GROUNDBREAKING Groundbreaking is set for McKinley house
The building is expected to be finished in early November and open in December.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- A piece of the city's history is being resurrected.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday for the McKinley Home and Research Center on South Main Street. The center is being built at the site of President William McKinley's birth home. The 25th U.S. President was born Jan. 29, 1843.
"The contractor will start construction the Wednesday after the groundbreaking and we expect to have it finished in the first part of November," said Fred Kubli, president of the McKinley Memorial Library board of trustees.
The board awarded the $653,000 contract for construction of the center to DSV Builders Inc. of Howland last month.
A dedication ceremony will likely be scheduled when construction is complete. It will take a few weeks to organize the contents before the center officially opens.
"It will probably open in December," Kubli said.
Sunday's ceremony, expected to include area politicians, will feature the Niles McKinley Band performing the national anthem and the color guard from the 910th Tactical Airlift Group in Vienna.
Brightly painted posters of McKinley created by pupils at Edison Junior High School line the lot.
A groundbreaking on the site had been set for February but was canceled when bids for the project came in higher than the anticipated cost. Eleven contractors had bid on the project, with $750,000 being the lowest. The initial estimate was $524,000.
The board decided to eliminate the fire suppression system and opted for a regular grade elevator to knock the cost down. Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, Niles, was the project architect.
The rear of the building will house a resource center and library with McKinley materials. A computer lab will be in the basement for public use. Plans also call for a meeting room on the house's second floor. The front part of the house will be furnished and decorated with pieces from the period, including antiques and replicas.
McKinley's parents, William Sr. and Nancy Allison McKinley, moved to the Main Street house from Lisbon between 1840 and 1842 to operate an iron forge.
The future president was the seventh of the couple's nine children. When McKinley was 9, the family moved to Poland, looking for better schools. McKinley enrolled in Poland Seminary School, which was a private school at the time.
He practiced law after the Civil War, married Ida Saxton and settled in Canton, where he launched his political career. The couple had two children: One died in infancy and the other died in childhood.
McKinley, who became president in 1897, was shot by an anarchist Sept. 6, 1901, and died eight days later.