Forever Dads, Historic Building undergoes Preservation and Restoration Project

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio- The ForeverDads building is undergoing a 2021 historic building preservation and restoration project as it gets major repairs done to it. 

With the help of communities, organizations and the Straker foundation, the building will continue to be restored.

The original Putnam High School was built in 1840 and is now utilized by ForeverDads, a community center in hopes to equip and empower fathers to be present and involved within their families. Currently, the building is having a lot of exterior work done to it. 

“From the outside you’re going to see a new paint going on reflecting the historic character. ForeverDads is dedicated to preserving the building and its historic character here in this neighborhood,” Architect and Building Committee member Pat Kelly said.

Over the years the building has had different repairs and enhancements. Last year, its boiler system was replaced adding more efficient heat and air conditioning. 

Kelly said it’s important to keep the building restored as it’s a historic asset to the Zanesville heritage and the district it’s located at. 

“It shows that the organization takes a lot of pride in their facility. They have dedicated their time and efforts to establish this building. They bought it from the Zanesville City Schools with the support of the community,” Kelly said.

Executive Director of ForeverDads Burl Lemon has been with the organization for over 15 years. He compared the restoration project to the organizations mission.

“The preservation of this building and restoration is parallel to what we do with the fathers we serve. We give them an opportunity to restore their relationship with their family and children. It also preserves their future and for the community of healthy men,” Lemon said.

For more information on ForeverDads, visit its website.

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Natalie Comer
Natalie grew up in Martinsburg, WV and graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Journalism emphasizing in broadcast. During her time at WVU, she worked and interned with WVU Athletics Video, where she helped with video production on game days. Her senior year of college, she was the Sports Reporter/Anchor for “WVU News,” an Emmy-award winning newscast produced by journalism students. Natalie is a huge sports fanatic. She is a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins, but when it comes to football, she cheers on the LA Rams. Her dream job is to be a reporter in the NHL.