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Museum looking for Historic listing
April 26, 2005
Boone County Heritage Museumby James L. White, Times Staff

The Harrison Board of Education gave permission last week for the Boone County Historical Society to apply for the Boone County Heritage Museum to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pat Brown, who said he is a new member of the Historical Society's Board of Directors, told the board that the Society wants the Museum, which originally served as Harrison High School, placed on the National Register to seek grants for restoration and maintenance.

Brown explained that the Historical Society leased the building in 1987, even though the district still owns it.

He showed the board pictures of the building taken when it was a working school building and there were few differences between the building then and now, with the exception of curved windows that had been replaced.
However, those windows were replaced more than 25 years ago, which meets National Register requirements. Brown said there appeared to be a good chance the building would meet all other National Register requirements as well.
But he went on to sat there is one "downside" to the idea: If any state or federal grant funds are used to work on the building, the land on which the Museum sits would have to be deeded to the Arkansas Heritage Society.
"That's only is state or federal funds are used," Brown told the Daily Times.
In that case, the school would still own the building and land, but any sale of the property would come with the caveat that the building cannot be destroyed as long as it's on the National Register.
"The bottom line is the building would be protected in the long run," Brown told the board.
Board member Richard Poe said he always felt the value of the property at the old Central Elementary facility was greater because it would be one piece, including the Museum building and property.
Poe asked Brown what would happen to the property value if the district tries to sell the building after state or federal funds are used and the land has been deeded to someone else.
Brown said any potential sale would be relatively easy since the Museum sits on only a small corner of the property.
"This is a pretty big decision," Poe said, adding that he thought it would be a simple item on the night's agenda.
Brown said the Historical Society simply needed permission that night to begin the application process.
Before the Society could apply for any funding, it would again have to come back to the board to ask permission since the district still owns the building.
He went on to say the entire application process could take up to a year before any decision from the National Register.
The board unanimously approved the Society's request.
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