Completing Roscoe's 21st century Community Center and restoring the 19th century Cross Homestead

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Township officials and community members take a break from planting trees.

To stay under budget on landscaping at the Community Center at Founders Park, Roscoe Township trustees got out their shovels and planted more than 50 trees themselves. Supervisor Bob Nowicki, Clerk Gary Blascoe and trustees Pat Henderson and Phil Rhymer began planting on October 28. They were joined the next day by trustees Chuck Gilbert and Elizabeth Lindquist and community members Rick Kurtz, Cathy Henderson, Bruce Wolf, Greg Cober, Darlene, and Betsy Nowicki. Together, they finished most of the volunteer planting by Oct. 31, as they note, without taxpayer expense.

The Community Center building itself is nearing completion at 4562 Hononegah Road near Frances Lane and Prairie Rose Drive. Teams have installed tile, kitchen, and restrooms. A foreman told us the special siding will have a 50 year warranty, since they carefully followed the manufacturer's detailed specifications. Township residents are invited to fill out a survey on what activities they would like to see at the Community Center.



The project was awarded a $704,000 PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations) grant earlier this year, but the township won't receive all that money until completion. In July they obtained a second state grant on the park project, this time a $337,300 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant (OSLAD) grant. This grant will be used to build a multi-use pavilion and develop the remainder of the 17 acre park.

Meanwhile, since no taxpayer money will be spent on the restoration of the historically significant Cross homestead, the Roscoe Township Historical Society is responsible for raising funds to restore it. The home was built in 1841 by Roscoe’s first non-native settlers, Hannah and Robert Cross. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Historic Preservation Office has said, “The Robert Cross Homestead is important to the local community and should be preserved.”

To restore the homestead, Roscoe Township Historical Society secured donations from Scandroli Construction, IBEW Local 364, Kelso-Burnett Electric, Roscoe Garage Door, Apex Construction, and Total Plumbing. Those were mostly donations-in-kind; that is, roofers donated a roof, plumbers donated plumbing, electricians donated electrical work. The Historical Society also succeeded in obtaining a $10,000 ARP Community Grant from Winnebago County. They have held several fundraisers, including an antique sale

"That’s significant progress," say officials," but we still have a long way to go. This year’s donations will enable us to complete restoration of the home’s 1940’s era addition. Then the delicate work on the original structure begins."

The bricks in the original structure were manufactured 180 years ago at the Roscoe brickyard, but the bricks were originally unpainted. It takes specialized knowledge, skill, and experience to properly remove the paint from the brick, restoring the home to its 19th century appearance without damaging it. And the brickwork itself is in need of repair. Roscoe Township Historical Society is asking area residents and businesses to donate the $80,000 needed for the paint removal and masonry repair.

Township officials and volunteers planted more than 50 trees at the Roscoe Township Community Center.
Township Supervisor Bob Nowicki brought his own shovel - a Kubota.
Township officials and community members take a break from planting trees.
July 27, 2022
July 27, 2022
Sept. 15, 2022
Sept. 15, 2022
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Nov. 11, 2022
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