A renovation of a building involves a long arduous process. For the Princeton and District Museum Society that process has included the extra challenges that come along with being a non-profit organization. In spite of the challenges, they did renovate and the results are nothing short of fantastic.
Museum manager Sharon Anderson faced the challenges with gusto and between grants, donations ( including a large one from the Stout family) and ingenuity, the first phase of the renovation has come close to completion. The museum officially opened on Canada Day. Locals were impressed and thrilled with the results. The town calls the museum “small town world class” and visitors seem to agree. The guest book is full of comments. Many directed at the pleasant surprise they find inside the space.
Part of the renovation entailed moving. Boxes and boxes of artifacts, archives and paraphernalia were moved off site. Business owner Kim Maynard donated the store front of one of his buildings for much of the old large furniture pieces and storage cases while he had the building closed for its own renovations. The Princeton and District Skills Centre offered up a large space which was filled with precious paperwork, historical newspapers, photos and much more of irreplaceable value.
Anderson has been able to recruit the Princeton Posse hockey team to help. After speaking with Coach Dale “Duner” Hladun the young guns brought with them their brute strength and energy. The Posse helped move out the inventory from the old museum along with town work crew staff and then the renovation began in earnest. Now, the Posse are back again moving stuff back in to the new space.
While phase one of the main display space that is open to the public has been completed since early summer, the basement has been slower to complete. Last week, Hayes Creek Electric was hustling about increasing the lighting in the space. Anderson and her recruits were busy bustling about filling the space. Some of the Posse players spent two days helping out with the ominous task. “Some of these guys were here all day yesterday and back again today,” said Anderson. “The difference they have made in our move is awesome. It really makes it a lot easier. I am thankful. On top of them being great, they are entertaining.”
“Duner asked us to help and encourages us to help the community that supports us,” stated Robbie Cristensen. “We know our help is appreciated and that volunteering makes the world go round. We know what we are doing is appreciated and we want to help.”
From start to finish, the museum has been about good will. “We have had a lot of really good people who have lent a hand throughout this process,” Anderson stated. “Without all their help, we would still be scratching our heads and wondering how we’re ever going to get everything done.”