Building Repair Fund

Our historic building in downtown New Ulm requires extensive repairs to Keep it Grand!

During the last year we have become aware of some major issues related to our building masonry.

Our building is a historic structure and needs continual maintenance, however  the rear addition has revealed hidden and unforeseen damage caused by mistakes made in our large-scale renovation ten years ago. We are attempting to recover these costs, but the outcome is not certain and will take time. The total cost of repairs to be completed in 2023 and 2024 is estimated to be over $1 million.

Sample Repair Costs


Cost to replace brick, per 5 square feet


Cost to replace each window


Cost to replace each door


Cost for waterproofing, per square foot

Construction Progress

Repairs to our historic building are fully underway! Masonry work is expected to be complete in fall 2023. Final repairs, including rebuilding the back deck, are expected for completion in 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

regarding The Grand Center for Arts & Culture Building Repair Fund

Why is this restoration necessary?

During the last year we have become aware of some major issues related to our building masonry. Our building is a historic structure and needs continual maintenance, however last year we learned that the rear addition had hidden issues caused by construction mistakes made during our large-scale renovation ten years ago.

Can you recover any of these costs?

We are litigating to attempt to recover some costs, but not all and the outcome is not certain. The total cost of removing all of the brick on the addition, replacing it, adding the necessary water barriers, removing and replacing store fronts and windows and replacing the decks with a better design, has been estimated at over $800,000.

What improvements are being made, and when will they be completed?

In addition, the building also requires tuck-pointing on the entire original south facade. The building frontage has masonry issues that need fixing. Both repairs are needed to prevent further water damage to the interior. The building façade is also due for another painting of the exterior (every ten years!)

Who is completing this round of renovations?

We have great partners, Lerch Bates and Building Restoration Corporation, who are currently working on the investigation of the damages  and will ensure all repairs are identified and addressed.

How are the renovations currently funded?

The combination of all of these repairs in two years will require us to take a significant amount out of our endowment, which was set up to provide supplemental funding for annual operations, including salaries and programming, but not for renovations of this magnitude.

Our board is concerned about taking funds out of the endowment for building repairs, while also sustaining our arts and culture programs for the community. We do know that The Grand will continue to need regular maintenance and repairs, such as roofing, painting, exterior repairs, etc. With all of this in mind, our board has agreed that we will create a Building Repair Fund to help replenish our reserves and build up funds for larger building projects in the future.

What is the fundraising goal?

We are reaching out to our past major donors and business partners to ask for a donation or a pledge over the next one to four years, to help us with this initiative. We plan to get broad-based community support. Our goal is to raise $450,000.

Regional Economic and Cultural Impact

Since 2010, The Grand has hosted over 1,000 live music events and over 120 gallery shows, as well as many adult art classes, attracting tourists and locals to downtown New Ulm to eat, drink and shop. The Grand has had an undeniable economic impact on downtown New Ulm. Our youth art camps and classes have had over 800 participants, increasing the diversity of experiences and improving the quality of life in our region.

Help us Keep it Grand

The Grand Center for Arts and Culture was built with broad support from the local community, and we need that same support now to help us address these unforeseen circumstances. Please consider making a donation to the Building Repair Fund today, or contact us to make a multi-year pledge.

Donor Thank You Event

Pledge or donate $300 or more to the Building Repair Fund and attend our “You’ve Kept it Grand” party!

This appreciation event will feature appetizers, desserts, and music from The Boat Note Five on Friday, September 29 from 6:00-9:00pm.

Building Repair Fund Donor Appreciation Thank You event

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