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BANDON - The Greater Bandon Association has been awarded $200,000 from Oregon Heritage, a division of the State of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to continue the repair and rehabilitation of Bandon’s Masonic building. It follows a previous $100,000 grant from the same source that allowed work to begin on the building.

During this past summer, those portions of the Masonic building that are most visible to the public were refurbished and repainted. The concrete repair work patched holes and cracks that had exposed rebar and threatened the integrity of this building that is included on the National List of Historic Places.

The new quarter million-dollar project continues that work to the back side of the building. While not visible to the public, the cracks and holes in the concrete are even more extensive on that side than they were on the front side of the building.

The project would also address three other key issues with the structure. First, the retaining wall behind the building has collapsed, allowing water from the back hillside to get into the basement of the building. This wall would be replaced, and the back wall of the building would be water proofed.

Second, the fire escape behind the building no longer functions, causing a safety issue for those occupying the second floor of the building. The project calls for inserting a door in the back wall where there currently is a window to provide access to a fire escape. A new fire escape would be added as well.

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Finally, the new project begins important repair work on the interior of the building. The initial project and most of the new one focuses on the exterior of the building.

Oregon Heritage awarded 30 grants worth $5,244,261 on May 2 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization. Projects range from façade improvement to housing to seismic upgrades with awards ranging from $56,731-$200,000.

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session and placed with the Oregon Historic Preservation Office. The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds.

GBA Executive Director Harv Schubothe said that, “While we are pleased to be able to contribute to the rehabilitation of this iconic building, we are already discussing future grants for the many other buildings in town that require substantial help. What was nice about this grant is that it recognized that the backside of many of our structures not visible to the public are not in decent shape. It’s out of sight, out of mind.”

“It is also a reminder that much of our organization’s work goes far beyond simply events to draw residents and visitors into our businesses," Schubothe added. "Preserving and restoring buildings, cleanup campaigns and contributing to such things as pedestrian and bicycle safety recognize that you cannot separate community from economic development. Developing an even more livable place for our residents will draw more visitors to our area as well.”

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