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Grants Aid Managers Planning Historic Renovations


By Ryan Berlin Design & Construction
Architects working with blueprints

Over time, systems and components in institutional and commercial facilities will fail and need replacing. Maintenance and engineering managers who must constantly do more with less know that finding the funds for such projects — especially large ones — can be hard to come by. Among the sources managers can explore in seeking funding for these projects are grants and rebates.

Consider the case of a $100,000 state grant recently awarded to the city of Oconomowoc, Wis., to help finance renovations of the historic Mann Block building. A Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will support the facade renovations, as well as construction of a three-story stairwell to will allow for the third floor to be used as office space, according to a news release published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The city is working with the building owner to renovate its facade by demolishing the current storefront. Renovations also will include modifications to first-floor storefronts, window replacements and the replacement of existing cornices. With the addition of the third story, the new office space could accommodate 12 to 15 employees. Renovations are underway and should be completed late next year.

City officials believe the restoration will allow the city to remain competitive with other downtowns and will aid in recruitment of new investment and businesses.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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