Learning & Innovation Center Campaign launched by Historical Society


The floor layout of the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center

The floor layout of the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center


A campaign is underway to raise funds for the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center.


SIDNEY — Volunteers and supporters of the Shelby County Historical Society have reflected on 2021 and thanked the volunteers who assisted with the many Society activities held during the year. Director Tilda Phlipot and co-presidents Julie Gilardi and Faye Spangler expressed their respect and appreciation the Society Board of Trustee members have for the hundreds of volunteers, without whom such events as the Traveling Vietnam Wall could not have been successfully presented.

As historians remind us, the past is prologue. History in the community is alive and well. At the Dec. 8 event, the Society announced a campaign to design and build a learning and innovation center in the former Lochard building on North Street across the street from the Ross Historical Center.

Since its rebirth in 1993, the historical Society has primarily been an educational organization. Its award-winning programs in such subjects as pioneer life, immigration, Civil War, Vietnam and industrial heritage have touch the lives of virtually all children educated in the county. Its hand-crafted exhibits have covered many aspects of county history.

History is most useful as a means to educate and inspire. The Learning & Innovation Center will do just that. The Society completely remodeled and updated the Lochard building this year. The Board enlisted the services of Eleven57 Design Group of Sidney to conceive and build the Center. The Society design team adopted the following mission statement for the Center. “The Learning & Innovation Center honors Shelby County’s past and celebrates generations of visionaries to foster pride in our community and inspire the great minds of the future.”

Local historian and author Rich Wallace and his family are making the lead gift for the Center. Wallace helped reorganize the Society in 1993 and has been involved as a board member and volunteer since that time.

“All the community leaders who preceded us created a lasting legacy of achievement and innovation from which we benefit today. We wanted to do our part to honor the past and inspire the next generation of leaders,” Wallace said.

The Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center will be composed of gallery areas focusing on early history, transportation, industrial ingenuity and business achievement, agricultural heritage, persons of impact and a large area where visitors will understand why Shelby County is still the land of opportunity for future employees and the next generation. Each gallery will have teaching moments where students will be challenged to imagine what contributions they could make to our community.

The campaign fund raising goal is $900,000. Contributions will be accepted from families, individuals and businesses who share the vision for the Center. No public funds or operating levy money will be used to design or construct the Learning & Innovation Center.

“For 200 years our ancestors invested in their community and left an amazing legacy of achievement. Now it is time for us to pay it forward to benefit the next generation of Shelby County residents,” said Phlipot.

Those interested in making an investment may contact the Society at 937-498-1653 or by sending an email to director@shelbycountyhistory.com.

The floor layout of the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/01/web1_wallacecenterdiagram.jpgThe floor layout of the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center

A campaign is underway to raise funds for the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/01/web1_WallaceFamily-copy.jpgA campaign is underway to raise funds for the Wallace Family Learning & Innovation Center.