Local News

Archbold may get state money for roof restoration

VENUS - Florida legislators are considering whether to fund a $348,724 project that would restore to its pristine condition the roofs of two of Archbold Biological Station’s five National Historic Register buildings. The Roebling family constructed the buildings in 1930. The Archbold project has been ranked No. 2 out of 49 historic restoration projects under the Department of State Division of Historical Resources Special Category Grants Program, states a news release from the Venus-based environmental research facility. A panel of state historians did the ranking. A News Service of Florida story dated April 21 has listed the project as one of many individual funding items negotiators for the House and Senate have agreed to support in this legislative session, but until the governor signs off on the bill, no appropriations are final.
Should the money be granted, the roofs will be restored on two buildings that are part of the Walk Through Time Trail, a historic look at the buildings and the founding of Archbold. “Once the restoration is final, visitors to the station and Archbold’s Learning Center will have an enhanced experience of what the station was like in its early years,” states Debbie Upp, executive assistant to Hilary Swain, who is the Archbold executive director. Arcbold tracked more than 8,000 visitor days in 2012, the news release adds, and it is anticipated “that the number of visitors will continue to increase each year, bringing more attention to Highlands County and tourism dollars into the community.” They recently completed the Frances Archbold Hufty Learning Center and Adrian Lodge, a $4 million project to provide educational opportunities and public access to the research facility. This was funded almost entirely by Archbold, and by donations from private foundations and individuals. As part of the grant application, Archbold is required to provide a match of $40,478. Should the research facility be awarded the money, construction will start around July 2014.