Maintaining a landmark is no easy feat, but thanks to a collaboration between two groups, the Carnegie Foundation historic building in downtown South Haven will soon see much-needed improvements.
The South Haven Center for the Arts and the City of South Haven are donating $ 71,500 to replace the building’s sprawling roof. This is the art center’s first major renovation project since 2015.
“The existing roof has been in need of renovation for several years and has been patched several times in the last five to six years,” says City Engineer Mike Dopp. “The previous leaks caused damage to the ceiling and interior walls.”
Kerry Hagy, Executive Director of the Art Center, has been keeping an eye on these leaks.
“For the past three years we have had setbacks in interior restoration due to roof leaks,” she said. “This also includes the constant discoloration of the newly painted ceiling and walls on the second floor. These are difficult to repaint because they are so tall and require scaffolding. “
Although the city is responsible for major maintenance work on the building, the arts center wanted to see if it could in any way help fund the rooftop project.
That hope came true this fall when the Michigan Council for Arts and Culture awarded the arts center a $ 22,500 grant to help improve the capital.
“We have a 30-year lease that says any repairs to the building that cost over $ 200 are the responsibility of the city,” said Hagy. “However, we pride ourselves on making major improvements and repairs in collaboration with the city and working together to provide the resources for us and the city to maintain the longevity of the building. Over the past few years the city has had to mend the roof for leaks so we believe this will be a great investment for all of us in the long run, and we are so lucky that we received this grant to pay for part of that Project.”
Work on the roof is scheduled to begin in early 2022, with the completion date set for some time in spring.
Cleveland-based Garland Company will oversee the project and plans to use Michigan-based contractors, several of whom have previously helped with roof repairs on the building, said TJ Morris, a roof management specialist at Garland.
The roof system consists of four different sections, which, according to Dopp, will either be replaced by shingles or a durable rubber roofing membrane.
Once the rooftop project is complete, Hagy plans to have the arts center staff turn their attention to interior maintenance projects.
“We will be able to focus on the interior repairs and upgrades required, including the ceiling repairs in both the upper and lower galleries. We will approach this work in phases, ”said Hagy.
The arts center building was constructed in 1905 with the kind permission of the Carnegie Foundation, which at the time was funding library construction projects across the United States.
After the South Haven Library was moved to a newer building on Broadway Ave. 314 had moved, the Carnegie building became a community center by the late 1970s. It wasn’t until 1990 that it opened as the South Haven Center for the Arts, thanks to the efforts of the South Haven Art Association, the city, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and donation and restoration efforts from individuals and groups.