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story.lead_photo.caption Work progresses Thursday on remodeling the Hailey Ford building in downtown Rogers for an expansion of the Rogers Historical Museum. For years, the building housed the Rogers Morning News. - Photo by Flip Putthoff

ROGERS-- Visible changes now reflect the restoration progress on the Hailey Ford building and members of the Rogers Historical Museum Commission say the end of the project is in sight.

"It's moving along, we don't have to explain (anymore) that the building is under there," said Richard Calloway, curator of exhibits. "There it is. It's all revealed."

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Renovation of the building, which was built in the 1940s and for many years housed the Rogers Morning News, is part of a $5.5 million effort to expand the museum to a campus of buildings for the purpose of collections, exhibits and education. The City Council in July approved paying up to $2.5 million for the project.

Donations for the restoration project were also made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Walton Family Foundation for architectural and construction services, The Buck Foundation, Tyson Foods and a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities, among many others.

Calloway said the outer facade of the Hailey building was quite damaged. Of the three layers of brick that made up the exterior, the outermost layer needed replacement. Calloway said it will be replaced with brick matching the original.

Commission Chairman Jerry Hiett said the new brick will make the old building look a lot better.

"It's cheaper to put in new brick than it would be to restore the old," Hiett said. "It'll still look good 50 years from now, whereas the other would deteriorate."

Commissioner Kathleen Dickerson said it will also give the exterior a longer life.

"We always knew (the exterior) was a problem, we just didn't know how we would resolve it," Calloway said. The museum staff and commission took time considering various methodology and pricing before settling on a solution.

Demolition to the exterior this summer caused many residents to speak up in concern the Hailey building was being destroyed, but Calloway said they can rest easy knowing it's simply the outer layer of the building and a wall on the west side of it that will be replaced.

"By December it will all be back in place and the exterior will look like a building," he said. The interior will be completed in April.

Gallery construction will begin in the new year and some exhibits will be built off site so that they can be moved in more quickly once the building is ready, Calloway said. Museum staff expects to start moving items and offices into the renovated building at the beginning of June.

NW News on 09/08/2017

Print Headline: Rogers bringing a 1940s building back to life

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