Manfred museum receives grant for restoration

MANFRED Volunteers will be able to do more to restore the old Manfred school, located in the Manfred Heritage Museum, thanks to a matching grant from the State Historical Society.

Wanda Melchert said the grant was awarded to the Rural Vestiga Alliance, a non-profit organization associated with the museum. The grant was awarded through the historical society’s Cultural Heritage Grant Program, with funds appropriated by the state legislature.

The funding will be used for window restoration, a new front door, restoration of the front steps, plaster repair of the interior first floor level and carpentry repair of the interior first floor level.

Contractor Greg Seidel, Cathay, will do the carpentry work on the school and Bruce Terpening of Terpening Construction of Maddock will do the cement work. Volunteers will do the restoration of the windows and plaster repair. The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $25,000. Some work may begin this fall, with the project scheduled to be completed by November 2014.

Melchert said, when finished, the school will serve as part of the museum’s exhibits and will exhibt early school days. The town itself is a museum, with just a few permanent residents left and many former buildings and houses standing. Building interiors are restored as money becomes available.

The Manfred School, which was built in 1910, continued to operate until it closed in 1973. Restoration of the Manfred school has been encouraged since the Manfred museum projects began in 2000. Up until now, Melchert said work on the school included roof repair, shingling and reinstallation of the original portico over the front door.

Melchert said she’s delighted with the grant from the historical society, which will help even more.

“By next fall, Manfred School should be looking much better,” she said.