Efforts to raise $2.5m for roof repairs
The National Museum has embarked on a major campaign to raise more than $2.5 million to help maintain and improve some of the oldest buildings in Dockyard.
The “Raise the Roof” drive was launched just before Hurricane Joaquin caused further damage to the roof of Commissioner’s House, which was battered last year by Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo.
But the importance of the campaign is now even greater to ensure the future sustainability of some of the most historically significant structures on the Island.
“Just when the museum was getting back on its feet, we were hit with a third hurricane in less than a year,” said Elena Strong, the museum’s deputy director and curator.
“Hurricane Joaquin, which struck while we were still rebuilding after Fay and Gonzalo, and carrying out improvements and restoration work, destroyed a section of the inner roof slopes of Commissioner’s House, ripping away the inner wood planking and the roof membrane, as well as toppling a historic chimney.
“The overall damage has yet to be fully assessed but it is less extensive than the damage caused by Gonzalo.”
Ms Strong praised Crisson Construction and museum staff for their quick actions after Joaquin — the roof of Commissioner’s House was patched with plywood and made waterproof with 24 hours.
“Fortunately due to our extensive hurricane preparation, no exhibits or artefacts were damaged,” she added.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Crisson Construction Co Ltd team, who have been tirelessly working on rebuilding the museum over the past year. The roof improvements they have carried out have already proved their worth, as the only damage caused by Hurricane Joaquin was the inner slope of the House, which had not yet been upgraded and strengthened.”
The National Museum is hoping to raise $2.5 million to repair and strengthen the historic buildings battered by Fay, Gonzalo and Joaquin. National Museum Board trustees and staff have pledged 10 per cent of the $2.5 million target.
James Hallett, the chairman of the National Museum, said: “We have set a $2.5 million target for the campaign to cover the large deductible amount from each insurance claim and to enable the museum to make major improvements to our most exposed roof structures beyond the insurable damages.
“These improvements will reduce the risk of future storm damage to the buildings and their precious contents while improving our operating efficiency.
“While major sections of the roofs are being replaced, we are also performing critical restoration and repair work to the nearly 200 year old cast iron work.
“A portion of the funds are also required to cover professional fees and financing costs which we have had to incur given the urgency of the situation.”
• Donations to the Raise the Roof fund can be made by online bank transfer to the National Museum of Bermuda HSBC account, 010-244705-002, referencing Raise the Roof or by calling 234-1333, e-mailing email@example.com. Cash, cheques and credit cards are all accepted. Cheques may be sent to National Museum, PO Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, MABX.