New roof for old Ruskin Hall will last decades

Company, community pitch in

A major part of the preservation and protection of the old Ruskin Community Hall has been completed, thanks to a community effort and a local roofing company.

Whonnock Roofing is donating the labour costs for the project, cutting the cost by more than half, down to $7,000.

“We can afford this. It’s no problem,” said Jordy MacDonald with the Ruskin Community Hall Association.

The association has been struggling to maintain the 96-year-old building and getting a new leak-proof roof that will last for a few decades is a major part.

“The roof is a big deal. If we had left it for a more years longer, that would have destroyed the building.”

After the roof is replaced, the floor will need redoing. “It’s a beautiful, 98-year-old tight grain hardwood floor but it just needs to be refinished. We don’t have any money to do cosmetic things like that,” MacDonald said previously.

He added that fundraisers, such as him collecting old car batteries for refunds, have helped with the association’s finances. Plus, more rentals of the hall are creating steady income that helps pay for maintenance.

Association president Trevor Taylor said Whonnock Roofing’s offer for a discount on the installation was a great deal.

The roof was deteriorating, he said.

He said that the association is doing better compared to a year ago, as younger people move into the area. “They have turned it around for us because everybody else was old and crusty and tired.”

Clay Gagnon, with Whonnock Roofing, said the company tries do one charity project a year. “Every year, we try to pick something nice in the community to do.”

The regular price for the project would be about $16,900. Gagnon had two crews on the project Thursday and Friday so it would be done in that time.

The shingles are top of the line and should last 50 years, he added.

The Ruskin Community Hall Association was formed in 1930 and has owned the property since that time.

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