Renovations moving forward on historic Greenport building

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10/07/2010 6:20 PM |

TROY GUSTAVSON PHOTO Greenport Village employees working on the re-roofing project at the former Greenport schoolhouse Thursday morning.

Work to turn a historic building in Greenport into a multi-use facility was moving ahead Thursday morning. The building, which was once Greenport’s only schoolhouse and then sat empty for years behind the Third Street Firehouse, will eventually serve as an information center and a space where various village activities can be scheduled.
Among ideas that have been considered for the building is to offer English language instruction to the increasing number of village residents for whom English is a second language.
An $85,000 grant from New York State Department of State secured by former Mayor Dave Kapell several years ago required a matching contribution from the village. That grant paved the way for moving the building to its present home on Front Street, just across from Colonial drugstore. Establishing the building’s new foundation and performing some additional work has limped along for several years.
But Trustee Mary Bess Phillips this year enlisted the Greenport Improvement  Committee to tackle the project and its members have sparked a renewed vigor to complete it.
Thursday morning, Mayor David Nyce, a carpenter himself, joined village workers in removing the old roof to ready the building for a new one. The mayor has also offered his talents along with other volunteers to do some interior work on the schoolhouse. The volunteer hours will offset the $85,000 the village has pledged to the project.
Although the center isn’t yet finished, it has been open to visitors on weekends including during the Maritime Festival and visitors have been contributing donations to offset the cost of remaining work as well as volunteering services to help complete the project.
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