Friday, May 6, 2011

Goat Island Light Goes Back In Time: Complete Historic Renovation Underway

Tom Bradbury, Executive Director of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, announced on April 28 that contracts have been signed for the restoration of the Goat Island Light Station in Cape Porpoise, which began construction on May 2.
This is the culmination of 5 years of planning, permitting, negotiating and fund raising by Mike Weston and Scott Dombrowski, the co-project managers.
The restoration work, awarded to Bartlett Builders of Kennebunkport via a competitive bidding process, will include the rebuilding of the bell tower that was torn down in 1962, the covered walkway from the keeper’s quarters to the light tower damaged by the blizzard of 1978 and the original fuel storage building. The cost of this phase of the restoration will be in the neighborhood of $380,000.
The period chosen for the restoration is the decade of the 1950s. Significant photographic evidence exists for that period and that is the period when all of the structures scheduled to be rebuilt were in place and water and electricity were available.
The process to secure the final approvals for construction included work to obtain permits from the DEP, Army Corps of Engineers, Inland Fish and Wildlife, Indian Tribes of Maine, the Town of Kennebunkport and the Maine Historical Preservation Society. Also required was a change to the Kennebunkport Land Use Ordinance for the island to be designated a Contract Zone and the voters of Kennebunkport overwhelmingly approved that change 2 years ago.
Because of the historical nature of the Goat Island Light Station, two archaeological digs were required to assure that no buried artifacts would be destroyed during the rebuilding phase. During this process, some of the original foundations and pilings were uncovered allowing rebuilding in more historically accurate locations. Crane and Morrison completed the dig and analysis that provided the Trust with a treasure trove of historical documentation. Goat Island Light was first lit on August 15, 1833 so historical accuracy would have been difficult to assure without the results from the dig.
Harvey Wells, a Kennebunk architect, first provided a scale model of the project and volunteered hundreds of hours to complete it. Mr. Wells was chosen to provide all of the detailed plans for the rebuilding and restoration based on the photographic evidence and old historical articles to assure historical accuracy. Dustin Roma, an engineer with Sebago Technics of Westbrook, completed all of the site work, permit applications and technical detail. Engineering expertise for the foundations and structural specifications were provided by Group Design of Saco. The bell tower has been designed to withstand high winds and flooding---without compromising the historical integrity of the building exterior.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by September 1 this year with dedication ceremonies to be held shortly after Labor Day.
Coming soon, you can follow the construction by visiting and selecting the Goat Island web-cam that is being installed in the coming days.
Photo caption: Goat Island Light in the 1950s, the period chosen as a model for the restoration. (Courtesy photo)

Senator Collins Reads to Second Grade Students at WES

On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited Wells Elementary School to read to a group of 60 second grade students. The Senator made a rain check visit to honor a previous invitation extended to her to read at the school’s annual “Celebration of Reading Day,” which took place on March 4.
WOCSD Superintendent Elaine Tomaszewski and Principal Marianne Horne escorted the Senator and introduced her to students seated in a common area on the second floor of the school. Also present were Assistant Principal Ken Spinney, numerous WES teachers, and three members of the Senator’s staff including State Office Representative in Biddeford, Cathy Goodwin.
According to Goodwin, Senator Collins naturalized 41 new citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Kennebunk that morning. “There was a lot of wonderful patriotism shown today,” said Goodwin.
The Senator read “Antlers Forever” to the group, occasionally walking around to show the illustrations. After reading the book, the Senator asked the students what their favorite books were. She told the students that she received (appropriately enough) the Dr. Suess book, “Oh the Places You Will Go” when she was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and commented she reads everyday.
One second grade student, Hayden Barker, was recognized by the Senator for recently receiving 1st place for his entry in the Second Grade category in the 25th Annual Literary Achievement Awards Contest sponsored by the District and People’s United Bank.
After leaving the atrium on the second floor, the Senator and entourage descended to the first floor to meet with multi-age grade 1-2 students who had put together a hall display honoring the nation’s most recognizable monuments. Students explained their work including models of the White House, the National Mall’s Reflecting Pool (that actually reflected), Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Alamo and the Liberty Bell. Senator Collins asked the children about their display.
The “Guest Reader Day” and the Senator’s visit were arranged by Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley.
Photo caption: Senator Susan Collins recently visited Wells Elementary School to read to students. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

Barn Gallery Presents 33rd Annual Student Art Show

Join us as area elementary through high school students show their latest work at the 33rd Annual Student Art Show at the Barn Gallery on Bourne Lane at Shore Road in Ogunquit on May 7 and 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. each day. All are invited to a reception on Friday, May 6 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Barn Gallery will be filled floor to ceiling with imaginative paintings, photographs, collages, prints, sculpture, and mixed media pieces. The artistic energy and enthusiasm of the young artists shine forth in a variety of media and subjects.
“I love this show,” says Nancy Davison, President of the Ogunquit Arts Collaborative and the Barn Gallery. “The students try so many different images and techniques. And they delight in finding their work on the walls of a ‘real’ gallery. Our annual Mother’s Day event is one of the most festive shows we have at Barn Gallery.”
Art teachers from schools in southern Maine, including Wells, York, Kittery, Lebanon, Berwick, North Berwick and South Berwick, select individual and group student art projects for this traditional celebration of the year’s work in area art classes.
Barn Gallery will open for the season on Wednesday May 25 at 11 a.m. For more information call 207-646-8400 after May 25, 2011.
Photo caption: Barn Gallery in Ogunquit will host its 33rd Annual Student Art Show on May 7 and 8, with an opening reception on May 6. (Courtesy photo)