NORWAY — Finishing touches on the timber-framed warming hut at Roberts Preserve are about to be completed.
Scott Vlaun and Shawn Kane, both of Otisfield, have been constructing the building for the past three months and on Friday finished the chimney and placed large hinges on the barn doors that will house equipment.
The 16- by 36-foot structure will have two unheated bays for storing equipment such as the trail groomers and track setters. A third bay will be insulated with a small wood stove to use as a warming hut. Vlaun said a small room behind the warming room will house the ski equipment for the Oxford Hills School District students.
On Jan. 7, a community timber-frame raising was held after the timber was cut, mortised and tenoned in the greenhouses at Moose Pond Gardens in Otisfield. More than 50 people showed up to help put the frame up. The structure will be “off grid,” using solar power or a generator for light and power.
Vlaun and Kane, who designed the building, say from certain angles it has the appearance of a railroad station.
“Construction has gone smoothly and even in these lean times, area building suppliers have willingly pitched in to help the Western Foothills Land Trust complete the structure on budget, “ Lee Dassler, program coordinator of the Western Foothills Land Trust, said in a statement last week.
Dassler said many people and businesses contributed to the construction with donations or materials at cost. They included; Buy My Fire, Everlast Roofing, Hancock Lumber Co., Maine Green Building, Parent Lumber Co., Record Lumber and Western Maine Supply.
Dassler said Norway veterinarian Don McLean donated a solar panel and wiring supplies. Fred Garbo, a Norway-based performer, has volunteered his seasoned carpentry skills between tours, and has helped to keep the project on schedule and the construction site tidy.
The Western Foothills Land Trust received notice in November that two grants, which brought the project funds to about $27,000, had been approved for the hut funding — one from the Davis Conservation Foundation and the other from the Betterment Fund. Dassler said the Betterment Fund grant was submitted jointly by the Oxford Hills School District and the Land Trust to fund the hut and a drilled well. The water from the well will service the Garden to School program at the Roberts Farmstead.