While a grant has been received for roof project, she says $40K is needed for architectural administration

    The Prairie Skyline Foundation continues to search for partners to help restore the old Cathedral Church on Ash Street into a community center with an arts focus, and recently approached the City Council during their annual Strategic Planning Session with a funds request.

    PSF Director Kay Hegge told the Times they’re short $40,000 for architectural administration for their roofing project and hopes the council would consider creating a process and a committee to examine funding requests. Plus, Hegge said she would like to see a fund like the flood fund set up to help with future operating costs for the center.

    “Our need is urgent since it’s a one-year grant,” Hegge explained speaking on the $206,608 grant the PSF received from the Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage in November 2018. “We’ve asked for an extension.”

    Hegge told session participants that they had no response to their architectural request for proposal and noted there aren’t many historic architects in the area plus spring’s building season may have put a hinder on applicants. She mentioned that the state told their group that the best they could look at was an extension to the grant to allow for two construction seasons.

    November’s grant money will go toward replacing the flat roofs of the sacristies and other roof repairs at the old Cathedral. The grant will allow for steeple inspection and reinforcement, plus replacing lost shingles, inspection of the attic for repairs to the main roof decking, and again replacing lost shingles, and flashings will be inspected and repaired. The flat roofs of the sacristies will be made as they were before with a double-roof system, the top one being slanted to the downspouts.

    In late January, the Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) Board of Directors agreed to have CHEDA serve as the fiscal agent for the administration of the Minnesota Historical Society grant.

PLANS FOR THE ARTS CENTER

    Although Hegge said she did not have the community center’s business plan with her for the planning session, she did outline some of the plans for the arts-focused facility.

    “When you look at the floor plan, the building is perfectly situated to be a community center with art stations,” Hegge explained. “There’s an opportunity for eight stations for people to wander in and create, could be painting, (creating) sculptures, (working on) computer parts, etc.”

    “It would have handicapped accessible bathrooms, and there would be stage left and stage right for productions, economic development,” she added. “This is not only a place for us to gather, but a place to do art.”

    “It would bring traffic through town to come and stop here to see the building or to do stuff with kids for that day,” Hegge continued. “It addresses several problems in our downtown.”

    Hegge said she’d like for the council to think of the old Cathedral restoration and future community center to be more of a “city project.”

    For more information on the old Cathedral project, visit prairieskyline.org.