Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Roof Latest Gift to Mandarin Museum

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Roof Latest Gift to Mandarin Museum

Article excerpt

The restoration of Mandarin's first museum is in the home

stretch after contractors installed a new roof Saturday free.

The $5,000 roof was the latest in a series of donations made to

the Walter Jones Museum, a 87-year-old former post office and

general store at Mandarin and Brady roads that is being restored

by the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society.

Because of all this help, society President Jim Towart said the

goal to open the refurbished store and post office in a few

months may be met.

"The electrical work, the painting and the air-conditioning

have been donated. It is certainly wonderful," said Towart.

"Attention is being drawn to this now and people are becoming

aware that something is happening and we are getting more

confident of people stepping forward to help."

Volunteer roofers from the Northeast Florida Roofing and

Sheetmetal Contractors Association installed the tin roof and

wooden support beams Saturday as Towart and others helped. The

society wants the renovated store to look as it did when Jones,

Mandarin's postmaster from 1906 to 1928, opened it in 1911. But

after workers uncovered carpenter ant and water damage inside

the old store in November, the combined $80,000 in state and

local grants the society had for the renovation wasn't enough.

To add to their woes, society members must also get the property

rezoned before it can open the museum, and will meet with the

city tomorrow to work on that.

To solve the roof problem, Towart first checked on the price of

a new one with Stephen Rogers, who owns NatureVue Skylights.

That is when Rogers suggested the contractors association, made

up of about 35 licensed contractors and a dozen suppliers, could

get the job done as a donation.

"I told him that this was the type of project that our

association likes to look for, to give something back to the

community," Rogers said. "The society was in a jam. Every year

we try to do at least one community service project and we have

taken on some heavy-duty ones in the past. …

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