By Ron VandenBoom
Members of the newly elected Board of Directors for the H. Earl Clack Museum Foundation said they will concentrate the board's effort on making the Heritage Center responsive to the community and the Hi-Line.
"I see the board moving ahead in a direction where the board is receptive to the needs of the community and the Hi-Line," said Keith Lokensgard, the new president of the H. Earl Clack Foundation. "We are sitting on the edge of something that is very, very exciting."
Lokensgard, the grandson of H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack, has been active as vice president of the board prior to his election as president and has been instrumental in making the Heritage Center a culturally diverse and forward thinking community endeavor.
Joining Lokensgard on the board will be vice president, Gary A. Wilson, a local historian and the author of several books on Havre and Hi-Line history.
Tom Rygg, a CPA with Galusha, Higgins and Galusha, was elected treasurer of the board and Doug Christensen, a self-employed court reporter, was elected secretary.
Returning board members are John and Anna Brumley, Ardelle Hurlburt and Emily Mayer-Lossing.
New trustees are Donna McGregor, Arlene Morgan, Elaine Morse, and Jim Tautges.
Lokensgard said he is very excited with the new board and described them as "very dedicated."
Planning, thinking, and imagining is the formula for moving the Heritage Center project forward, Lokensgard said, adding that getting the word out and making the community and Hi-Line aware the Heritage Center has something to offer is also an important goal that will require a lot from the new board.
Grant writing and fund raising is also something Lokensgard sees as a necessary and practical focus of the new board. It is primarily grants that are paying for the new windows renovation project that began last July.
The $93,000 project will completely repair and restore the existing ground floor window and provide high energy conservation, reflective glass, storm windows.
The windows will provide better insulation for the historic old Post Office and the reflective glass will help protect exhibits in the museum and art gallery from the harmful rays of the sun, said building manager, Myrna Whitelaw.
The project is paid for with grants provided through the City of Havre, Hill County, and Travel Montana.
Whitelaw said Rainbow Construction of Great Falls was chosen by the Department of Transportation to undertake the project because the project needs to conform to the rules established by the Montana Historic Preservation Office which oversees buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places.
She said she expects to see the project completed early this spring.
Second and third floor windows are still on the waiting list of projects the new Board of Trustees will be considering in upcoming sessions, Lokensgard said.
But according to Whitelaw, repair of the remainder of the windows could cost between $160,000 and $170,000 and a new roof is likely to rank higher on the new board's wish list than windows.
"It's a 20-year-old roof," Whitelaw said. "It was only intended to last 20 years."
The cost of a roof project is estimated to cost about $65,000, Whitelaw said.
Suggestions and comments concerning the Heritage Center are welcome and interested parties can call 265-7258.