A concert for history

Posted Nov. 16, 2009, at 10:03 p.m.

ST. ALBANS, Maine — Another event is planned this week in the one-project-at-a-time renovation of Town Hall that aims to ensure that the historic building remains a resource for decades to come without overburdening taxpayers.

Countless community events have taken place in the 97-year-old building’s upstairs auditorium, and another will be staged Friday evening with what Town Manager Rhonda Stark said might be the first holiday concert of the season.

Proceeds from the event are aimed at renovating the building’s 31 windows, many of which contain colored glass.

“Every window has at least one pane that is cracked and the frames need to be repaired,” Stark said.

Unlike projects in which old, single-pane windows are replaced with modern updates, Stark said, the intention of this restoration is to restore the windows in the spirit with which they were built: piece by piece. Broken panes need to be replaced and most of the rope-and-pulley systems that help the windows open and close need to be repaired.

“We want to find someone who actually wants to take the windows apart,” Stark said. The Town Hall renovation committee “wants to keep the building the way it is.”

The committee hopes to raise the money it needs from private donations and through fundraisers such as Friday night’s concert. Taxpayers already have funded various Town Hall projects, including upgrading the electrical system. To replace the heating system, residents set aside $10,000 this year and will be asked for the balance at the March 2010 town meeting, Stark said.

Friday night’s concert will feature all local talent, including the Nokomis Regional High School jazz chorus and the Hartland United Methodist Church bell ringers. It will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, in the Town Hall. There is no admission charge but donations to the Town Hall Renovation Fund will be accepted.

Stark said Friday’s event is a perfect opportunity for families to kick off the holiday season while contributing to the community in various ways. In addition to the music, food will be for sale, including snacks for during the show and pies to be enjoyed at home. Donations will be accepted for the community giving tree with suggestions ranging from toys for toddlers to hats and mittens to cash donations. The town’s food cupboard is in need of non-perishable food and hygiene items.

“We hope people will want to get out for a good time,” Stark said.

For information, call the town office at 938-4568.

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