VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) - A multimillion-dollar overhaul of an aging southwestern Indiana war memorial is nearing completing, but visitors likely won't notice any difference.
The work at the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes involves fixing an extensive system of pipes, an electrical system and the heating and air system.
The Vincennes Sun-Commercial reports much of the memorial's infrastructure has been damaged over the years by water collecting inside the memorial's terrace. The memorial's rotunda was closed last winter because the faulty heating and cooling system made it impossible to control the climate inside the memorial, putting the seven 75-year-old murals that adorn the walls at risk.
The terrace was rebuilt in 2010, solving the water issues. Crews have spent recent months drilling the holes for a new geothermal heating system and installing new, underground power lines.
New LED lighting is being installed in the monument and on the Lincoln Memorial Bridge as part of the project.
Frank Doughman, the park's chief ranger and acting superintendent, said the work is expected to be completed by the annual Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous, which occurs over Memorial Day weekend.
Doughman said memorial visitors probably won't notice a difference once the project is completed.
"Because it's a historic structure, we, ultimately, hope people don't notice anything," he said. "But for us, it will provide a lot greater control of temperature and humidity, and those things are vital when it comes to preservation of items like the murals.
"The new system will give us more control so we can guarantee the longevity and protection of those."
The memorial honors Clark, an American colonel who led forces to defeat the British at Fort Sackville in Vincennes in 1779.
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