Selectman's meetings minutes here.
Center Meetinghouse above-ground restoration begins
Outside, the temperature is in the 20s. I step hard on the ice crust, shattering it like glass, exposing the soft, pristine snow to the white winter sun. A wind gust jostles ice-coated tree branches, causing brilliant pin-point flashes of white, yellow, blue, green and red against the flawlessly clear blue sky. Just another winter day in Newbury.
Inside the Center Meetinghouse doorway, the temperature is still well below freezing. Bernie Walker, from Hillsborough, and Bob St. Laurent, from Henniker, are working under floodlamps, carefully removing old windows from their frames and preparing them for the next phase of their journey back to life.
Footsteps clatter on the metal stairs from the scaffolding above. It's project Forman, Kirt Clarke, from Keene, leading Doug Whelan and his wife Gloria, down to the entrance. Doug is Chairman of the Fundraising Committee, and he and Gloria are Directors of the Center Meetinghouse, along with Bill Weiler and Chuck Kennedy. Dan Wolf is founder and President. The Whelans moved to Newbury from Houston nine years ago and have been enthusiastic supporters of the restoration project since it began, three years ago.
Doug, Kirt and I climb back up into the rafters of the 175 year old building, ducking under caution ribbons and stepping around tension cables.
It was quite an accomplishment to construct the high vaulted ceiling with posts and massive beams held together with long wood pegs.
Some of the beams still have bark on them. Much of the timber looks almost as fresh as the day it was built.
Unfortunately, other timber has rotted, and must be replaced. Of course,
as luck would have it, most of those are critical to the structural
integrity of the building, and require a great deal of time and expense
to remove and replace. The current estimate is $1,475,000 to complete
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