Country Club rebuilds after fire

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>The bar and dinning area, with a fireplace seating area, of the new Country club of Greenfield is now open. <br/>
  • Coutnry Club of Greenfeild front
  • Country Club of Greenfield's new clubhouse as seen from the rear.

GREENFIELD — Construction of the new $1.8 million Country Club of Greenfield project is complete.

The new building replaces the one that was destroyed by fire on Oct. 22, 2011.

Timothy Farrell, president of the club’s board of directors, said the club began replacing the century-old, 15,000-square-foot clubhouse that burned this past spring.

He said the new country club consists of a 5,500-square-foot clubhouse, which is about a third of the size of the old building, a 1,700-square-foot deck that overlooks the golf course, and a 2,500-square-foot pavilion, which may be enclosed in the future.

The new building will be open all year, said Farrell, who said it is more energy efficient than the old building and is fully accessible. He said it will be air-conditioned throughout.

“The old building was poorly weatherized, so was open only in warm months,” said Farrell.

The pavilion will seat 165, the large dining room will seat 86, and a smaller, private dining area, which leads to the pavilion, will seat 30, he said.

The new clubhouse will also include a kitchen and dining area, a pro shop and men’s and women’s locker rooms. There will also be basement storage, said Farrell.

The lower parking lot, which was a field, has been graded and turned into a “real” parking lot, he said.

The club used several trailers to house the clubhouse, bathrooms and the kitchen throughout this past spring and summer while construction was going on.

The 18-hole course was open throughout construction.

Farrell said the club currently has about 265 members, but is always looking for more to join. He said nonmembers may play the course up to six times a year.

The restaurant inside the clubhouse will be open to the public all year and the public may rent the pavilion for special events.

“We want people to visit and we’d love for them to stay,” said Farrell.

The owner of Bella Notte Ristorante in Bernardston will take over food services at the country club as of April 1, 2013.

The club currently has a seasonal liquor license, but has asked the town to petition the state, on its behalf, for a year-round license.

The clubhouse was assessed at $453,000 at the time of the fire, but was reduced to debris in the early-morning fire that more than 100 firefighters from around the county battled to no avail.

Farrell, who owns Farrell Insurance Co., said the building was well insured.

Ownership of the club is split among approximately 175 shareholders of Country Club of Greenfield Inc.

The club is run as a not-for-profit business, because none of the shareholders earns money from the shares — all of the money generated by the club’s business goes back into the club, said Farrell.

Club members are inviting the public to tour the new clubhouse and restaurant today from 2 to 7 p.m.

There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres served and a cash bar.

Members are asking the visiting public to bring nonperishable food items with them so that they may be donated to the local food bank.

For the remainder of the year, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch each day. There will be extended bar hours on weekends.

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