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Courtesy photo
From left, Kaleb Ballard, Sean Peters and Grey Fox stand outside the porch they helped re-create this summer while working at the Sower Farmhouse near Rome City.
education notebook

Summer rehabbing farmhouse

East Noble seniors restored porch at state historic site

Three Noble County students spent their summer working on a renovation project near and dear to their county’s heart – the Sower Farmhouse.

Kaleb Ballard, Grey Fox and Sean Peters, seniors at East Noble High School, were selected as part of Impact Institute’s pilot project for the preservation field school.

The Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau teamed up with the Impact Institute, formerly the Four-County Area Vocational Cooperative, to find some helping hands to work on the farmhouse, which is part of the Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site.

Indiana Landmarks leased the property from the state with plans to restore the farmhouse with the help of community partners, said Todd Zeiger, director of the northern regional office for Indiana Landmarks.

Under the guidance of John Bry, community asset development coordinator for the visitors bureau, Paul Hayden, Indiana Landmarks’ community preservation specialist, and construction trades instructor Chris Weber, the students worked for eight weeks to begin the process of restoring the farmhouse at 3543 E. 900 N. near Rome City.

The students restored the front porch, using photos and blueprints to replicate the farmhouse’s original architectural design. They also gutted the bathroom for remodeling.

Weber said the students were selected for the project because they are honest, responsible and hard-working students.

“When these three get done, they step back and look at it and say ‘look what we did today,’ ” Weber said. “ … They take a lot of pride in their work.”

Bry said the farmhouse will be used as a hub for the county’s Farm to Fork program and later could also serve as the headquarters for the Visitor’s Bureau.

Several Goshen College graduate students enrolled in a sustainability course at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center in Noble County donated $700 from leftover meal plan funds to support the Sower Farm.


•The Indiana Youth Institute will host a forum from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday at the Bowen Center, 2100 Goshen Road, Suite 102 to introduce Doug Thieme, the new Region 8 outreach coordinator for the Indiana Department of Education.

•Science Central recently announced school hours. The center is closed Monday and Tuesdays and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The school year hours go into effect Tuesday. Science Central will be closed for exhibit and building maintenance from Sept. 2 to 6 and Sept. 9 to 13, but open on Saturdays and Sundays.

•Kindergarten classes at Messiah Lutheran School, 7211 Stellhorn Road, begin today; classes for ages 2, 4 and 5 begin Sept. 4; and classes for 3-year-old students begin Sept. 5. For more information, call 485-4613.

Ivy Tech

Elaine Rankin Novak recently joined Ivy Tech as the dean for the schools of business and fine arts and design. She will oversee seven programs in the school of business and one in the new school of fine arts and design. Novak most recently served as Illinois Valley Community College’s dean for career and technical programs.


•CampusLink, the free shuttle service between the campuses of Ivy Tech and IPFW, will resume operations today. CampusLink operates during the institutions’ academic calendar, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Indiana Tech

•Registration for Session 2 of graduate programs in Indiana Tech’s College of Professional Studies is Friday. Session 2 runs from Sept. 8 to Oct. 19. For more information, call 800-288-1766 or go online to


•Students at Riverview Middle School in Huntington will visit Salamonie Lake State Recreation Area this school year using funds from the Discovering the Outdoors Field Trip Grant Program through the Indiana National Resources Foundation.

Education Notebook listings appear on Mondays. To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.