VIENNA — A year ago, the Vienna Union Hall ran a campaign to fund a new outhouse, one with a composting toilet and accessibility for all.

An appeal called “Our Outhouse Gotta Gogo” through Indiegogo and other fundraising brought in almost $11,400, and the work began.

Now, a new clapboard-clad outhouse sits on a wooden platform just outside the hall and is ready for the installation of the composting unit. A ramp to the ground allows access to both the hall and the outhouse.

On Sunday, Marianne Archard, president of the Vienna Union Hall Association, said it could be ready for use by the end of June.

While it might not have the cachet of the old outhouse that stands behind the hall, it will provide a warm welcome — yes, the outhouse will be heated — to those who need to use it. It will also feature beadboard wainscoting although the rest of the decor remains a mystery, including whether it will feature a framed photo of “Mona Lisa,” which graces the older outhouse.

Jim Wachter is doing the finish carpentry on the new outhouse.

In the meantime, the old outhouse remains the only bathroom available to those attending functions in the 1888 building, which lacks running water.

The two-story union hall itself is getting a face-lift as well, thanks to a $13,750 Davis Family Foundation Grant which allowed the association to hire Bullen Painters to repaint the exterior walls a pale yellow and the metal roof silver.

Archard provided a brief history of the hall’s painting, showing it was painted in 1922 and painted again in 1951 following a fundraising campaign. In the fall of 2007, the lower half of the building was painted by a group of inmates doing community service.

Archard’s husband John Archard, one of 11 core volunteers working on the hall, pointed to the 18 feet of new sill that had to be installed on the side of the building near the new outhouse.

That work, as well as the need to replace more clapboards than anticipated, means a few more fundraisers are anticipated, including a Sunday Salad Dinner on Aug. 7.

“We’re kind of running out of money,” Marianne Archard said. “We need another $1,500 to $2,000 to catch up. Not a lot.”

Marianne Archard said 75 to 80 people have donated to the project, and most of the contractors hired are local.

While the Indiegogo campaign closed in the fall, people continued to send directly to the association at P.O. Box 104, Vienna, ME 04360.

The schedule of events at the hall and information about tickets and prices are available on the association’s website at sites.google.com/site/viennaunionhall2012/home.

The next events at the union hall are a June 10 performance by Kyle Knupple and Matt Davis and a June 24 appearance by “Poor Howard” Stith and Mike “Bullfrog” Rogers.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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