Tech to hold community
forum on historic preservation
degree in the field
may be a future possibility
(January 2009) The Madison, Ind., campus of
Ivy Tech Community College will play host to a public forum to gauge
community interest in the development of a new historic preservation
curriculum at the college. The Historic Preservation Community Forum
is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the lecture hall at Ivy
Tech Community College, 590 Ivy Tech Dr. Anyone interested in historic
preservation or learning about historic trades is encouraged to attend.
Madison campus Executive Dean Don Heiderman said the idea
of developing hands-on curriculum for historic preservation came about
during the strategic planning of 2001-2002 when the college decided
to expand. Madison is known for its commitment to historic preservation,
said Heiderman. We have a great opportunity to develop a unique
program that would be a win-win situation for our community.
According to Heiderman, the program would start with a few non-traditional
seminars and hands-on workshops. Teachers would be drawn from community
experts in the various trades and crafts of historic preservation.
The best situation would be to eventually offer an Associates
Degree in Historic Preservation, said Heiderman. We hope
to start offering some workshops or seminars by April or May of 2009.
Ivy Tech professor Rhonda Deeg created a two-year degree program in
historic preservation at Harford Community College, in Bell Air, Md.
Deeg, who recently moved to Madison, is working with preservation leaders
and Ivy Tech officials to develop a similar program for Madison.
There are only a handful of these programs available throughout
the country, she said. There is such a need for skilled
historic tradesmen and craftsmen that employers were plucking our students
right out of the program in Harford before they had a chance to finish,
Deeg said the Ivy Tech program will be catered to the community but
will offer the same theoretical courses, such as historical research
that the other programs have. The hands-ons courses will be developed
around community interest and need.
She said it is vital that the fledgling program receive appropriate
marketing to let people know it is a legitimate program.
Deeg will be one of the speakers at the community forum. She will discuss
historic trades in general and then explain the program at Harford and
others around the country.
Randy Johann, executive director of workforce and economic development
at Ivy Tech, is overseeing the new initiative. We think the development
of such a curriculum is a do-able plan, he said. Right now,
we have to evaluate our priorities and coordinate with the community
on the vision of the project.
John Stacier, executive director of Historic Madison Inc., was involved
in the initial discussion of developing such a curriculum. Madison
is a nationally known laboratory for architectural history, he
said. This would be the feather in the cap of our local historic
Stacier said there are many issues involving rehabilitation and restoration
of older buildings that many modern contractors and homeowners need
to understand. Older buildings are built with different materials
than those of today, he said. Such a program will help train
people to deal with these issues. Stacier will speak during the
community forum about the local view of historic preservation.
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is also involved in the Ivy
Tech initiative. The economic downturn may force people to refocus
on revitalizing older buildings, said Greg Sekula, southern regional
director of Historic Landmarks of Indiana. There is a growing
need across the country for quality crafts people who understand these
He hopes the community forum in Madison stimulates interest in historic
preservation in the community. An education program for historic
preservation in Madison would be simply tremendous, he said.
For more information, call Ivy Tech Community
College at (812) 265-2580.
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