We may sing the Porta-Potty Blues in fun but the Expansion Project is serious business. The expansion Project continues our steady progress to upgrade and update the facilities we lease from the Town of Middleboro. Our past capital improvement projects included:
- Adding the current classroom and office space in the East Barn.
- Demolishing the badly deteriorated Carriage House.
- Replacing the outdated Chicken Coop with a modern coop.
This is our most ambitious project yet.
- Adding additional classroom and function space to meet our growing needs.
- Adding kitchen facilities.
- Adding indoor bathrooms.
- Using Green Building Practices when possible.
In 2006 the Board of Directors worked on a strategic plan for the Education Center. During the planning process, we realized the importance of expanding our facilities to allow for program growth. At present, programs are held in one 20’ x 40’ classroom and the only restroom is an outdoor chemical toilet (Porta-Potty). No hot running water is available. Cold running water is available seasonally by outdoor sinks and hoses. The Facilities Expansion Project will provide multiple restrooms, including a handicapped accessible restroom, a commercial kitchen facility, and additional classroom / function space.
The Facilities Expansion Project started with the demolition and rebuilding of the badly rotted west wing of the dairy barn. The kitchen and bathrooms are being built on the footprint of what used to be an attached garage. By doing this, we are retaining the original character of the barn.
The Project will not only expand our program capacity and revenue sources, it will add safety, hygiene and comfort benefits to all visitors. Providing accessible restrooms, a kitchen and additional classroom space will enable us to expand our children’s education programs, adult workshops, and folk concerts to a larger, more diverse audience. It will also allow us to open our space other community groups and individuals for public or private gatherings.
The Facilities Expansion Project has been a multi-year project estimated to cost $282,000. We are currently fundraising as we build. Through generous individuals, businesses, our own Board of Directors and budgeted savings we have raised over $130,000. We have also been awarded a $107,000 grant from the Mass Cultural Council’s Facilities Fund. This is no small feat for an organization with an annual budget of just over $100,000 / year. Our 20-year record of “doing a lot with a little” speaks for itself. We are still raising money, seeking grants and working little by little to complete the goal. We apologize for the constant construction but anyone that has ever cared for an almost 200 year old structure can relate!
We’d like to thank those who have already given. Please stop by and check out the progress. If you would like to make a donation please contact us. Thank you for your help.