots with the correct mortar compound to match. She also commented that it will be important to get a new roof on the building and see that it is tiled and drained well.

She was equally impressed with the Rutledge School. She feels the Rutledge School needs tuck-pointing and will be sending the groups information concerning this type of project. The Rutledge School also needs tiled to prevent more moisture damage in the basement and to further extend the roof drainage away from the building.

Greta Slocum of the BGHPC and Bob Hunolt of the RSRS and Ms. Freese toured different historical sites of Scotland County including the courthouse, Downing House and past Myers round barn. During the afternoons discussion with Ms. Freese, Greta raised the question of the grant application and what it will take for the Bible Grove School to obtain a grant. Just what is holding the Bible Grove Historical Preservation Committee back from obtaining grant funds? Ms. Freese explained that the information that Coordinator Slocum had compiled and prepared was above and beyond the Preservation Departments expectations but the one thing she did see that eliminated the group from the 2003 applicants pool was the fact that they were not backed or sponsored by a CLG (Certified Local Government). Ms. Freese stated that out of the four grants that were awarded all four were sponsored by a CLG. Setting a CLG in place to sponsor the grant applicant puts the applicants in line for several more funds that may be available. She highly suggested that the group seek out a local government to become a CLG. As for the Rutledge School, the first step would be to obtain National Register of Historic Places status. Then the school would be able to apply for funding such as the Bible Grove School is currently trying to obtain.

The following day, Mrs. Slocum and Mr. Hunolt met with the county commissioners to discuss the finds of Ms. Freese visit and the possibility of developing a Certified Local Government. At this point details are being researched and reviewed.

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