Destination Owl’s Head is donating $10,000 to the Municipality of Potton Township to restore the Round Barn in Mansonville.
“I would like to emphasize the interest Destination Owl’s Head has shown in the community of Potton,” said Jacques Marcoux, Mayor of the Municipality of Potton Township. “Along with a desire to be an integral part of the community, the resort has chosen to contribute to a cause that is dear to many of us: the restoration of the Round Barn, a heritage landmark and a valuable community asset in Potton. On behalf of the municipal council of Potton Township, I give sincere thanks to Destination Owl’s Head, a corporate citizen that is sensitive to the environment in which it has invested.”
“This is a heritage jewel we want to see used by the general public for more cultural and tourist activities,” added Yannick Beaupertuis of Destination Owl’s Head property and resort development division. “We think a major tourist development project like ours can contribute to the revitalization of the region and the creation of partnerships to bring synergy to tourism development that also benefits the local residents.”
Destination Owl’s Head has given itself the mission of being an involved economic citizen and fostering commercial and business relations with local merchants and attractions. “We believe that the project initiated by Destination Owl’s Head will serve as a driving force for economic development that will contribute to the growth of commercial and tourist activities, for the benefit of the Municipality of Potton Township, and to the consolidation and structuring of the global offer for the entire Memphremagog area,” noted Francis Roy, Finance Director at Destination Owl’s Head.
Timeline of preparatory analyses
2009-2010: The Mansonville Round Barn was inspected several times. The foundations were showing signs of severe deterioration and other parts of the building required attention.
2010: To prevent the building from collapsing, temporary stabilization work was done at a cost of $31,000 as recommended by CPF Groupe Conseil.
2011: An ambitious undertaking to restore the Round Barn, based on the recommendations contained in the Blitz report and having a global budget of $1,000,000, was the subject of a request for $300,000 in financial assistance from the department of Culture and Communications. No action has been taken on the application to date.
The barn’s foundations have continued to deteriorate since that time and other temporary stabilization measures should be taken to prevent the building from collapsing.
For these reasons, it seems urgent to act now to stabilize the structure permanently and bring it back to life as an authentic interpretation centre of the Township’s history and heritage. It will also serve to illustrate the operation of a round barn.
Once the building has been permanently stabilized, the public will have access to the barn’s three storeys: the stable, the hayloft, and the PLATEAU.
The venue will feature permanent exhibitions and others with annual themes.
The restoration project explained
Estimated at $427,000, the restoration project includes repair of the building’s foundation as well as structural adjustments; a new roof; repair and upgrades of windows to standard; reinforcement of the floors; and repairs to the external cladding.
Funding: with the donation from Destination Owl’s Head, cash in hand stands at about $130,000. Commitments from the MRC and Municipality total a further $52,000. A contribution of $10,000 by Caisse Desjardins du lac Memphremagog is to be renegotiated. An answer is pending from Canadian Heritage concerning a request for financial assistance of $210,000 in order to implement the project.
“Like the management of Destination Owl’s Head, I believe that the Round Barn, once restored to become a true historical interpretation centre and hub of cultural activity, will contribute to the revitalization of the village and region by realizing the significant tourism development potential for the benefit of the population. The GBMP will be pleased to collaborate,” said Hans Walser, President of Groupe bénévole municipal de Potton (GBMP).
“The Potton Heritage Association was established in 1990 to promote the heritage of Potton Township. Because the Round Barn represents one of the most significant elements of our heritage, we have said for almost 30 years that it needs to be protected,” said Chantal Éthier, Secretary of the Potton Heritage Association. “The Association is formally committed to using the barn as a venue for new exhibitions once the building has been restored and made accessible to the public. For us, the donation from Destination Owl’s Head is an important step toward achieving that goal. Long live the Round Barn!”