METROPOLIS (WSIL) -- Highly anticipated and big changes are coming to Fort Massac State Park. An old building in the park is now set to be demolished and replaced with a new historic village.
Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) and the Friends of Fort Massac came together to announce the demolition of the old Laidlaw building within the state park near Metropolis.
"Not only has it been an eye sore for the community but it's right here adjacent to Fort Massac and they have a plan to build this village that's incredible. This day is exciting to be able to come here today and to announce the funding, the grant funding to be able to announce this dream come true," explains Fowler.
A $200,000 grant was awarded to the project through the Department of Commerce and Economic opportunity.
"This is a big building so it's going to take a little bit of time. They probably should be starting this fall, no later, but the important thing is it's coming down. It's offically coming down so I can't wait to see this vacant lot and be able to have the ground breaking of the village for Friends of Fort Massac coming one day," adds Fowler.
Mike Korte, President of Friends of Fort Massac, says the dream to build Massac Village has been in the making for years. "I joined the friends in 2008. They were working on it then and here we are in 2021 and we finally recieved the grant we've been working for."
Massac Village will be a historical representation of an 1800's village, complimenting the fort.
"We will have reenactors. There will be a black smith. It will be an operating black smith. He will be working while people visit the village. We will have a general store hopefully with a gift shop so that people can shop. A replica of a school building and a church, city hall," says Korte.
Fowler says he's excited for southern Illinois, the community of Metropolis and the Friends of Fort Massac. He's happy to see their dream come to life.