October 18, 2018
OPS Receives Grant for Island Inn Stabilization
By Connie Leinbach
The Ocracoke Preservation Society has received a $15,000 grant from The Outer Banks Community Foundation to stabilize the Odd Fellow Lodge section of the Island Inn.
That original building is all that remains after the nonprofit
demolished the two wings recently as part of the OPS’s plan to save the
property for community purposes.
Stabilization of the building includes removing the remaining
demolition debris, closing gaps and some internal work, said Ken
DeBarth, OPS president.
The grant will be paid from the Diane and Nelson Henderson Endowment
Fund, the Shirley and David Doran Memorial Fund and the Community Fund.
The vision for the iconic property, which the OPS purchased in May,
includes retaining and renovating the original two-story, wood-frame
structure (the former Odd Fellow’s Lodge), demolishing the two
deteriorating wings (which has been done) and adding public restrooms,
all while retaining some green space.
DeBarth said the OPS has to find funding for each phase of the multiyear project.
“Each step of the way we will be looking for grant money for historic renovation,” he said.
In addition to stabilizing the original structure, the OPS on Oct. 11
asked the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board at a special meeting to fund the
building of public restrooms in a stand-alone building at the
site. That cost is an estimated $150,000, which includes a new
The Occupancy Tax Board is seeking projects on the island restricted to
capital improvements that can be funded from its reserve of about
Not included in the OPS request to fund six-stall unisex restroom construction is the annual cost of maintenance and management.
Discussion at the Oct. 11 meeting in the Community Center touched on
who would maintain the restrooms, but that’s still in the talking
phase. Hyde County Manager Kris Noble, who attended, said she would
look into what it would take for the county to handle maintenance on a
contractual basis. Perhaps a resident could launch a private business
to handle the future maintenance of these public restrooms as well as
other island management needs.
In the meantime, the OPS Island Inn Committee, consisting of DeBarth,
Otis Hurd, retired accountant and treasurer of OPS as treasurer; Andrea
Powers, administrator of OPS as secretary; Bill Cole, community
volunteer and on OPS board of directors; Ed Norvell, attorney; Tom
Pahl, local contractor and county commissioner; and Bill Rich, Hyde
County businessman and recently retired Hyde County manager, are
overseeing the renovation project.
“We thank the Outer Banks Community Foundation, the board of directors
and executive director for awarding this grant in support of our
project,” Powers said.
Anyone interested in donating to this project may send checks to the
OPS, P.O. Box 1240, Ocracoke, NC 27960, with “Island Inn” in the memo
formed in 1983 to preserve the unique island culture and history for
the enjoyment and education of the community and its visitors, will
present an update on this and other projects at its fall membership
meeting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Community Center.