GRAVENHURST - The Gravenhurst Opera House is shedding its piecemeal toupees and losing weight.
For the past couple of weeks, save the frequent rain, crews have been busy working away in restoring the historically designated facility’s roof, and despite discovering a few layers of it, are making good progress.
“What we’ve been taking off is like four roofs,” said town facilities maintenance coordinator Tim Irwin. “I’m sure that building let out a big sigh of relief once all of that came off.”
Irwin said the scope of the work is removing the old roofing and replacing it with modern materials that still have the original historical look. He said when crews hit the roof, they discovered at least several roofs had been built on top of each other, one with three layers of shingling layered on as well.
“The last work to the roof there was probably about 15 years ago and what we’re doing now should give us a 35-year lifespan. When you have a building 100 years old, you don’t want to have to be replacing the roof every 15 years,” he said. “It looks like in the past everything was just built on top of the old structures.”
He added that some rotting spots in the decking will be replaced and proper insulation with an R20 rating will be added to help with energy efficiency.
“When doing a roofing project for an historic building like this, you need to make sure everything beneath is going to be protected,” Irwin said. Work done to replace the trusses in about 1996 are still in excellent, solid shape and the framing is very strong, he added.
The project tendered at approximately $177,000, slightly below the originally budgeted amount. Irwin said other than the rains of late, the project has been going smoothly and should be completed by the first week of November.
“Of course that’s all dependent on the weatherman, but there hasn’t been any interruption to events at the opera house and we don’t foresee any,” he added.