HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Nov. 28, 2005

Dassel Area Historical Society plans 2-phase ergot building annex

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Dassel’s Universal Laboratories building is running out of space.

There’s not enough space for meetings, storage and kitchen activities and the ergot building is only marginally handicap accessible, City Council Member Robert Wilde told the council at its meeting last Monday. Wilde is the council’s liaison to the Dassel Area Historical Society.

Architect Kevin J. Anderson of Little Falls created a preliminary concept drawing Aug. 30 for the society. Phase one, an addition of 3,665 square feet, will cost approximately $356,500. The construction will be a three-level addition.

Phase two will be 2,400 square feet on one level, and cost approximately $233,000, according to Anderson’s preliminary plans.

Wilde said the historical society is creating a capital fund now, so when enough money is available, the society can start building an annex. Because the museum is owned by the city, the future annex will belong to the city also, Wilde said.

As a result, the society wanted the city council to approve the start of the capital fund. “They’re not asking the city for any money at this point,” Wilde said.

City Council Member Bob Lalone questioned, however, whether the future annex, which will be attached to an old building that might not be completely up to code, will affect the city’s insurance rate. City Administrator Myles McGrath said whether the new construction meets the code will matter most to the insurance provider because it already covers the ergot building now.

The council approved the capital fund start up.

The historical society membership committee includes Karin Colberg, Ken Skalberg, Joan Benson, Jeanette Servin, Dean Gayner, Don Bollman, Ernie Lantto, Norman Groth and Carolyn Holje.

Wilde also provided the council a letter from the society summing up the year’s activities.

“The 10-year project of the restoration of the Universal Laboratories building is complete,” Colberg said in the letter to the society’s members. “The permanent ergot exhibit is nearing completion. A Peterson Pharmacy exhibit has been installed.”

“This year the society has purchased a microfilm reader/printer and some microfilms of the Dassel newspapers to enhance our research department,” she said.

“Two temporary exhibits were installed: ‘The Boys of Summer,’ a baseball exhibit, and ‘Lest We Forget,’ a military exhibit, and some great exhibit lighting has been added,” Colberg said.

The society’s budget obligation for 2006 is $11,500. The committee is considering donations to the annual budget as 2006 membership in the society. For more information about membership in the society, the organization can be emailed at dahs@dassel.com.

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