Leaky roof endangers Gardnerville treasures
November 3, 2011
In the 16 years that the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center has been open, its big flat roof has never been redone.
In that time there have been lots of leaks and lots of patches, but now it’s getting out of hand, according to Douglas County Historical Society President Grace Bower.
Bower said she’s afraid that the leaks could cost the historical society some of their most valuable possessions, the documents and photos kept under lock and key in the vault.
The museum, which was built in 1916 as Douglas County High School, is headquarters for the historical society.
A tour of where the leaks have occurred rambles throughout the museum, both upstairs and down.
The worst leak occurred in the electrical room where Bower related that one witness said water was pouring through the wall.
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“The lady who cleans for us said she didn’t want to walk in there because of all the water,” Bower said.
In the main galleries, water spots show where past leaks have threatened the exhibits.
Bower said the museum had put aside $26,000 for capital improvements, but a series of leaky pipes near the women’s bathroom wiped out the fund, leaving only $8,500
“We need to get this fixed before it gets to the vault,” she said. “The vault can’t be flooded.”
She said workmen who’ve patched roof said there is a large squishy bubble in the ceiling at one place in the roof.
The museum is seeking loans from Main Street Gardnerville and a bank, and hopes to get some money from the county.
The estimate to fix the roof is $35,500, money the museum doesn’t have.
Bower said that the historical district doesn’t get money from the state or county to run the two museums in Carson Valley.
“We have had leaks in the past in the mercantile, doctor’s office and in our main gallery,” she said in a letter appearing in today’s Record-Courier. “We have been patching these as they happen, but it’s getting worse. We have applied for grant money from Cultural Affairs Preservation Office, but they do not have funds available in their budget at this time.”
Anyone interested in donating to the museum may contact Bower at 782-2555.