HOT SPRINGS — The Garland County Historical Society has finished its “Make Room for History” building expansion project.
The project to expand the building by 1,500 square feet, which began in September 2017, was funded in large part by a $200,000 grant from the Oaklawn Foundation. That money went toward construction costs.
The Hot Springs Giving Circle gave a grant for the installation of an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible restroom and plumbing expenses. Local architect David French donated his services, and many people in the community have shown their support with donations.
“We’re very grateful to so many people who made this dream come true, including our project manager, Gary McKuin, Bruce Cozart Construction Co. and David French Architects,” said Liz Robbins, the society’s executive director.
“The expanded building makes it possible for the society to continue to serve the people of Garland County. I hope people come to the open house and celebrate with us,” Robbins said.
Workers were installing brick pavers inscribed with donors’ names earlier last week.
Donors who give $25 to $249 will receive recognition in The Record, the society’s yearly journal; donors who give $250 to $999 will also have an inscribed brick paver in their name; donors who give $1,000 to $4,999 will have a building plaque inscribed in their name; and donors who give $5,000 or more will have one of the movable shelving units inscribed in their name and a building plaque.
The society, which is at the building at 328 Quapaw Ave., has been preserving local history about Garland County’s heritage since 1960.
The building became overcrowded with the society’s holdings — more than 55,000 photographs, numerous newspapers, manuscripts, maps, books, and other materials — and the society needed more room for researchers and more work space to conserve historical materials, the society said in a news release.
The society said it now has a large archival storage area with movable shelving, more client space in an enlarged reception room, and fire suppression to protect its collections, among other enhancements.
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