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Architects welcome to put 1 foot in the grave

RFP/Qualifications for Architectural Services for Comprehensive Review of Oakhill Cemetery Chapel Structure

The city of Janesville is accepting architectural proposals and qualifications until Feb. 3 for a comprehensive review of the Oakhill Cemetery Chapel.

The circa-1900 structure has fallen into disrepair due to deferred maintenance while in the hands of its former owner, Oakhill Cemetery Association. The chapel is still used for graveside funeral services, and the city would like to repair the building for future use. The chapel and the attached carport show masonry deterioration, including loose foundation stones. The carport needs to be examined structurally for continued use.

Steps leading to the chapel are in need of repair or replacement, and the basement ceiling is in questionable condition as insulation is hanging down in several places. A study on historical significance, repair costs, future maintenance requirements, and a structural examination is needed along with an ADA assessment.

The city would also like to explore alternate uses for the chapel.

Any architect here will be fully challenged.

The entire cemetery was turned over to the city in 2008, and is presently cared for by the Janesville Parks Department. The cemetery grounds cover about 90 acres, and roughly 13 miles of paved roadway. The cemetery contains 24,000 graves, and is now at half-capacity. The cemetery contains five buildings: the chapel, an office building, and three storage buildings.

Opportunities to visit the Oakhill Cemetery Chapel and its grounds have been established by the city. Interested parties may view the building on two occasions: at 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Contact Rebecca Smith at the city at (608) 755-3104 if you plan to attend. The cemetery is at 1725 N. Washington St., Janesville.

For a complete description of this project, including the history of the chapel, visit the city’s website at www.ci.janesville.wi.us.

Keith Barber is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. He’s got no feet in the grave.

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