In what could be seen as the first step toward creating a mural downtown, Archbold Village Council approved spending $55,000 to create a blank canvas.
The action was approved by council at its Monday, April 18 meeting.
Village officials have been discussing a proposal to create a large mural on the south-facing wall of Rupp Furniture.
Council selected Burkholder Drywall LLC, rural Archbold, to install the Dryvit system at the $55,000 price.
Dryvit is a Rhode Islandbased company that manufactures an exterior insulation process involving coatings and insulating panels.
Once installed, the Dryvit insulation will then be coated with Keim silicate mineral coating, sometimes referred to as a mineral paint.
In response to a question from Vaughn Bentz, a councilman, Donna Dettling, assistant village administrator, said the wall will be painted white.
It will be ready for a mural artist if the village decides to pursue the option later this year, or in the future, Dettling said.
Two other firms tendered quotes to do the work.
Colleen Enterprises, Toledo, offered to install the exterior insulation for $78,912. OCP Contractor, Holland, tendered a quote of $86,213.
Bentz said the Burkholder Drywall $55,000 quote, well under the other two submitted, indicated civic-mindedness and a willingness to participate in the project on the part of the local company.
One name mentioned as an artist for a mural project is Eric Alan Grohe, Seattle, Wash.
Grohe has done several large murals in Bucyrus, Massillon, Steubenville, Canton, and Columbus.
“They’re three-dimensional, and realistic. You have to see them,” Dettling said.
Dettling said Grohe will come to a community that commissions one of his murals, learn about the town, and meet with local people before forming a design concept.
“It’s truly a grass-roots process,” she said.
But Grohe has not been officially contacted about doing such a project. Now in his 70s, Dettling said he doesn’t take on that many projects.
Plus, there is the question of cost. Hopefully, she said, village officials can put together a plan to fund the project with donations.
Once completed, Dettling said Grohe’s murals can become an attraction. People will travel to see his work.
One aspect of the project is an agreement between the owners of Rupp Furniture and the village.
Under the agreement, the village agrees to care for the south-facing wall in the future. The agreement prevents future owners from cutting openings for windows and doors that could ruin a future mural.
The bottom half of the wall was covered by the former Red Cross Drug building.
Because semi trucks, particularly those with 53-foot trailers, were having difficulty negotiating the corner, Archbold village council agreed to purchase the building for $85,000 on Dec. 1, 2014.
It was torn down in April 2015, and the intersection was widened later that year.
A mural project had been discussed by the Sesquicentennial Committee, with an eye toward having the project done in time for the 150th anniversary, July 13- 17.
It was decided a mural could not be completed in time.
Dettling said Burkholder Drywall said it will complete the work by July 1.