GRAVENHURST – Construction crews were surprised enough to find multiple layers of roofing during the ongoing renovations at the Gravenhurst Opera House earlier this month. Now that those have been removed, a second hidden secret held by the historic building has been revealed and has delayed completion of the approximately $177,000 project.
THE BIG FINALE.
Work at the Gravenhurst Opera House has been slowed by bad weather and a few discoveries by construction crews. First several layers of roofing were discovered and when those were removed, bowing in the structure was discovered and had to be shimmed.
Photo by Neil Etienne
Weather hasn’t been the most co-operative either said town director of infrastructure and community services Geoff Carleton, who explained the initial goal was to have the roof work completed by early November. He said “worst-case scenario” now is the work will be done by Nov. 30 assuming weather allows.
“(The multiple roofs) hid some bowing of the actual architectural structure,” Carleton explained. “That bowing then had to be shimmed so the new roof structure could be put on and live its life expectancy.”
Rains through October and into November slowed the process of renovating the roof, but as crews began to dismantle what they thought was the only layer, old layers of roofing began to appear. Town facilities maintenance co-ordinator Tim Irwin explained at least three additional roof systems, some compete with multiple layers of old shingling were hidden under the top layer, all decades old and a completely unexpected find.
But Carleton added when the final layer of roofing came off recently, the bowing of the roof structure was found and bad weather slowed the ability to fix it.
Carleton added cedar shake shingling at the very front entrance was removed in error and will be replaced by the contractor at no additional charge. He added at this point the construction has not impacted events at the opera house nor have events there slowed construction.
Opera house manager Brad Rundle said due to construction, there is a bit of a mess in front of the opera house that will be cleaned up shortly and better organized.
“We’re on top of it and it will be cleaned up,” Rundle said.