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Mission accomplished as PCC roof is replaced

November 02, 2011
NORTHFIELD — It's been a few years in the making, but the Pines Community Center finally received a much needed roof this month through the kindness and generosity of many, including a local contractor who performed the work at no cost.

PCC executive director Jim Doane said he is pleased to announce the project is done, and the center and its board of directors may now move on to consider other improvements to the nearly 20-year-old facility in Northfield.

"No more buckets," he said with relief on a rainy day last week.

It became evident that the roof would need eventual replacement approximately eight years ago, and the board at that time started to investigate ways to afford the necessary repairs. About four years ago, PCC began an Adopt a Shingle fundraiser to help fund the project, and money was set aside in an account specified for the repair. Before the full amount needed to replace the roof could be raised, however, emergency repairs were necessary, and those repairs, while only a "band aid" on the problem, depleted nearly half of the account two years ago.

When Doane came to PCC in the late spring of 2010, he recognized the urgency of the situation, and set to work bringing the account back up to the amount needed. He was pleased when even more people pitched in to make the new roof a reality.

"If it wasn't for local residents and businesses, this still wouldn't be done. They deserve the credit. I'm just the man sitting in this seat when it happened," Doane said.

One important figure was Chris Milner of Milhouse Enterprises, who committed his company to the project. Milner, who resides in Northfield, said he jumped onboard and began attending meetings about the roof when he learned the emergency repairs wiped out a large portion of the budget for the roof.

Milner said he wanted to do something to help the community center, which he and his family have come to depend on.

"If it wasn't for the Pines, we'd have to think of other ways to care for our son. They're important in our lives for the after school and summer programs and all the other things they do here for our family and the community," said Milner. "I don't know where we'd be without them so I wanted to help in anyway I could."

Another deciding factor in getting the roof rebuilt was a large grant from 3M in Tilton.

Doane said, "If it wasn't for 3M, I wouldn't be sitting here today saying the roof is done. That was a huge help, and we're really grateful."

Besides the time for three employees a day donated by Milner, inmates from the Merrimack County Jail lent a hand in removing the previous roofing materials, and Bestway Disposal Services of Belmont donated a dumpster for the clean up.

"Dennis Allen is the Public Works director for Tilton, and a Northfield resident, so he helped to arrange for some great prices and donations in services from Bestway, which were really appreciated," said Doane.

Next up for improvements to the center will be some other cosmetic repairs, mostly the result of previous leaks in the roof, as well an upgrade in the technology of the center.

"We received a really generous technology grant of $4,000 from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to bring us out of the Dark Ages," Doane said.

Future changes residents can now look forward to are online registration and payment for programs at PCC, as well as data retrieval and tracking programs, which should prove to be important to the day-to-day functions and budgeting process of the facility.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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