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DeWitt: Building a dream

The town of Dewitt handed out its annual Parrat Schick Design Awards at the planning board meeting on Jan. 11. The award honors members of the community who have demonstrated a fluent knowledge in the fields of architecture, construction, and contracting.

Three local businesses were honored for their excellent building design: Texas Roadhouse, built by Louisville contractors; Holy Cross Church, built by Auburn's Beardsley Construction and Starbucks Coffee on Carrier Drive, built by locally owned Pempco.

The awards this year represented more than they usually do, according to comissioner of zoning and planning Dick Robb.

"Well Mr. Parrat passed away since we last had the awards," he said. "It just made it a touch more sentimental."

John O'Brien from Pempco, for the Starbucks on Carrier Parkway, said Parrat was very helpful during the building and design process.

"One of the last things I heard from Roy, when we were finishing last spring was 'You know John, this is probably going to receive an award,'" O'Brien said. "I miss his presence."

Holy Cross Church Reverend Robert Yeazel was on hand to receive the award for his recently built facilities. The Vatican recently honored Yeazel with the title of Monsignor.

"This is a big honor for our church," he said.

For Texas Roadhouse, Jerry DeCroce, the local owner, was on hand to receive the award.

Each year up to three owners of projects are voted on by the planning board that show an exemplary model of how a building should look in the town, Robb said.

"It's important that we do this, because the community needs to understand how much goes into building new buildings or renovating existing ones, and not only how important it is to the facilities, but to the community as well," Robb said.

Robb said the award gives builders an incentive to strut their best stuff in the town of DeWitt.

"We all use these great facilities and its important to recognize that Roy Parrat and Norris Schick were both exemplary planning board members and instrumental to the unique look of the town," Robb said.

Parrat was a 27-year member of the planning board. He was a fundamental planner according to Robb.

"He was their conscience," he said. "People didn't always agree with him, but they sure did respect him."

Norris Schick was the chairman for 15 years until about 2002.

The Parrat Schick Design awards started in 1999, and in 2001 it was held annually.

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