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Roof Damage Delays Open of Rockford's Laurent House

<font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-autospace: ; mso-layout-grid-align: none;" class="MsoNormal"><span style='font-family: "Times New Roman"; font-size: 12pt;'>The opening of one of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rockford</st1:place></st1:city>'s Architectural gems to the public has been delayed.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>

A blue tarp covers the top of Rockford's historic Laurent House. Water is still dripping out of the drain pipes. If you take a look inside the house, you'll see a gaping hole in the ceiling.

Organizers say they had no choice, but to delay the grand opening of the historic home and museum.

 

Laurent House Foundation Board President Jerry Heinzeroth says "once we realized that the roof problems were more extensive then we had first anticipated and now that means shutting the building down completely, and completely replacing the roof."

 

And repairing this damage could take up to a year.

Heinzeroth says "because of the fourteen inches of snow and the freeze thaw cycle we sustained considerable roof damage and now realized that we're going to have to go through our full restoration efforts before we can open it as a museum."

 

Not good news for Laurent President Jerry Heinzeroth, who has been working on the museum for more then seven years.

 

He says "it's been very traumatic; we had high expectations this year, as did our donors."

 

The Laurent House Foundation is launching the Capital Fund Drive at the end of this month. They are hoping to raise more then five hundred thousand dollars to repair water damage, and to replace the roof.

 

 They are counting on the same Stateliners who helped them acquire this house in an auction, to help fix up the historic landmark.

 

Heinzeroth says "we're hopeful that they will recognize that after the acquisition, the restoration is just as important and they will step up and help us with the restoration funding also.

For more information on the Laurent House you can visit their website http://laurenthouse.com/

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