NORTH CALAIS — The North Calais Memorial Hall Association is celebrating a $100,000 grant toward a $683,000 capital campaign to ensure the restoration and future upkeep of the 1886 hall and its Civil War memorial.
The grant to the lakeside landmark on Mirror Lake, also known as No. 10 Pond, came this month from the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program, in honor of the longtime leader of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, who died in September.
The grant will help stabilize the building, closed since 2012 due to structural deterioration.
The funding will be used to: repair the foundation, floor framing and other structural deficiencies; improve drainage, provide ventilation and remediate mold; rewire the building and install a fire alarm system; renovating the kitchen; updating plumbing and install a drilled well for drinking water; restore windows and the two-story porch; paint the interior and exterior; and provide ADA-compliant parking, access and restroom facilities for the hall.
Other funding toward the capital campaign includes $130,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, $20,000 from the Division for Historic Preservation and $50,000 over two years from the Calais Select Board.
Debby Haskins, president of the NCMHA, paid tribute to the support and funding the memorial hall association had received so far.
“The association is grateful to (Sen.) Patrick Leahy, Paul Bruhn and the Preservation Trust of Vermont for all their help and for encouraging our small and dedicated group to accomplish great things,” Haskins said. “Thanks to the Paul Bruhn grant, the association has now secured three-quarters of the funding needed to kick off construction this upcoming spring.”
Leahy, the senior senator from Vermont who lives in nearby Middlesex, also paid tribute to the work and legacy of Bruhn.
“Paul believed that in preserving our historic structures for public use we can sustain the vibrancy and quality of life in small, rural communities throughout Vermont,” Leahy said. “It’s a vision I share, and I can say with confidence that revitalization of the North Calais Memorial Hall will contribute in these ways.
“Naming this program for him is a testimony to Paul’s dedicated public service spanning more than four decades and to his longstanding commitment to preserving the historic icons of rural Vermont and rural America,” Leahy said.
Liz Gamache, interim president of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, noted that the memorial hall association’s request was one of seven out of 45 applications to receive funding.
“These are incredibly difficult decisions to make,” Gamache said. “In awarding these grants to a range of projects around the state, we are thrilled and thankful that Senator Leahy and the National Park Service are committed to sustaining Paul Bruhn’s historic preservation legacy in Vermont and across the nation.”
The project is also supported through a grant from the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Donations to the Memorial Hall may be made by check, payable to Preservation Trust of Vermont, with “Memorial Hall” noted in the memo line and mailed to NCMHA, PO Box 25, East Calais, VT 05650, or online at www.memorialhallcalais.org