City fails to win grant to restore 100-year-old mausoleum; some roof repairs to be made

The mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

The city has failed to win a grant that would have paid for significant repairs to the 100-year-old Oak Hill Cemetery mausoleum, but city leaders say some repairs will still be made.

In November, the city applied for a $90,000 Heritage Trust Fund Grant from the Kansas Historical Society to begin restoration of the ailing mausoleum.

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Director Derek Rogers said he is disappointed in the outcome, but the city was one of 53 applicants vying for limited funds. The city presented its application on Saturday, but the mausoleum was not one of the 20 properties to win a grant. Regardless, Rogers said the city still plans to repair leaks in the mausoleum’s roof.

Roger Steinbrock, who is in charge of marketing for the Parks and Recreation Department, said the city is currently seeking estimates for the roof repairs, which he noted must be done to historic standards. Steinbrock said once the city has an estimate, it will ask for bids for the project and that the plan is to get the roof repaired within the year.

“Our idea is to get it done as soon as we can to make sure that it is watertight so that we don’t have more damage,” Steinbrock said.

The city became eligible for the Kansas Historical Society grant after the cemetery was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The city can reapply each year.