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Friends of Martell School meet, work

The Martell School is being restored. Submitted photo

TOWN OF MARTELL--On Sept. 1, a good number of interested individuals gathered at the old Martell School in Martell to continue the restoration work that is being done on the building.

Since the middle of 2009, a number of tasks have been undertaken and completed. The drainage problem of directing water away from the foundation and installing new eaves troughs and down spouts has been completed. Cleaning the interior has been done. Recently, the interior walls and ceiling have been painted, which made quite a visible improvement in both cleanliness and brightness.

Also, during the spring, a flower bed of annuals and perennials was placed on the southeast corner in front of the building, now really showing up and improving the site.

Free movies during July, August and September were shown on the exterior wall of the building and have drawn a decent number of people. Pop and popcorn have been sold as fundraising efforts continue.

The group worked hard for a number of hours on Sept. 1 to remove the very unstable and more than a little dangerous roof and posts on the old porch. It showed the original reddish paint on the building hidden by the existing roof. The building was built in 1905 and closed in 1962--and sometime in the late 1920's or early 1930's, the building was painted white.

The workers also cleared refuse and mud from the basement--which had washed through the old limestone block basement wall on the west side. The hope is to get that area cleaned up and made neater.

There are plans to also remove the badly cracked concrete deck and steps from the front of the building, which will be replaced by all wood decking and steps with an access ramp on the west side, thereby making it much safer for the people who attend events at the school. Appearance of the building is already neater. Painting of the exterior walls may be done before winter, if the weather allows.

Fundraising to cover costs of the paint and concrete removal as well as the new lumber and other materials needed for the deck and steps goes on. Contributions can be sent, payable to Friends of the Martell School, to Deanie Pass, W5325 780th Ave., Spring Valley, WI 54767.

All donations are tax deductible. The organization holds tax free, non-profit status. Any and all help will be gratefully received.