Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Saving Turner Hall: City presented with $81,325 for improvements to Turner Hall

by Hillary Dickerson, editor
Courtesy of Galena Gazette

GALENA–Years ago there were some intense evenings of bingo at Turner Hall. It was the social event of the week as people lined the tables, set up their cards, set their good luck charms in front of them and settled in for what they hoped would be a winning evening. 
Many dedicated community volunteers helped pull off those successful bingo fundraiser evenings, and now, Turner Hall will benefit from the proceeds. 

The Save Turner Hall Committee and Galena Foundation recently presented the city of Galena with a check for $81,325.29–the remaining Save Turner Hall funds that were entrusted to the Galena Foundation to be used for improvements at the city-owned Turner Hall on Bench Street.

Galena Foundation board members, former Save Turner Hall Committee members and city officials gathered for the presentation of a $81,325.29 check -- all funds raised by the Save Turner Hall Committee and turned over to the Galena Foundation. The funds will be used for renovations at the city-owned facility on Bench Street. From left: David Eaton, Karen Greiner, David Wilmarth, Adam Johnson, Carl Johnson, Charles Fach, Pat Smith, Daryl Watson, Janelle Keeffer, Mark Moran, Fern Moyer, Craig Albaugh, Jim Lander, Charles Marsden, Jeremy White and Beth Baranski. Hillary Dickerson photo.

Those funds will help pay for exactly what Save Turner Hall Committee members hoped, according to Charles Marsden, president of the Galena Foundation board and chair of the city’s Turner Hall committee. 

Just before the check presentation, Marsden explained the goals of the committee and foundation in focusing on Turner Hall are three-fold: make Turner Hall more appealing and comfortable, reduce energy consumption and utility bills and save taxpayers’ money. 
The hope is that when all work is complete, Turner Hall will be a first-class historic venue for all to use and enjoy. 

Projects recently completed and paid for with the Save Turner Hall funds include: window maintenance, removal and replacement of loose mortar around windows, repair and tuckpoint around windows, new exterior doors, new fire escapes and sidewalks, balcony repair, storm windows, and temporary waterproofing at the rear of the stage. 
The city council in May approved an agreement with the Galena Foundation for the work at Turner Hall that goes beyond the funds from Save Turner Hall. 

As part of that agreement, the Galena Foundation, working in cooperation with the trustees of the Joe Miller Trust at Illinois Bank & Trust, intends to commit several years of funds to the work at Turner Hall. 

“It is the intention of the Galena Foundation that it will take on 100 percent of the cost of this project and will not require the city of Galena to provide the normal 50 percent match of funds required in the foundation’s typical grants for historic preservation,” the agreement reads.

The work is estimated to cost approximately $180,000, including design and analysis, labor, materials, contingencies and fees.

Future work includes interior lighting upgrades, a historic structures report and paint study, exterior balcony painting, small roof over south side door, restroom updates, upgrade of kitchen wiring for caterers, new roof on kitchen and several other items. 

The Turner Hall committee and Galena Foundation continue to investigate possible grants that could eventually help fund an addition to the building. That project, however, would be several years in the future.