July 12, 2016
Nearing Our Goal!
Most likely you have driven past Western Maine Play Museum in the last months, and been surprised by the progress on the building's exterior renovations. Thanks to the Maine School of Masonry, and their teacher, Steve Mitchell, and Josh Wojcik and his workers at Upright Frameworks, the building is getting a new life and new energy. Steve Mitchell designed the courtyard area in front of the museum, which when completed, will feature wrought ironwork gates and fencing atop the brick, and lights at the top of each pillar. The engraved donor bricks are ready to set in, but Mitchell is waiting to install them because of extensive exterior renovations that need to be completed first. Mitchell has been assisted by his students, Karen Freeman, Drake Daniels, Ian James, and Tyler Kachnovich. Freeman, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 7, came from Ennis Texas to work in the 9 month masonry program. Daniels, retired from a military career, was eager to learn masonry in order to know how to build his own house. James, a recent graduate of UMF and SMCC, hopes to become a career mason, and Kachnovich feels that his new masonry skills will be a great addition to the lawn care company he runs with his dad in Livermore. All the students felt this was a great program and that they will be able to find many future job opportunities in masonry work. Steve Mitchell has been teaching 36 years in various programs both in Maine and out west, and estimates that over the years, his students have completed around 40 masonry projects for area nonprofit organizations. His long­ term goals include training masons for them to eventually be able to work on overseas projects, such as building schools or community buildings in third world countries. He praises this group of workers especially for their "good work ethic, continuity of focus, and wanting to do their best." For more information about the Maine School of Masonry, contact their website:
With the renovations of the museum comes great surprises! The renovation crew boss from Upright Frameworks Brian Young found old newspapers while tearing down a back wall of the museum building. The papers are dated from the early 1900’s! They were previously serving as the insulation of the building- but Brian suggests that now the papers should be given to the Wilton Historical Society for the museum there. What an amazing find!
Josh Wojcik's company, Upright Frameworks, led by crew boss Brian Young, is now having fun with the exterior of the building. New windows are appearing daily, and soon the exterior siding will go up. In the renovation process, Young was startled to find old newspapers, dating to the early 1900s, that were stuffed into the walls for insulation. He suggested contacting the Wilton Historical Society, who were indeed very interested in keeping some of these early Wilton artifacts. Young is assisted by his crew, Brian Gardner, Stephen Amsler, Devan Heutz, Scott Phillips, and Nate Paling. After the exterior renovations, interior renovations will continue, as funds allow. 

WMPM is grateful to the many community workers, volunteers and donors who have continued to support this project so generously with their time, money, skill, and energy. A local family has recently donated $25K to sponsor the Nature Room, in memory of the donor's parents. But the museum still needs your help as well to complete the project. There is only about $70K left to raise to meet the museum's $500K renovation goal. Fundraising will continue for the $200K still needed for exhibit construction. Every gift is important to making this vision a reality.
The construction is under way!
Al Kaplan (pictured below) took the opportunity to salvage some of these historic newspapers.
We appreciate your continued support!
Current Progress!
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Western Maine Play Museum
PO Box 1161
Wilton, ME 04294
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Western Maine Play Museum · PO Box 1161 · Wilton, ME 04294 · USA

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