Donate to the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall!
Take a look at the list of projects we’ve already done to improve the Grange Hall, and then click the “Donate” link at the bottom of this page!
In 2023, The Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall plan to start construction of the “hoistway” for the wheelchair/platform lift project! This is the final step in our efforts to make all the levels of the Grange Hall accessible for everyone, including people who find it difficult to negotiate the stairs to the Stage and Lower Level. We have received a grant from the VT Arts Council’s Facilities Improvement grant program, which will pay for one half of the cost; we’ll receive the money after completion of the project. To make it possible to finance the construction before receiving the funds from the grant, we have been able to get a construction loan from the VT State Grange. We will also be using money from the generous donations we’ve received from Capital City Grange members, Hall users and supporters!
Your donation will help us pay for this project, and others on our wish list! If you’d like to read the 2022 Fall Appeal letter from the FCCGH, please click here. If you’d like to donate right now, scroll down and click the DONATE button.
In previous years, the Friends have raised money for many significant upgrades to the Grange Hall, which have greatly increased the usefulness, attractiveness and rentability of the Hall. Most of the following Grange improvements were funded with a blend of community member donations and grant funds. We have used the donations to leverage the grants–at least doubling the impact of dollars donating to the Friends!
2022: We replaced the inadequate closers installed on the ADA entrance doors. The new closers are adjusted to slow the door closing to meet ADA standards.
Also in 2022, when our old (1953 original?) oil furnace had to be replaced unexpectedly, we researched options and decided to install a wood-pellet furnace to heat the Grange! We also had a stainless-steel chimney liner installed. Besides greatly reducing our carbon footprint, we are confident that fuel costs will be noticeably lower, and will stay lower while oil prices will continue to go up. A low-interest loan from the VT State Grange made this decision much easier.
2021: We replaced the old plywood-panel wood double-doors in the old entrance with two new, insulated fiberglass doors, with greatly improved weatherstripping, and insulated glass panels in the upper halves. This makes the entrance much more inviting, and connects the foyer to the world outside visually. We installed push-button locks on this set of doors, and also on the ADA entrance doors. This allows our volunteer Rental Agent to just give out a code to renters, rather than having to deliver and retrieve keys–a real saver of time and energy!
In 2021, we also installed a new, efficient, quiet exhaust fan for the Main Hall. Its 3 speeds can push out up to about 6,000 cubic feet per minute, providing about 4 air-changes per hour, during times of the year when we can open windows and doors. For other times, we built and installed “Room Air Filter Boxes“–4 for each floor. These combinations of box fans and MERV 13 filters can remove a large percentage of airborne particles, of the size of COVID aerosols. While noisier than we would wish, they provide a way of filtering and recirculating the air, during times when it’s too cold to open windows and use the exhaust fan.
2020: The “Second Stage” project provided a major upgrade to our lower level. With the help of a grant from the VT Arts Council’s “Cultural Facilities Improvement” grant program we made renovations that save us heating costs, give us cleanable, attractive floor, wall and ceiling surfaces, get rid of leaks and moisture, and reduce humidity. Steps for the project began with installation of interior perimeter drainage, going to a sump were any water is pumped out and continued with installation of foam insulation on the inside of the poured concrete basement walls and foaming of the ceiling joist ends. After that, sheetrock and “FRPs“–Fiberglass Reinforced Panels–were installed over the insulation, new ceiling tiles were installed, new carpet squares installed over the concrete floor, new trim installed and painted, and a dehumidifier (draining to the sump) was put in place.
2015 New bathrooms in the basement level replaced the original, cramped, hard-to-clean cubicles. We also added an ADA-accessible bathroom downstairs, installed water-fountains in the upstairs foyer, and put baby-changing stations in bathrooms on both floors. And we bought more floor mats to allow complete coverage of the main Hall floor.
2014 New floor mats to protect the wood floor of the Main Hall, and rebuilt fire egress from the Lower Level–which helped us get the legal occupancy of the basement raised from 49 to 100!
2013 New windows for the main Hall and the basement–with insulated glass and good weatherstripping!
2012 New hardwood floor (local maple) for the Main Hall after nearly 60 years of dancing and other uses wore out the 1953 original. Several handy folks repurposed the worn floorboards as spoons, picture frames, pens, cutting boards and a mandolin!
What is our Next Big Project?
Our next set of projects are what we are calling “Building Essentials”. These include:
Installing a platform lift to allow full access to the stage and the lower level for folks with mobility limitations–people in wheelchairs, with walkers, kids in strollers.
The Fire Marshal is requiring upgrades to the wall and double-doors at the south end of the Main Hall, to improve fire safety. We are also required to re-do the concrete pad at the bottom of the access ramp on the north end, and to improve railings at the older entrance on the south end of the Hall.
Solving the peeling paint problems on the outside of the Grange Hall–which may require replacing the existing siding. We’re looking at choices which will reduce maintenance expenses in the long run.
We are looking into adding better fresh-air ventilation via heat-recovery ventilation systems, to improve the air quality indoors–both to reduce COVID transmission risks, and to reduce CO2 build-up indoors.
Long-term wish-list items include:
- Improved stage lighting.
- Purchase of a sound system, and increased security measures.
- Improvements to the “Second Stage” alcove downstairs to create a small-scale performance space.
- Renovation of the downstairs kitchen.
Thank you! Together we can do this!
Donate Securely Online
Donate by Mail
Make your check payable to “Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall” or FCCGH and mail it to:
PO Box 192
Northfield Falls VT 05664
Donate by Bequest
Consider making a charitable bequest to the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall. By including a bequest to the Friends in your will or living trust, you are ensuring that the Grange can continue its mission for years to come.
It is as simple as one or two sentences. You can leave an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events, or a percentage of your estate to the Friends. Take care of your family first, yet imagine what a gift of $10,000 or more could do to improve the hall!
Long-term wish list items:
- Modernize the kitchen appliances.
- Install a lift between the two floors and to the stage.
- Install quality sound equipment available for use by all hall renters.
- Install Solar PV panels to provide power to the Grange Hall
- Update the heating system for improved efficiency–maybe a heat-pump that could provide air-conditioning plus heat, without using fossil fuel
To leave a specific dollar amount to the Friends of the Capital City Grange:
“I give twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to the Friends of the Capital City Grange in Berlin, Vermont.”
To leave a percentage of the estate:
“I give ten percent (10%) of my estate to the Friends of the Capital City Grange in Berlin, Vermont.”
To leave all or a portion of the estate remainder (the balance of the estate after the payment of specific bequests, debts, taxes and other estate expenses):
“I give to The Friends of the Capital City Grange, all (or a portion of) the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for the general purposes of the Friends (or insert a specific designated purpose).”
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for illustrative purposes only.
The Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to ensure the long term sustainability of the Hall on Northfield Street in Berlin as a venue for the public performance of and participation in traditional dance, music, song, and other arts and as a meeting place in Central Vermont for individuals and organizations. The FCCGH supports the maintenance, improvement and public promotion of the Capital City Grange Hall.