PORT TOWNSEND – There was a time when the Quimper Grange room was filled with frolics: line dances, folk dances, couple dances mixed many nights with music and friendships.
That time will come again, promise the keepers of the Grange – starting with an event this Saturday.
It’s called the “Fresh Air” open house, and the organizers aim to show the surrounding community the new ventilation system and the renovated space of the 101-year-old hall.
Musical jams, light refreshments and free plant departures are also available from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Grange de Quimper, 1219 rue Corona, near rue Umatilla.
Admission is free, but “we won’t refuse donations,” joked volunteer coordinator Kathy Ryan.
It is essential that people know the building is safe, said Sheila Long, president of Quimper Grange.
The new air circulation system uses a dedicated outdoor air supply and dispersed air filtration with MERV13 filters, she noted; it adheres to the COVID-19 recommendations of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
The system was installed in accordance with the state’s requirements for supplying outdoor air to the entire hall, Long said, adding that barn management chose quiet but powerful fans for the building.
“We can have acoustic concerts,” as well as lectures and other programs, she said.
Saturday will be a day when local musicians can come together again, added George Yount, barn secretary.
“We will have an old violin jam in the back and a blues in the front,” he promised. Masks will be mandatory indoors but not outdoors, while visitors will have the chance to see the barn food bank garden up close.
The plant starts to win on the open day, including free take-out tomatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, added Barbara Tusting, garden coordinator.
On the horizon of the hall: pairs dance lessons from seasoned teachers Cheri Van Hoover and Doug Groenig and line dances with Vickie Townsend, among other dance programs.
The hall is available to rent for one-off and on-going events, Long added, noting details are provided at quimpergrange.com. Rates range from $ 40 for a single event of up to four hours and from $ 150 for up to eight hours to $ 200 for up to 12 hours. For weekly activities, it’s $ 40 to $ 60 depending on the duration. A COVID cleaning fee of $ 30 will be added until further notice.
As for the dances, “we’re trying to calm down,” said Groenig, vice president of the barn.
“The dance floor is 1,500 square feet,” he noted, adding that the current occupancy limit is 50 people – “only about 25 if you dance,” and that will increase if the department’s rules. county health allow it.
The remodeling had already started when the pandemic hit. In early March 2020, the barn room closed its interior space and suspended work. The officers then applied for a COVID relief grant from the Jefferson Community Foundation and received a reward of $ 4,900 for the modern ventilation system; Phil Burwell, retired barn supporter and engineer, worked on the design.
Besides the fresh air, the two bathrooms and the kitchen have been reconfigured, Long added. The toilets have grab bars, lights and touchless fans, while the interior paint and floor are also new.
As an organization, The Barn is all about “community connection and resilience through educational programs and social events,” while nurturing a vibrant music and dance community, according to its website.
To this end, the organization seeks to increase its membership and volunteer corps. The room needs people with ideas for programs and events, people who can work with Google Docs, websites and social networks, and people who would like to work in the garden. The Barn Plots provide organic produce to Jefferson County food banks – delivered fossil-free thanks to cyclist Juri Jennings, aka the Peddler.
For more information on volunteering in the garden, email Tusting at [email protected].
In his invitation to Saturday’s open house, Long expressed his thanks for the contributions that have made the barn successful so far. Donation checks can be sent to Quimper Barn, 1219 Corona St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.
“I look forward to seeing you all again,” she added.
Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]
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