A major grant from The Champlin Foundations will enable the “Friends of the Historic Narragansett Towers, Inc.” to partner with the Town of Narragansett in completing the final phase of exterior renovation and restoration of the landmark Towers building. The $125,000 grant awarded in December 2016 is thought to be the single largest grant that the Town of Narragansett has received from a foundation.
“Friends of the Historic Narragansett Towers, Inc.” worked with Keith Lescarbeau, president of Abcore Restoration Company, a Narragansett, Rhode Island company that has completed previous restoration projects at the Towers, to identify the scope of required work and prepare a cost estimate. The estimated cost of the project is $246,580 and the grant proceeds will be supplemented with funds from The Towers Fund balance. Work is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2017 and be finished by late summer. This final phase will focus on completing repair of the exterior stone masonry, replacement of damaged stones and re painting of mortar joints as well as the painting of all of the exterior wood trim.
David E. Ousterhout, President of the “Friends” Board of Directors, emphasized the importance of the grant to the town: “As the 2015-2018 Towers Operating Plan points out in its Vision Statement, the Towers has become a reflection of the spirit of the Town of Narragansett. It is a living part of our community where residents come year-round to share major community events. It is also a place where individuals can experience the major events in their lives.”
Kate Vivian, the long-time Coordinator of Events at the Towers, cites the activity in 2016:”To date, we have had 89 public events with 5,451people participating. Programs vary, ranging from weekly ballroom dancing lessons, live dance bands during our Summer Thursdays, Broadway concerts, and cello lessons for local musicians. Additionally, there have been 150 private events. We are a much busier place than people may realize.”
Tom Farrell, a “Friends” board member, wrote the grant proposal. He spoke on behalf of the committee and town residents expressing appreciation for the grant: “We are grateful that the members of The Champlin Foundations share our conviction that the Towers needs to be preserved for generations to come.”
The past year the “Friends of the Historic Narragansett Towers Inc.” opened its membership to those who would like to participate in their many varied activities that raise public awareness and support for preservation and use of the Towers. Those interested in joining can do so online.