Dwight Mission Camp and Conference Center continues with its $2 million building project, said Dr. Robert J. Duncan Jr. this week.
Duncan is the mission’s executive director.
He said the project is to renovate the mission’s 1917 school house into a Heritage and Administration Center.
We are in phase one of an eight-year campaign,” Duncan said. “The campaign is to preserve our history.”
The first phase is the renovation of the 100-year-old school house. It will eventually include a Heritage Center and administration offices.
The building has three floors. Plans are to remodel the first (or basement) floor for conference rooms. The second floor will be for meeting rooms, offices and for the heritage display, and the 200-seat auditorium on the third floor will be renovated.
Duncan said the 200-seat auditorium has 100 chairs on one side for the boys, and one chairs on the other side for girls. He said the boys’ seats all had places underneath for the boys to stow their hats. The plans are for all those auditorium seats to be restored with hat racks during phase two.
At the present time, two outdoor stair towers are being added at the front and back of the building. Duncan said the towers are regular steel fire towers which bring the building up to the state fire marshal’s code.
Also underway or complete is a new roof and siding and elevators. Duncan said the area in front of the building is being graded so that visitors will not have to climb steps to the Heritage Center.
He expects the remodeling to be complete in September. Then the mission will begin the campaign to raise money for the interior remodeling. Duncan said that is expected to cost $1 million to $1.5 million. The exterior remodeling is projected to cost $1 million plus.
Crawford Construction of Fort Smith is the contractor on the project.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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