A Letter About the Farmhouse
Dear Fleur de Lis Community Members,
On behalf of the FDL Board, I wanted to share some information with you about upcoming renovation plans for the Farmhouse building at camp.
The Farmhouse was built during the mid to late 1800s and has served as the centerpiece of Fleur de Lis Camp throughout its 90 year history. The building serves primarily as the living quarters and work center for the administrative staff during the summer months. The feelings this building generates have always been strong, both because of the beautiful craftsmanship and woodwork, and because of the exciting energy of the heart of camp.
We know that the Farmhouse needs some major renovations. This fall that was compounded by a mold issue that developed and intensified after camp closed. Due to the excessively damp end of summer and fall, as well as a dormer leak, an extensive mold problem developed in part of the downstairs of the Farmhouse. Mold remediation teams have advised us on what needs to be done to eliminate the mold as well as to take preventative steps. Remediation work cannot be done until the spring at the earliest because the building is not heated.
As we considered the scope and expense of this work, the board also took into account the other work that needs to happen in the near future to ensure that the building is functioning well, such as electrical and plumbing needs.
A Major Renovation
The board has decided that the best course of action is to do all of the renovation work at the same time. We looked at several scenarios and it doesn’t make financial or practical sense for us to do the renovations in chunks of projects over the near future. For example, we know we will need to do some work opening up and replacing a few walls and ceilings due to the mold issues. We would also have to open up walls to rewire the building for an electrical upgrade and will likely have to be back in the walls for plumbing updates. The cost of doing the work in chunks is also higher than doing it all at once.
A Farmhouse Planning Committee has been working to determine the needs and potential uses of the Farmhouse. This group has made preliminary recommendations to the Board and will work with the contractors throughout the renovation process. Thank you to Planning Committee members Lexy Heatley, Jane Lawson, Steve White, Richard Whipple, MJ Parry, Christine Hassig Cressey, and Di Foster.
Based on the committee’s recommendations, we are receiving bids for a major overhaul of the Farmhouse based on the work of the Planning Committee. We will explore plans that will include remediating the mold problem, updating and upgrading the electrical and plumbing systems, repairing and/or replacing some horsehair plaster wall and ceiling boards, adding simple ventilation upgrades to the upstairs rooms, adding at least one shower and possibly an additional bathroom upstairs, and possibly preparing the kitchen and coke shed areas for potential camper program use in the future. The scope of the work will depend on the estimates we get during the bidding process.
In order to complete this renovation, Fleur de Lis will engage in a Capital Campaign. This is our first capital campaign since the New Dining Hall campaign over 15 years ago. This campaign will require less money and less time than the Dining Hall Campaign, which was the first capital campaign in Fleur de Lis’ history.
We had begun raising money for Farmhouse renovations and have raised $72,000 to date. Thank you so much to those donors. All of that money will be put towards the campaign. Once we know the projected cost of this work and have determined any parallel work that the campaign will cover, we will share more information, including the financial and timeline goals for the campaign.
How Can I Help?
We are currently looking for community members who are willing and able to be a part of the Capital Campaign Committee. For those of you, with or without development experience, who have an interest in helping us reach our goals, please reach out via the contact information below. You do not have to live in the New England area to be a part of this work and there are different levels of involvement based on your available time.
We are in the process of receiving bids on this work. If you have ideas for contractors that we may not have considered or other professional connections, please reach out via the contact information below.
We are hoping that the renovation work will occur over this spring through fall so that the building will be ready for use for the summer of 2020. The Farmhouse will not be available for use at all this summer. MJ and her full-year team have been working on plans for the functions the Farmhouse space provides. They have strong plans in place and will help everyone ensure it works well.
While we strive to keep camp expenditures to a minimum, the Board has determined that undertaking this as a big renovation that addresses multiple needs, is both financially and practically the best course of action. We are excited about the potential for great improvements to a building we hope will continue to serve as the heart of camp for decades to come.
To get involved with the Capital Campaign committee or share ideas about contractors or building design, please reach out to:
*Check back here for Farmhouse updates.