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Holland College students work with local craftsman to restore historic building

April 24, 2014

HRC Pump House Project

(L-R) Gary MacKinnon, City of Charlottetown; Councillor Eddie Rice; Heritage Retrofit Carpentry students Nick Wight and Rhonda Gallant; and Bill Clair, Utility Works Superintendent for the city examine one of the windows installed by the students.

Charlottetown, PE – Holland College Heritage Retrofit Carpentry students are participating in the restoration of the City of Charlottetown’s original Pump House building as part of a unique three-party collaboration.

Ward 1 Councillor Eddie Rice spearheaded the restoration project for the building, which has been designated a Heritage Property. The innovative collaboration between the city, industry and Holland College is enabling the city to save the building in a cost effective way, while ensuring the quality of the workmanship.

In the first stage of the project, the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry students worked with R.W. Woodworking of Hunter River to restore all of the building’s windows. Raeford Waite, owner of R.W. Woodworking, is an advisor to the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program and a firm believer in the formal training of the next generation of carpenters.

Under Waite’s guidance, the students reproduced exact copies of the original windows. The new windows provide not only a beautiful restorative look to the building, but also drastically reduce the heating costs, making this a mutually beneficial partnership.

“This is a good example of the relationship with Holland College that was established several years ago with internships,” said Councillor Rice. “With this project, I hope it continues to grow, not just for the work on this building, but for other heritage buildings we have.”

Josh Silver, the instructor for the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program, said the project is an example of hands-on learning at its best.

“I could not ask for a better learning tool. These students are learning on a true heritage building under the guidance of one of P.E.I.’s finest woodworkers. They took pride in their work knowing that they were, in essence, giving our past a future. I could not be more pleased with the outcome,” he said.

As a gesture of appreciation for the students’ work, the City of Charlottetown has established a $1,000 scholarship for the next three years to be awarded to deserving Heritage Retrofit Carpentry students.

Students in the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program will continue to work on the restoration of the Pump House soon, with the restoration of the doors.

The Pump House is part of the Charlottetown Water Works, located at 55 Malpeque Road. The Charlottetown Water Works consists of the charming Island brick pumping station and an octagonal, enclosed reservoir. The Water Works has the distinction of being the Island’s first pumping station, as well as the only existing water works in the province from the late 19th Century.

“By working with the City of Charlottetown and our industry partner, our students are learning the value of training in the field of heritage restoration. I’m pleased that more students will be able to participate in this important project in the future,” Silver said.

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Sara Underwood
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Tel: (902) 566-9695

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