29 Sept 03:
The rotted sill has been replaced and new floor joists are being installed. The second floor loft has been removed as it was not a part of the original structure.
Click images to enlarge
2 Oct: The subfloor is in, 11¼" pine boards.
8 Oct: Kathy has primed the outside and commenced staining.
Below Right: An excellent job of replacing a rotted section of the top plate by using 2 lap joints to connect the piece of beam. Nice work Paul V!
7 November - The standing seam metal roof
29 September 2003:
The Sandgate District No. 2 Schoolhouse restoration project has been underway for over a year and a half. We initially began with a condition assessment of the building. We were fortunate to receive a Robert Sincerbeaux Fund grant from the Preservation Trust of Vermont to help cover the cost of this condition assessment. The inspection was performed by Jeremiah Beach Parker of Shoreham, Vt. Mr. Parker has extensive experience with historic restoration and has resurrected many old historic buildings throughout the state.
After the needs of the schoolhouse were established, grant applications were filled out and submitted to both the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Vermont Preservation Trust. Sandgate is very fortunate and very grateful for grants awarded by both of these organizations. Without their help the restoration of the schoolhouse would not be possible! The Preservation Trust grant is a partnership of the Freeman Foundation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.
After considering several applicants, it was decided to award the contract to Jeremiah Beach Parker Restoration and Construction Management Corp. of Shoreham, VT. An efficient crew started work on September 23, 2003 and after 7 days work, the sills, summer beams and floor joists have been replaced. Stone piers were reinstated under the summer beams. Reinforced poly vapor barrier was laid on the ground to prevent future moisture damage. The sub-floor was laid in the classroom, the cloakroom and the wood shed room. Loose parge was removed from the foundation walls and the surface was smoothed off.
Local residents have and are contributing to the project's success. Our first step was to clean out some nasty debris from the schoolhouse, and we are grateful to our neighbors Jim and Betsy Gunn of the Green River Inn for allowing us to use their dumpster. Thanks to Willy Skidmore for donating his time to pull up the top (there were 3 layers) floor of 2 inch tongue-and-groove hardwood, which we will re-lay on the sub-floor. r.k. Miles, Inc. (Home Center) of Manchester, VT. has most generously donated the novelty siding along with primer and stain for the necessary rehabilitation on the outside of the schoolhouse. Sue dePeyster is donating clapboards for the back side of the building.
It is wonderful and exciting to have the restoration under way! We'll keep updating the website as work progresses!
16 October 2003:
To continue after our last report, after laying the sub-floors, some of the work moved outside to take advantage of the good weather. After the loose pieces of foundation parge were removed and smoothed off, an adhesive was applied, after which new mortar was meticulously smoothed on by Paul S. Paul cleverly rounded off the top outside edge of the foundation wall all around the building so that water dripping off the siding would not set on the top and then seep into the sill.
(On the inside again) - Paul V. did an excellent job repairing a section of rotted beam (of the top plate) by using a section of another old beam and connecting the three pieces with lap joints. (See photo).
Paul V. and Lee nailed up two 10-inch boards the length of the building on the collar ties to hold the lights. These two also worked on the beam truss and installed two steel rods, all of which help support the eaves. The steel rods went through the top plate and fastened on the outside. To access the outside of the top plate, they had to cut holes in the soffits (2 for each rod) large enough for a hand to fit through with a socket wrench to tighten the nuts on the rods! Very clever! The schoolhouse is now super secure.
Lee framed out the back windows where there was previously a large opening. (See photo). He matched the historic windows on the other side of the back wall. Lee also cut and put up the siding that was needed.
Paul S. framed for the historic smaller windows on the south side, and he did a great job matching the historic pictures of these windows.
Happily the outside work is done! All the repaired areas have appropriate siding which has been primed and stained. Let it rain - or snow!
Charlie Parker came down Tuesday and spent several hours putting the 'bead' in the pine boards and then creating the tongues and grooves on these boards. Specialty work and a perfect match to the old bead boards!
The crew finished nailing up the bead board today, which turned out to be trickier than expected. It was not so easy to match the old crooked bead board wall on the right side of the chimney. But they overcame the challenge and it looks terrific. I'm using a lot of superlatives, but this is a great crew!
The large schoolhouse windows are yet to be installed and we are looking to finish up this part of the project next week. The little schoolhouse is standing tall and looks happy once again! Stay tuned for further updates!
7 November 2003:
There isn't much detail to be added to our last report of October 16. The last week of restoration work went smoothly and with no problems. The large schoolhouse windows were set in place, the front door was installed and finishing touches were completed.
The standing seam roof was put on over the asphalt shingles by Iron Horse Roofing of Londonderry. The metal comes on a large roll and moves along a long, fairly narrow machine which bends up the sides to the appropriate inch or inch and a half 'lip'. The metal is cut to the proper length, and one end is bent up to match the sides and it is ready to go up on the roof. There are more details involved, but this is the gist of it. Another job well done!
This concludes the majority of the restoration of Sandgate's last remaining one-room schoolhouse. Next spring, volunteers will re-lay the classroom floor and paint the inside. After that the task will be to set up a town museum. So our work is by no means over! But the major challenge is behind us and it will be an adventure to gather old items and memorabilia from Sandgate's past!