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Renovation ramps up at Pioneer Village

A month might seem like a long time to most people, but when you are Bryan Quigley and recruiting volunteers for physically demanding and expensive work, that time whizzes by at the speed of light.

6/10/14 (Tue)


On the boardwalk... A crew from Fat Boys Construction builds a new board walk in Pioneer Villiage in Kenmare Thursday afternoon. The board walk is one of several improvements taking place in the historical village on the northeast side of Kenmare.

By Marvin Baker

A month might seem like a long time to most people, but when you are Bryan Quigley and recruiting volunteers for physically demanding and expensive work, that time whizzes by at the speed of light.

Quigley, the president of the Lake County Historical Society, constantly has July 13 in the back of  his mind and his goal is to rally enough people to get as much work done as possible by then.

As a result, he brought volunteers together Saturday morning for a work day at Kenmare’s Pioneer Village to help speed up several renovation projects in and around the historic neighborhood in northeast Kenmare.

And with just 32 days remaining until the annual showcasing of the village during Pioneer Day, Quigley is getting a little anxious about the projects that need to be completed between now and this upcoming mid-July Sunday.

Much work has already been done and building funds have been accepted from various donors. including Vet’s Gaming and Fund Itt. Some businesses have donated their labor to help get things up and running.

In addition, a raffle has been set up and drawings will take place on July 13. Tickets are $10 each, $20 for three tickets or 12 for $75.

According to Quigley, that should get funding up to a point that will help pay for what he calls the “complete package.”

In the meantime, volunteers were working like beavers building a dam Saturday to spruce up the buildings that served generations of North Dakotans dating back to the early days of statehood.

“The first project was the new, 4-foot wide boardwalk from The Kenmare News to the white school house,” Quigley said. “This involved repairing the bridge that was damaged in the high water of 2011.”

Fat Boys Construction of Kenmare completed the boardwalk project by the end of May and it includes ramp and rail with six off ramps so people with wheel chairs can enter and exit the ramp in a variety of locations.

“This project was funded by a $5,000 grant from St. Joseph’s Community Foundation,” Quigley said. “This is the second grant for accessibility that St. Joseph’s community Foundation has given the Pioneer Village. They have been very supportive of our effort to increase accessibility at the village.”

There is another project that Quigley calls his spring nightmare.

The Norma Hall was moved just a few feet off its location in late April by Happy House Movers of Bottineau with the intent of removing some old barrels filled with concrete that served as the building’s foundation.

That was done and prep work was completed for a new foundation to stabilize the building.

“The plan was for Rob Witman Construction to build a foundation and move the building back on soon thereafter,” Quigley said. “We had great difficulty getting the building pad to be something other than a mud hole.”

With a soupy mess holding up the marquee building in the village, Farden Construction was brought in to dig out 4 feet of mud and push pit-run gravel in to replace the mud.

With forms ready and concrete now poured, it’s another waiting game, albeit a short one.

“Once the concrete is dry and the building is reset on the new level foundation, a lof of work needs to get done fast in order to be ready for Pioneer Day on July 13,” Quigley said. “MDU will need to hook up the power, an electrician will need to hook all the electrical back up, lots of landscaping needs to be done, the deck needs to be reinstalled with a ramp and the building needs to have its inside displays reworked.”

There are numerous other buildings on site that need as much as a foundation to as little as sweeping the floor.

With that in mind, anyone who wants to volunteer and feel good about some community service work, contact Quigley at 701-240-4505.

“If donors would like to donate toward any future foundations, we would celebrate,” Quigley said. “And if anyone is looking for a painting job, landscaping, etc., we hjave a job for you. Volunteers of all skills are needed...” Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!