Restoration & Re-Opening

A Decade of Work

Since 2011, the Schoolhouse has been closed to the public. A small group of supporters and volunteers have done research, planning, fundraising, and finally have restored much of the building. Thanks to generous donors and granting organizations, it is now time to reopen the building again.

Much of the work has been done on the Root Schoolhouse since 2019. It was lifted, the drainage was improved, and the old foundation was replaced. In 2020, thanks to one donor, the building was repainted and the historic windows were restored. Over the past year, we have also updated the electrical wiring, enlarged the back door, restored the globe light fixtures, and finally built an ADA access ramp and parking space.

Almost There!

We are currently raising the funds: for the completion of roof and chimney repairs. All the necessary elements needed for the VT Safety Requirements have been completed and the occupancy permit has been granted. We can now enjoy the building on a seasonal basis from May to October.

Future enhancements such as a kitchen counter replacement, ceiling repairs, interior painting, landscaping and shoulder season heating to extend the use of the building will depend on continued support from donors.

Thank you!

We would like to thank our local contractors and artisans who generously donated their time at reduced rates or as an in-kind donation: Graham Webster of Webster and Donovan, Paul Derkson of Turning Leaf, and Blake Spencer, Sean Dalton of Spencer Associates and Rye Keller for the iron railings on the front steps. John Vincent former board member and retired engineer was instrumental as a project manager during the foundation replacement phase.

Donate

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please see our donation information. Thank you for your support.

Our Reopening Celebration:

Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021

Over 100 friends and neighbors joined us for live music, children’s games, and refreshments as we celebrated the years-long collaboration that restored this historic treasure, allowing us to re-open as a community center.

Root Schoolhouse Board President Courtney Dobyns expressed gratitude to all the people who helped make this day a reality:

It’s so heart warming to know that a small band of dedicated neighbors can make a difference and create a reason to celebrate in our local community. With your help we saved this building from the ravages of water and time.  It has been a delightful and sometimes overwhelming experience.

With so much going on in the world as people get displaced because of conflict and climate change, we are proud to call this schoolhouse a place for community resilience.….

In this spirit, we open the doors of the restored Root Schoolhouse to the community at large as a unique, welcoming and vital space in which to enjoy each other, to replenish, rejuvenate and sustain ourselves and our community. Now it’s up to you to create your own events and to carry on the schoolhouse community tradition. We are open for business!”

Read the President of the Board’s full remarks here.

Thanks to Chad Finer and Ken Turino for their photo contributions.

Visioning Session

In May 2021, our Board met in the Schoolhouse to brainstorm how to communicate the opportunities of this building as a resource to the town. Norwich neighbor Holly Kania facilitated the session.

The 2021 Board
Front Row: Mary Layton, Jean Lawe, Courtney Dobyns
Second Row: Nancy LaRowe, Carla Vincent, Tricia Spellman,

Nancy Cressman, John Lawe
Collaborating on a Vision

Schoolhouse Restoration Stages

In June 2021, Graham Webster and Blake Spencer completed the ADA access and driveway work. After a decade of restoration, we are in the final stages of this phase of the restoration!

The ADA Parking Space
The Driveway
Ramp Railing completed