The library committee appointed by the Hennessey Board of Trustees last year held its last meeting Wednesday, March 8th, and took the first steps to form a Historical Society. Chairperson Jack Quirk started with, “We are here to talk about the actual building, not the library and museum that is in it. The building shell is sound, but the interworkings are fragile and need a great deal of work. The town does not have the means to make the repairs that are needed to keep it up.” Quirk continued, “It is time to bring the committee to an end and pass the baton to the Historical Society to raise funds for the building.”
The committee spent almost a year looking into what the old high school building needed to make it functional and safe. The choices ranged from tearing it down to a complete remodel. The architect that was hired to give an opinion on the structure concluded in their report that it has many, very expensive needs. The biggest issue is the roof. It has reached the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced. The gutters have broken off the rear of the auditorium and caused water to collect in the basement resulting in mold. The report also stated that the heat and air systems are outdated and inadequate and the entire electrical system is in need of repair.
(Note) at the town board meeting on Thursday night Mayor Bert Gritz asked interim Town Administrator David Treanor to look into replacing the gutters as soon as possible.
The new Historical Society will be chaired by Kevin Hopkins, and members include Jack Quirk, Barb Walters, Scott Hajek, and Frank Patton. This new group will become a 501-C non-profit and its main mission will be to look after this building and work as a fundraising mechanism to make the necessary repairs. The town will still own and operate the building.