Once the summer is over, we normally move into a quiet time here in Downeast Maine, and at the Monteux School in particular. This year, nothing could be farther from the truth!
The very big story—big enough to have employed a 100’ tall crane—is the moving of a 42’x72’ former school classroom building from Blue Hill to Hancock to be renovated into residential accommodation for twelve of our musicians in time for the 2016 season.
Housing for our sixty or so students is one of our biggest expenses and a growing concern, as online rental sites are driving up its cost each year. When the Bagaduce Music Lending Library in Blue Hill, with whom we have had close and active relations for decades, announced that it was offering—for the taking—a large building that had been gifted to it, and on the foundation of which it was going to construct its own new facility, we pounced.
Of course, it would have to be moved and we would have to put in a foundation, septic, and well for it on our own property, electrify, plumb, and reconfigure its interior—not to mention roof, clad, and paint it. But, despite appearances, ‘free’ is not a ‘four-letter word!’ So, our Board took this big leap, and we have been hard at it—and thrilled to be doing so.
As the accompanying video documents, the ‘move’ itself was quite an amazing experience. Built in four modular units and three trussed roof sections, the building came to us on six flatbed trailers and was reassembled IN ONE DAY here in Hancock. The huge pieces were lifted into place and fitted together perfectly after the fashion of one giant, three-dimensional puzzle. It was quite a couple of days!
The building is located on the east side of Melody Lane, directly across from Ironbound Restaurant, and overlooks a large meadow, sloping down to the Forest Studio. While we had a bulldozer and excavator on hand, we have also taken the opportunity to increase parking for concerts and to improve drainage and traffic flow. You will enjoy the new look on campus!
We trust the new building will provide comfortable accommodation for our musicians here at Monteux for many years to come.