Montague Common Hall looking to raise funds for roof repair

  • The Montague Center Common Hall is in need of a new roof. The non-profit recently received a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and it needs to match the grant funding for the project to begin. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 3/7/2019 6:09:25 PM

MONTAGUE — Like other buildings in town, the Montague Common Hall needs a new roof.

The current roof is over 30 years old and leaking, threatening to cause damage to the building and the Historical Society’s archives housed on the second floor.

The Common Hall Community Center received a $10,000 capital improvement grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in December  2018.

Chris Wise, treasurer of the Montague Common Hall Board of Directors, said the group needs to match the funds for the project to start.

Wise said while the grant is helpful, the project will be approximately $40,000 to properly fix the roof.

The copula was rebuilt in 2016, but that was the most recent repairs on the roof, according to Wise.

Repairs include resheathing the roof with plywood, which goes beneath the shingles. Wise said one section of the roof has never had any sheathing.

Originally built in 1834 as a Unitarian Church, the Montague Common Hall is an example of early 18th century Greek Revival architecture. It was recently converted from a Grange Hall into a 501(c)3 community center around 2013.

“It is in constant need of maintenance, repair and upkeep,” said Wise.

The hall provides a community space for a wide variety of activities, including yoga classes, open mic nights, potlucks, dances, craft days, lectures and performances. Workshops cover topics from apple pressing and beekeeping to Scandinavian fiddle technique and sustainability action.

In addition, a number of small local non-profit organizations such as the Mutton and Mead Festival and Marlboro Morris Men depend on the space for their auditions and rehearsals.

The next fundraising event is Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. The Hilltop Trio will be performing with original compositions and a few arrangements. After the show, there will be an open mic with 10-to 15-minute time slots. Musicians are recommended to sign up before 7:30 to guarantee a spot.

Online donations can be made via Paypal at

“We’re hoping to be able to start this spring or summer partly depend on when the contractor is available and when the funds are available,” Wise said.


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