Ivy Tech set to offer
historic preservation curriculum
public input on validity of program
(February 2009) Residents, property owners,
contractors and educators who met at a January forum agreed on the need
for Madisons Ivy Tech Community College to develop a program that
would tie Madisons rich historic preservation legacy to a first-rate
education program. Nearly 90 people, including Ivy Tech officials and
local and state historic preservation experts, met Jan. 22 at the Madison
campus to discuss the initiative.
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. We need the experts in the field
to help us decide what to offer. At this point, we are looking for a
list of potential instructors and an advisory committee. Madison
Campus Dean Don Heiderman opened the program. He 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.
He said Historic Madison Inc., a leading preservation organization in
Madison, has been involved from the beginning in the developing such
John Staicer, executive director of Historic Madison Inc., said part
of his organizations mission is to provide educational programs
in preservation. Offering more formal education choices or a program
has been on our future agenda for years, he said. Madison
is a learning laboratory for historic architecture. It should also be
a learning laboratory for historic restoration for traditional crafts
He said his organizations stock of salvaged preservation products
and properties will be available to Ivy Tech for educational purposes.
Paul Hayden, of the northern regional office of Historic
Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, discussed a cooperative partnership
his organization and a local career center had formed. Historic Landmarks
Foundation, one of the oldest preservation organizations in the country,
teamed with the Century Career Center in Logansport, Ind., to save a
historic building in poor condition. While Historic Landmarks Foundation
provided the funding for the restoration project on the Schneider House,
a historic home built in 1868, Century Career Center provided instructors,
students, tools and equipment to do the actual work on the building.
He described how students learned valuable skills in traditional building
trades at the same time his organization saved thousands of dollars
from using the students. As an example, it cost $1,000 for students
to reconstruct the badly damaged roof. It would have cost $25,000 for
contractors to do it, he said.
The project wouldnt have happened without the Century Career
Center, said Hayden. When the project is finished, the property
will be sold to recover funds, which leaves us with the potential to
invest in another property.
Ivy Tech professor Rhonda Deeg was also part of the discussion. She
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-on courses will be
developed around community interest and need.
We have to generate interest to make money to pay for the program,
said Johann. We will grow this down the road.
He said Ivy Tech officials hope to offer some online or in-classroom
courses by March, with field classes beginning this summer. He noted
that Ivy Tech students enrolled in the program would be limited to working
only on public owned facilities during their training.
Paula Heiderman of Ivy Tech Community College led a public comment session
after the presentation program.
We are sitting on a gold mine training center for people who want
to do this kind of traditional work, said John Miller, who heads
the Sustainable Community Task Force in Madison. This program
could have a major impact on our community and the nation.
The Task Force, which was initially formed under the umbrella of the
Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, is comprised of numerous community
leaders and business people who met on occasion to discuss a wide range
of goals and issues.
Madison business developer David Landau said his groups plans
for a retail and hotel complex on the riverfront already has an educational
component in them. He and partners Bob and Michael Przewlocki are developing
River Mill Resort and are negotiating to buy the Mississippi Queen and
dock it permanently in Madison.
Weve dedicated space in our hotel and on the Mississippi
Queen for people who want to education programs, Landau told the
group. We are thrilled Ivy Tech in interested in this. This region
should be kicking out the top craftsmen in the world.
Madison homeowner Dottie Massie was among several homeowners who said
she wanted to see workshops and seminars on historic preservation that
would give homeowners knowledge to do the actual restoration work themselves
or teach them how to deal with contractors. I have restored a
couple of homes, she said. I did it by instinct, but I would
love to take courses to learn more.
There is no more relevant course for this community, said
contractor Matt Hicks, who has been involved in many restoration projects.
After the meeting, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indianas Greg
Sekula said his organization has thought about a program like this for
a long time. He heads the organizations southern region, headquartered
This is an outstanding opportunity for this particular Ivy Tech
campus, he said. Our organization will certainly be ready
to play a variety of roles, including offering help with curriculum,
and finding speakers and projects.
Sekula noted that with the economic downtown in the country, many people
will be looking at revitalizing older buildings instead of building
new ones. There is a growing need across the country for quality
crafts people who understand these old buildings.
Kent Abraham, also from Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, said
this program also helps the green or eco-friendly movement
in the country. Using what is already here is certainly the greenest
route, he said. The greenest building is one already built.
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