Garst Museum's New Parking Lot is Open!
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Something new in the neighborhood? Indeed there is! On Friday, August 14, 2020, Garst Museum celebrated the near completion of its new parking lot by recognizing the people who helped make it a reality. Invited guests were Jim Buchy, Eunice Steinbrecher, Keith Faber, Darryl Mehaffie, Pete Hemer, Rodney Oda, John Marchal, Steve Gruber, Darren Reeves, and Tim Flora. Keith Faber, Ohio Auditor of State, presented Dr. Clay Johnson, President and CEO of Garst Museum, with a certificate of dedication for the new parking lot and also recognized Darryl Mehaffie, emeritus board member of the Darke County Historical Society, as one of Ohio’s finest citizens, for his many years of devoted service to his community and the state of Ohio. Garst Museum will be forever grateful to all those involved because it is clear that the scope of the project took many hours of planning from start to finish. But, when did the project actually begin? Standing vacant, the century-old Buchy’s plant was razed in 2012. On March 23, 2015, five years before the pandemic brought activities to a standstill, John Marchal and Pete Hemer met with Louis Bergman at Mote and Associates to “get down and dirty” about a parking lot at Garst Museum. And hence, the project is launched. Garst Board Committee members led by Pete Hemer, Darryl Mehaffie, Steve Gruber, and Garst CEO Dr. Clay Johnson prepared for the project and secured funds from grants and donations to finance it. The Ohio Facilities Construction Committee awarded $150,000 to partially fund the project; a private benefactor, who wished to remain anonymous to direct the focus to the future of the community and the Museum, donated monies; and the Buchy family made a valued contribution to the project adhering to their decades of commitment to the community. The Museum worked closely with the Darke County Park District and County Engineer’s Office to assimilate the parking facility into the surrounding lands to benefit future generations through calculated foresight and employed local businesses to bring the project to fruition. The comprehensive plan will make efficient use of the property and enhance the aesthetics of the North Broadway thoroughfare. Today, just a few final touches need to be added and then the parking venue will be an essential part of the Museum’s operations and events.