News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 11, 2014

Golf clubhouse, a historical treasure?

TH Parks Board seeks National Register listing for Rea Park

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Parks Board is moving forward with the process to have Rea Park and the clubhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Wednesday, it voted to hire Kim Smith of Terre Haute as a consultant to pursue the designation, which could take about a year. The cost is $3,150.

Meanwhile, the parks department also is seeking estimates on how much it will cost to have the clubhouse rehabilitated.

A new service group called Friends of Rea Park hopes to raise funds for the rehabilitation. Once the park is listed on the National Register, the city also is eligible to apply for grants to assist with that rehabilitation.

The clubhouse “is in dire need of some work,” said Eddie Bird, parks superintendent.

A recent inspection found that the clubhouse roof needs to be replaced, interior rooms may need to be repurposed and updated and “poor drainage may be causing serious foundation problems.”

In March, the parks board approved the formation of “Friends of Rea Park.” Mike Harding, who spoke to the board at that meeting, said the golf course is in great condition, but the clubhouse, dedicated in 1925, is deteriorating and “in desperate need” of rehabilitation.

Tommy Kleckner, of the Indiana Landmarks Western Regional Office, spoke to the parks board Wednesday about the process to get the park and clubhouse listed on the National Register, a process that takes about a year.

Rea Park and the clubhouse are eligible for the National Register, which is administered by the National Park Service, Kleckner said.  He requested a determination of eligibility from Indiana’s division of historic preservation. “That gives us the green light to move forward,” he said.

The National Register “recognizes historic sites and properties like Rea Park as important to the culture, heritage and history of Terre Haute, Vigo County and Indiana,” he said. It’s also a way to help build public appreciation for these resources.

Both Collett and Deming parks are listed on the National Register, Kleckner said.

The city will apply for a grant through Indiana Landmarks Partners in Preservation program, which would cover half of the $3,150 cost to pursue the National Register listing.

n In another matter, Bird told the parks board that the department is having trouble finding seasonal workers to perform such tasks as weedeating, leafblowing and tree limb pickup. The pay has been raised to $9 per hour, but the department is still having trouble finding workers. Several positions are available and those hired would work 28 hours per week for 90 days.

People interested can go to the city’s human resources department to apply.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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