The buildings pictured above are the Trefz Buildings and will be the new home for the Eudora Community Museum.
Ten years ago the closest thing to a museum in Eudora was Glenn Wineinger’s basement. Wineinger is the current President of the Eudora Area Historical Society (EAHS) and has been active with the group since the 1980s. Wineinger’s basement housed hundreds of artifacts and documents relating to Eudora’s colorful history. The artifacts and documents belonged to the EAHS, but there simply was no public place to house and display them. It was not until 2004, when the EAHS opened its first museum in the former Eudora High School building at 10th and Main Streets, that the artifacts and archives became available for public viewing.
Since 2004, the EAHS and the museum it operates, the Eudora Community Museum, have steadily grown. New exhibitions have debuted, thousands of new archives and artifacts (including the original Deed to Eudora) have been added to the collections, and professional staff and interns have contributed to the operations. In 2011 the EAHS moved the Eudora Community Museum into a temporary home at the former Nottingham Elementary building on Church Street. In the last two years at Nottingham, the EAHS has welcomed thousands of visitors, including many school groups, and have implemented professional museum standards to the collections. The EAHS has been behind projects to bring bronze signage to historic buildings on Main Street and to help nominate more properties in Eudora to the State and National Register of Historic Places. The EAHS is always looking for new ways to serve the Eudora community.
Despite the success in the current facility at Nottingham Elementary, the EAHS strongly believes the Eudora Community Museum needs a permanent home to display its exhibits and house the archives and artifacts. Thanks to a generous donation from Pam Staab (Trefz), the EAHS is now working towards having a permanent home on Main Street. In March of 2013, Staab donated the properties at 720/722 Main Street (commonly called the “Trefz Buildings”) to the EAHS. The Trefz Buildings can trace their origins to 1883 and are some of the oldest structures in Eudora. For most of their existence, the Trefz Buildings housed Plumbing operations. The buildings have sat vacant for decades. The Eudora Community Museum will make the historic property once again useful.
In the last two years, the EAHS has secured architectural plans for the redevelopment of the Trefz Buildings into the Eudora Community Museum. Former Eudora City Commissioner Bill Whitten has graciously volunteered his services as Construction Manager of the Project. The majority of the construction for the project will be volunteer labor. The EAHS has also started to raise funds for the project. Through grants and private donations, the EAHS has managed to raise close to $77,000 thus for towards the project. However, we are still in need of additional funds to make the project a reality.
The EAHS belongs on Main Street. The EAHS would like to not only preserve the historic character of Main Street, but also contribute to the revitalization of Main Street. A museum on Main Street would increase foot traffic for downtown Eudora and lead to economic development for Eudora. The EAHS is poised for a bright future. Only ten years after having no museum, Eudora is destined to have an outstanding museum, thanks to the community’s dedicated efforts to preserve its History.
If you would like to donate funds or volunteer labor towards this project, please contact Ben Terwilliger. Call 785-690-7900, or email at EudoraHistory@gmail.com.
Donations can also be mailed to the EAHS at:
Eudora Area Historical Society
PO Box 158
Eudora, KS 66025
Eudora News and Information - www.eudorareporter.com
8:30 AM Update:
We spoke with Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter who told us that the driver of the vehicle was a 20 year-old female. The driver was heading east on K-10 when she suddenly came upon a piece of furniture sitting in the roadway.
“She tried to swerve to miss the piece of furniture but was unable to avoid it,” Keiter said. “She ended up off the highway and upside down wrapped around the utility pole.”
Keiter said the driver was transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center to be checked out, but she was able to get out of the vehicle under her own power. Keiter said the driver was wearing her seat belt.
“She ended up hanging there upside down for a time held in by her seat belt,” Keiter told us. “Her injuries did not appear to be significant.”
Around 10:30 PM Wednesday night, emergency crews were called to the scene of a one car accident on eastbound K-10 just east of the Church Street exit. Reporting partner The Lawrence Journal-World said that a female driver need to extricated from underneath the vehicle. The vehicle struck a power pole off to the side of the road and caused a lengthy power outage for much of Eudora.
“The pole broke about 6 feet from the top which caused the wires to sag to a clearance of about 14 feet above K-10 highway,” Public Works Director Mike Hutto said. “Because of the danger Westar killed power to one of the transformers at the Eudora substation, which caused a black out for several residents until we could fix the pole.”
Hutto stated that power was cut to residents north of K-10 and west of Church Street. The outage also affected the Greenway apartment complex located at K-10 and Church Street to the east. Hutto added that city crews were able to use equipment to attach to the remainder of the broken pole and temporarily lift the wires to allow traffic to move on on K-10. Traffic was re-routed through Eudora for approximately two hours as crews worked to fix the lines. Power was restored to residents around 1:20 AM.
Hutto says that city crews will be replacing the pole today and there should be no power outages with the pole replacement.
We will continue to work on finding out the cause of the accident and the condition of the driver today. We will update the story when we learn of new information.
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
The Kansas Department of Transportation has informed the City of Eudora that it was not chosen for a 2013 Transportation Enhancement grant for a pedestrian bridge across K-10. City officials had been attempting to obtain a grant for building the bridge that would span the highway from Elm Street on the north side and terminate near the Eudora Animal Hospital on the south side of the highway. The cost of the bridge was estimated to be approximately $1.8 million. The grant would have paid for 80% of the costs of building the bridge with the city picking up the remaining 20%.
In a letter to city officials, KDOT stated that there was strong competition and received many exceptional applications. KDOT will be funding 37 projects throughout the state of Kansas. 91 applications had been submitted. In a later press release from KDOT, the number of funded projects was revised to 35 at a total cost of $17.9 million.
Some area projects that will be funded by the program this year include a new shared use path connecting the existing Lexington Avenue path to the Community Center in De Soto and an extension of the Burroughs Creek Trail between K-10 and 29th Street in Lawrence.
“I’m definitely disappointed,” Eudora Mayor Ruth Hughs said. “It’s a safety issue for the students in our community. I felt that this was an opportunity to make a safer connection to the Middle and High Schools for our students who live north of the highway.”
City officials had hoped to connect the bridge to the walking trail currently under construction that leads from the schools over to 20th street and terminates near the businesses located to the west of Church Street.
Local residents had also gotten behind the project as well. Many citizens had been asked to write letters of support for the project, several information meetings were held and videos of residents in favor of the project were sent to KDOT in the hopes of swaying them into funding the bridge.
Interim City Manager Mike Press told the City Commission on Monday night that while the city was not awarded the grant, his sources said it was not because of anything the city did.
“KDOT was highly impressed with our application and presentations,” Press told the Commission. “It simply came down to only a certain amount of money available to award.”
While the project will not be funded at this time, there is still hope in the future. KDOT stated that while the dates for the next application round have not yet been determined, city officials would be well informed of the timeline for the process.
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Holy Family Catholic Church is working on building a new church. The new building will be located on the property adjacent to the current church on Birch Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The current facility will remain and the new church will be built just to the east of building.
Architects, builders and parishioners have been working for the better part of a year on interior and exterior design plans and the initial site plan was brought to the City Planning commission this past Wednesday night. During the hour long presentation to the Planning Commission, designers laid out the plans for the new church which will include not only a worship space but classrooms and offices as well.
While each member of the Planning Commission in attendance Wednesday night stated they are enthusiastic about the project, they did have some concerns over various aspects dealing with landscaping, storm water drainage and most importantly parking stalls. Vice Chairman Richard Campbell and Commissioner Grant Martin were not in attendance at the meeting.
Current city codes require one parking stall for every 3 seats in a new building. Holy Family is currently proposing 521 seats in the worship area. Using the 3:1 ratio, this would require 174 parking stalls. Due to limitations of the property size, Holy Family is currently proposing 158 parking stalls.
“It’s going to be nice when it’s done, but the parking is a problem,” Commissioner Jason Hoover said. “Rules are rules and codes are codes. Either follow the rules or change the codes.”
Planning Commission Chairman Kurt von Achen said that the church can attempt to get a variance for the parking stall requirement but that would have to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals.
“We can’t grant variances,” von Achen told the Holy Family group. “Our code requires 174 spaces. You can go to the board of appeals or you can ask us to change our code which can take four or five months.”
Dean Grob, president of Grob Engineering Services, did provide a list of other local municipalities parking requirements. While he did state that there are a couple of other cities that have the 3:1 parking to seat ratio, most are anywhere from 3.5 to 4 seats per stall.
Holy Family has purchased property on the west side of Birch street across the current building and has looked at possibly using that space as parking stalls to fulfill the codes. Design Committee Chairman Doug Pickert said that they were hoping to not have to use that space for parking right now as that would drive up construction costs to build a parking lot on this location. He also stated that church leaders were not even sure that the church would be adding all 521 seats at this time. Pickert suggested the idea of a phased implementation of the seating where much of the seating is installed now and down the road adding the remaining seating.
Commissioner Tim Pringle liked the idea of the phased implementation.
“It may be in your best interest to reduce the number of seats at this time, then you don’t need the extra parking right now,” Pringle said. To meet the seating to parking stall ratio currently in place, the church could have permanent seating for 474 worshipers instead of the proposed 521.
Planning Commission member Johnny Stewart also made sure that sidewalks would be added. Currently, there is a sidewalk running most of the length of Birch Street between 8th and 9th, but there is no sidewalk along 8th Street. The Birch Street sidewalk currently ends at the beginning of the parking lot.
“I’m a big proponent of sidewalks,” Commissioner Johnny Stewart said.
The sidewalk would run down the hill from Birch to Ash Street. There is no sidewalk on either side of Ash Street which runs north from the lower end of the church property.
The group representing Holy Family stated they were not in a position to answer definitely as to the concerns of the Planning Commission and they asked for a one month deferral of the preliminary site plan approval to work out the details about parking and other various concerns of the Commission. The Commission granted a one month deferral by a vote of 4-1 with Commissioner Stewart voting against the deferral. Stewart had stated he wanted to approve the plan but with conditions. All other members wanted to see a more definitive plan in place before forwarding their recommendation to the City Commission.
At the July 3rd meeting, the Planning Commission will once again analyze the church plan and then send a recommendation for or against to the City Commission for their consideration.
Church leaders have stated they hope to break ground for the new church before the end of 2013.
(Editors Note: In full disclosure, I am a member of Holy Family Church and sit on a design committee for what will become the parish hall once the new facility is completed. I am not part of the new building committee.)
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Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew has announced the resignation of Eudora Township Trustee Mark Grosdidier. The resignation is effective immediately. Grosdidier was unopposed when he ran for the seat in November 2012.
“I think the time commitment to the position was more than he anticipated,” Township Treasurer and cousin Glenn Grosdidier told us. Grosdidier had no further information as to why the resignation came now.
Eudorareporter.com had recently learned and Treasurer Glenn Grosdidier did confirm that Mark Grosdidier had not attended any Township Board meetings since his election in 2012.
We attempted to contact Mark Grosdidier about the resignation and was not able to reach him at press time.
According to Shew, the vacancy will be filled by appointment of the Douglas County Commissioners. The person appointed will fill the remainder of the unexpired term, which will be until the November 2016 General Election.
Glenn Grosdidier stated he learned of the resignation via a phone message from the Douglas County Administrator and had no word on who or when an appointment to fill the vacancy would be made.