Brooks Hall is the main meeting hall at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary.
Brooks Hall is the main meeting hall at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. It was constructed in 1958 from timbers harvested from the property. Its cherry and sycamore paneling frames a meeting space warmed by a large flagstone fireplace that serves as a gathering space on cool days and nights. Restrooms are available with an additional handicapped restroom added in 1993.
The meeting space will accommodate a maximum of 125 people with metal chairs arranged in a classroom style. Blackout blinds provide darkening for daytime presentations and an LCD projector is available for Ceiling fans provide air circulation in warm conditions and an LP furnace provides heat in cooler seasons.
The hall is named after Dr. Earl Brooks (1883-1968). Dr. Brooks was an ardent supporter of the IAS and worked tirelessly to develop the then newly acquired Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. He collaborated in designing the trails, plantings of habitat, and visualizing the property’s future. At the January 1959 Board of Director’s meeting in Indianapolis, the decision was made to name the nearly finished construction “Brooks Hall” to honor Dr. Brooks’s efforts.
Additionally, Dr. Brooks was the first editor of the Indiana Quarterly, a position he served in for 17 years. An IAS member for over 30 years, he was President for nine of those years. He authored Common Birds of Indiana, was awarded a fellowship in the Indiana Academy of Science in recognition of his IAS devotion. The highest award presented by the IAS in recognition of environmental efforts is named in his honor as well.
The IAS held its first state meeting at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in the spring of 1948. A short eleven years later, May of 1959, construction was completed and the first meeting was held inside. With the assistance of the Lilly Foundation, many donors, and Dan Faint of Connersville as Brooks Hall was brought into existence.
Brooks Hall is available for rental throughout the year. The hall is heated, has modern restrooms, electric, and can accommodate large or small meetings and receptions. Both round and 8 foot rectangular tables are available along with chairs. The hall has a large projection screen and audio/video products are available for rent at a small additional cost.
- Meetings – $200 per day
- Early Set-up (Additional fee for setting up the day/night before) – $100 per day
- Weddings – Brooks Hall is included in the $500 rental fee
- Tablecloths and skirts are available for rental
Rental of the meeting hall is $200 per day. Weddings are $500 for the day of the event. There’s a $100 charge for setting up a day early and an additional $100 for cleaning up the day after the event.
The hall rental, free parking, tables and chairs. The cost does not include set-up or clean-up after the event or trash service. Renters are asked to leave the place as you found it and remove all extra items (including trash) after the event.
Reservations are taken on a first come, first serve basis.