2022 Fall Annual Meeting and
Our 2022 Annual Meeting at the schoolhouse was a special event with pot luck desserts, a brief annual meeting agenda and a presentation by Professors Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer called “School Photos and the Hidden Curriculum”. Drawing on their book, School Photos in Liquid Time: Reframing Difference, their visual display of school photos from all over the world, including ones from the Root Schoolhouse archives, generated a lively discussion among the attendees.
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. In 2021 we updated the electrical wiring, enlarged the back door, restored the globe light fixtures, and finally built an ADA access ramp and parking space. All the necessary elements needed for the VT Safety Requirements were completed and the occupancy permit was granted.
Work Completed in 2022!
The roof was re-shingled and the chimney has been completely repaired with a new copper cap. The ceilings and the walls have been beautifully patched and painted. Thanks to Kevin Louzier, KJL Roofing; Oliver Puig, Affordable Chimney; Jeff Wilmot, Painting and Wallpapering; Terry Bragg, Bragg Carpentry.
We are ready to enjoy this gem of a building during the May to October 2023 season!
Future enhancements such as gutters, a kitchen counter replacement and shoulder season heating to extend the use of the building will depend on continued support from donors.
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, Rye Keller for the iron railings on the front steps and Jeff Wilmot for the painting. Thanks to Lebanon Paint and Decorating for the reduced price on the paint and to KR Portable Toilets who has generously donated their services of delivering and cleaning the ADA access portable toilet for the 2021-2023 seasons. This is a huge boost to our operating budget. John Vincent former board member and retired engineer was instrumental as a project manager during the foundation replacement phase.
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.
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.
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!