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GOC warming hut reconstruction underway



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From left to right, are Dale Squires with Belknap Landscaping, Dean Anderson, Selectman John O’Brien, Rick Moses with the Gilford Rotary Club, Scott Davis, Town Administrator Scott Dunn, Rico Betti and Carol Anderson volunteer to help restore the old Gustock Outing Club Warming Hut. absent are Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan and Sarah Anderson. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
April 25, 2012
After six years of research and planning, Sarah Anderson, along with family and community volunteers, set to work Saturday, April 21 on the reconstruction of the old Gilford Outing Club Warm-up Hut by the intersection of Routes 11-A and 11-B.

According to Carol Anderson, Sarah's mother, the project had become a group effort.

"It feels good to be on this stage of the project," said Carol.

According to Carol, her daughter started the project at 10-years-old, and is now 16-years old, and they were glad to move on to the construction stage of the project.

"She started this so long ago, we need to get some closure," said Carol.

According to Carol, the most time-consuming part of the project was all the research of the building and guidelines for historical restoration and reconstruction. She said they wanted to learn the best way to go about the reconstruction, and to know how to do it right.

Carol explained that since the building was in such bad shape, it needed more of a reconstruction of the entire structure, rather than a restoration. For a historical reconstruction, the crew needed to keep the same structural design and have the hut look as much like the original hut down to the paint and the color or the roof.

Carol said they would try to use original materials where they could, such as the old wood stove and the large windows looking out at the hill.

"What comes off has to go back on," said Carol. "Or as close as we can possible get it."

According to Carol, the hut fell into disrepair around 1992, when the GOC disbanded and donated the hut to the town, leaving no one to care for the aging structure.

Former member of the club Penny Pitou stopped by the site as volunteers were beginning the day, and as she was heading out for a hike with friends. Carol said Pitou was thrilled that someone was taking on the project of restoring the old hut.

Another large part of the project was fundraising. According to Carol, they raised about $10,000 through donations from Meredith Savings Bank and Laconia Savings Bank, along with private donors. Over time, they accumulated materials and, for a school project, Huot Tech students build the walls to be raised into place once the crew removed the old walls and jacked up the roof.

Volunteers for the construction proton included Selectman John O'Brien, Town Administrator Scott Dunn, Public Works Director Sheldon Morgan, Engineer Scott Davis, Dale Squires of Belmont Landscaping, Rick Moses of the Gilford Rotary Club, Dean Anderson, Sarah's brother, and Rico Betti, a community volunteer.

Carol said they hoped to be finished the reconstruction by June 16 for the Gilford Bicentennial celebration. They hope to eventually add the Warming Hut to the state or national Historical Registry.

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