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DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association moving to NIU satellite campus on Bethany Road

DeKALB – The last remaining tenant in the First National Bank building downtown has found a new home, to make way for an expected DeKalb City Hall move.

The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association will move from its current location, 111 S. Second St., #204, into space used by Northern Illinois University’s satellite campus in DeKalb at the corner of Bethany and Sycamore roads, 2280 Bethany Road, which also is used by NIU Press and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. According to a fall newsletter from the association, the move will be temporary as they look for a more suitable and permanent spot. The newsletter also states the association plans to be moved into the new NIU spot by the start of 2020, which coincides with the city hall relocation timeline laid out by City Manager Bill Nicklas.

“This new location gives DAAHA ample, broadened opportunity to connect with local students and other DeKalb area organizations alike,” Sarah Belch, the new DAAHA representative, stated in the newsletter. “This is bound to create many new, exciting opportunities, along with changes in the upcoming months for DAAHA and its constituents.”

With the new move – much like its former neighbor the convention and visitors bureau – comes new leadership. Donna Langford, manager of operations and the association’s only full-time employee, has announced her resignation to take up a position as executive director of the Beloit Historical Society in Beloit, Wisconsin, according to the Beloit Daily News.

Belch currently is operating remotely to oversee the organization, she said.

The association was formed out of the former DeKalb Ag Alumni organization, according to its website, and keeps archives of DeKalb County’s agricultural history.

Belch’s letter said the remainder of 2019 for the organization will include figuring out how to best move their collection of over 6,000 agricultural items and DeKalb Ag memorabilia safely.

DAAHA is one of three agencies, including the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, that were given a Dec. 31 deadline to vacate their current space, 164 E. Lincoln Highway, since it’s to become the new city hall. The Nehring building is on the corner of the intersection of Second Street and Lincoln Highway, accounting for the different addresses.

Nicklas said Tuesday that city staff have sent out requests for proposals for several forms of interior work needed on the Nehring building before it is ready for the move.

“We have plans to do some work in there, including replacing carpet and painting [on both floors] and fixing bathrooms,” Nicklas said. “We’ll see what kind of pricing we’re getting, and we may adjust our scope of repairs and fix-ups. The building is in good shape.”

Nicklas said the city hopes to be moved into the new space by the end of February, at which time they’ll place the DeKalb Municipal Building, 400 S. Fourth St., on the market as is.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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