RAWDON: A large crowd didn’t let the dreary weather outside keep them home as they turned out for the unveiling of the newly renovated hall at the Rawdon Volunteer Fire Department.
Among those at the event was Sam Winter, a youngster with a historic connection to the department. His dad is a current member and his grandfather built it. He did a Heritage Fair project for his school, Rawdon District School, on the fire department, and it earned selection to go to the Heritage Fair regionals in Truro next month. The project was on display for all too see.
“I enjoy coming to the hall,” he said when asked why he did the project. “When we first made it, my parents and sister got some paper and we thought we were going to do it all red and yellow. But when we folded it it never worked.
“I got some pictures of firefighters with the different ranking helmets. I got pictures of my grandfather and some stories and put it on the board.
He said the department thought it would be great to have it on display here at the open house.”
Besides Winters project, there were also clippings of Rawdon Fire stories and photos in past issues of the Weekly Press, while people also got to check out the new kitchen and bar area.
Fire Chief Lee Roulston explained the upgrades to the hall was needed since it had not been touched since the 1970s. It gives it a fresh new look, rather than the old look it had.
“The building has been totally renovated from the outside in, with new insulation, removing the old kitchen and bathrooms, put in a new bar, barrier-free washrooms, wheelchair ramp outside for more accessibility, and put in the new kitchen,” he said. “We raised the ceiling. It’s more usable space now for the community.”
The cost for the renovations was $300k, with the Municipality of East Hants and Canada 150 fund through the federal government amounting to $175,000 total . The department continues to fundraise their portion of the loan.
Andrew Cluett said they now have a building that’s completely inclusive to the community.
“Before it didn’t allow everybody to enjoy it,” said Cluett. “We were limited on what we could do. Now, we have a building that can accommodate anybody. That was our goal.
“We wanted a community space that was open to everyone.”
And now they have that.