Historic Pine Orchard Chapel undergoes necessary renovation | News

BRANFORD — History has a way of repeating itself. At least in the case of the Pine Orchard Union Chapel.

Back in 1897, money was raised for the construction of the chapel. The Wallace brothers donated the land, neighbors held parties to raise $1,600 and children dug and sold clams and raised nearly $7 for the project.

Now, with extensive renovations needed to preserve the building, neighbors are again working together to raise money. And, they will see their donations at work when the groundbreaking for the restoration project takes place 11 a.m., Oct. 19, at the chapel.

This past summer, Sienna Torella raised some $4,000 selling homemade, fresh pink lemonade, along with tie-dyed masks, bandanas and shirts.

Her slogan, “Raise a Glass of Lemonade to Save Our Beloved Chapel.”

The Mary R. Tisko School third grader talked about the importance of this neighborhood.

“People have a lot of weddings there and we have arts and crafts there and it’s just really fun,” the 8-year-old said.

“It would be sad and no one would really get married,” she said about the possibility of the chapel not existing in her neighborhood.

Carole Brown shares this love of this historic building and with her matching gift up to $100,000, Sienna’s donation will double.

“Especially at that age to think they were able to make that much money and then have it matched makes them so much happier,” she said of the lemonade stand. “They should be proud.”

Brown remembers attending church services when she was a young girl, while summering in Hotchkiss Grove with her family.

“It’s just so much a part of the area here,” the 85-year-old said.

“Architecturally, it’s a gem of Queen Anne Victoria architecture and there’s so many memories for so many people,” she added.

While originally built

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Barton Bendish village hall undergoes total renovation after it became ‘very tired’

A West Norfolk village hall is getting a massive revamp after ongoing issues included the floor starting to collapse.

Barton Bendish village hall is in the midst of building work as they spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a total renovation, with support from a grant from the Freebridge Community Fund as well.

Chris Parsons, a trustee of the charity, said: “The village hall is really well used in this community and we suffered from a lack of capacity and also fairly poor performance of the building itself.

Barton Bendish Village Hall is being revamped. Picture: Freebridge
Barton Bendish Village Hall is being revamped. Picture: Freebridge

“There was no insulation, the heating caused a lot of problems, the floor itself started to collapse. It was getting very tired.”

Mr Parsons is an architect and designed the extension following a public consultation in which 100 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of work being carried out.

The trustee added: “People really wanted to keep the character of the existing building so we reused a lot of the original materials. We showed them two schemes – contemporary and traditional and the traditional option was chosen.”

The biggest change has been an extension to the side of the building which, as well as increasing the size of the hall, has also made the kitchen bigger. Improvements have been made to the disabled access as well.

Mr Parsons continued: “This is a very rural community and there are a lot of problems associated with rural isolation and loneliness – cultural isolation and social isolation in particular. And the trustees feel that the hall should be something that could help with these issues.

“There are lots of events that have used the hall in the past and we needed to ensure that those could continue, and if we could, offer

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Philippine Consulate in Dubai undergoes renovation to prevent spread of COVID-19

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New modular service counters provide an extra layer of protection to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the consulate.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai has recently undergone renovations and has introduced new modular service counters to provide an extra layer of protection to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The reception area, passport processing section, passport coordinator’s office, encoding section, notarial processing section and the Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) section are among the nine offices that were renovated with office modular partitions, Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes told Gulf News.

“While the Consulate strives to creatively accommodate the demand for consular services by our kababayan (compatriots) here in Dubai and the Northern Emirates during this time of pandemic, we also aim to provide them comfort and safety while they are inside the Consulate premises. We would like to welcome them to an improved Consulate,” Cortes said. “More importantly, we want to make sure that if and when they are at the consulate, there is minimal physical interaction and enough distancing between clients and our personnel so there is less risk of spreading the virus among themselves,” he underlined.

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The renovation is part of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) commitment to provide better facilities and services.
Image Credit: Supplied

Cortes said the physical renovation of the consulate is part of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) commitment to provide better facilities and services to  overseas Filipinos and in adherence to UAE’s call for a responsible return to a ‘new normal’.

How to reach the Philippine Consulate

* WhatsApp — +971 56 4177558
* ATN Section — +971 56 5015755/ +971 56 5015756
Email Addresses:
* Civil Registry Unit (CRU) / Report of Birth and Death: [email protected]
* Notarials: [email protected]
*Passport Renewal: [email protected]
* Passport Releasing: [email protected]

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Here’s a first look at the Academy at Shawnee as it undergoes a $40 million renovation

The Academy at Shawnee is at the halfway point of its $40 million renovation.


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This project touches nearly every part of the school, including the third floor that hasn’t been used since the early 1980s.

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“I could not understand how we could possibly have a school building with a condemned floor,” said Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “How is that possible? What message does that send to the children of the school and the community?”

The third floor will be functional and welcome students for the first time in decades.

Pollio got his start as a JCPS teacher at the school when it was known as Shawnee High School.

“This place is special to me,” said Pollio. “Anytime you start your career somewhere. This place is special to me.”

Renovations include a new HVAC system, electric system, new lighting and new spaces. The library is one of the notable changes that are complete at this point in the project. It was moved to a more central location.

“The library was in the farthest corner of the school,” said Pollio. “Any kid who would go to the library, in many instances, would have a 10-minute walk there and a 10-minute walk back and how much instructional time did that waste?”

The pool has been fixed, the auditorium will receive all new seats and the Neighborhood Place will be its own hub where students and parents can easily be connected to important resources.

Pollio said the extreme renovations prove that investments must be made in district facilities.

“When I stepped into this position, I made it one of the things I was going to do was right this wrong,” said Pollio. “That in 1981 we had a floor in a high school

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