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The Rindge Meeting House window resoration project got a boost from an LCHIP grant last week. (Linda Stonehill)

LCHIP grant to fund repairs at Rindge Meeting House

RINDGE - A $12,000 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program grant is ensuring the restoration of the town's Meeting House windows.

"I think it's wonderful. The town is very fortunate to get the grant. It's going to be used to help us renovate 31 historic windows in the Meeting House," said Burton Goodrich, chairman of the Rindge Meeting House Oversight Committee. "The Meeting House is on the National Register of Historic Places, so all of the renovations we do on the property are done according to historic preservation standards."

The Rindge Meeting House was erected in 1796, just 28 years after the incorporation of the town. It is one of very few buildings in the state still used for both church and town functions, and nearly every day of the year it is host to a diverse array of events and club meetings, according to town administrative assistant Linda Stonehill.

"The community of Rindge is deeply grateful to LCHIP for this recent grant award, as it has been and always will be for the $30,000 that LCHIP awarded for the exterior restoration of the Meeting House a decade ago," Stonehill said in an email.

Out of 51 grant applications, the town is one of 18 that received an LCHIP grant this year.

Goodrich said the town had asked for a matching grant of $16,000 for the project, but is glad to have received a $12,000 grant. The Ward Fund, an endowment created 18 years ago for the preservation of the town Meeting House, will fund the other half of the $32,000 project.

Many of the windows still have historic glass in them, but the windows fit poorly in their sashes, which allows for bugs and moisture to enter and rot to permeate the frames. Many of the windows cannot be opened.

"Over the years they have become warped and too tight," Goodrich said.

The window restoration would repair the balances and counterweights in a historically accurate way and ensure both the functionality and safety of the windows, Stonehill said. The project would also make the building more energy efficient, Goodrich said.

The project is expected to start this spring.


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