Harrison Park clubhouse to get makeover

Harrison Park clubhouse to get makeover

DANVILLE - A multiyear overhaul of a local landmark should begin later this year as the city has earmarked funds in its upcoming budget for restoration of the city-owned Harrison Park Clubhouse.

The almost 100-year-old building that served as the Danville Country Club many years ago needs exterior and interior improvements, according to city officials. The clubhouse at the west end of Voorhees Street sits on a hill overlooking the city-owned Harrison Park Golf Course. It sees heavy use in the spring, summer and fall from the public, which rents the facility from the city for a multitude of events, including organization meetings and events, private parties, wedding receptions and more. The building is a city park department property, and the parks staff maintains the facility.

Public Works Director Doug Ahrens said the restoration will be a phased project over a three- to five-year period. He said the city will seek grants and sponsorships to help with the project.

He said both the interior and exterior of the building need significant work, including replacing old wood as well as the roof and flooring and tightening up the structure for air flow and moisture purposes in addition to painting and other tasks.

Ahrens said the last time the building was refurbished was 1993, so "it's time."

"It sees very heavy use," he said.

Cindy Parson, recreation manager for the city, said May is already packed with every Friday, Saturday and Sunday that month booked. She said June is almost full and July is filling. Parson said the building is also used during the week for meetings of various groups and other events. She said the restoration work will be done Mondays through Fridays during the day, and the city will accommodate every event that's booked. She said crews will clean up before leaving for the day, and materials will be stored out of sight.

"It's time to do it, especially to take care of the things that are noticeable to the public," Parson said.

Ahrens said the building is a designated historic landmark, so any exterior work must first be approved by the local historic preservation commission. He said there were community groups that got involved in the building's renovations 20 years ago, some even raised additional funds.

Ahrens said the city will probably invite groups to get involved in various ways this time, too. He said the city funds that will be put into the project will come from the parks department budget.

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