- Associated Press - Saturday, December 23, 2017

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - An extensive restoration of a historic one-room school in an eastern Iowa city now includes power.

But lighting and outlets have been hidden to ensure the structure appears as it did in 1923, when there was no electricity.

The Forest Grove School in Bettendorf was built in 1873 and closed in 1957. The building is now being restored through a community effort to return the structure to its 1923 condition, the Quad-City Times reported. It will open as a museum and interpretive center.

Members of the Forest Grove School Preservation have funded electricity for the building. LED strips are strategically placed above windows, doorways and chalkboards to remain hidden.

Sharon Andresen, a project coordinator, said electricity will also be invisibly available for slide shows and videos. The preservation group also finished installing an asphalt parking lot.

By June, the group hopes to complete the installation of an interior vapor barrier, insulation, drywall and flooring, said Andresen. The restoration work for the fiscal year is budgeted to amount to $65,000.

The project’s next phase will be fundraising about $18,000 to custom-replicate interior trim, including doors, window casing and chalkboard framing.

The preservation group has fundraised more than $20,000 since they announced the restoration project in 2012.

Cedar Rapids architect Doug Steinmetz said when he initially saw the building’s deteriorated condition, he thought it could only be saved with money and commitment. Steinmetz said the work accomplished so far has been astonishing and a true community effort.

“Each step of the process has been a chapter in learning, community spirit, and development,” he said. “From my first visit to the site to the present day, I have witnessed a community doing great work together.”

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com


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