Community Foundation grant will help purchase storage building for Massena museum
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
MASSENA — A $5,000 grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation will aid the Town of Massena in purchasing a storage building for the Celine G. Philibert Cultural Centre and Museum.
The new building will be used to store museum artifacts and displays, some that are currently being stored at the St. Lawrence Centre mall.That space is 3,000 square feet and has a large overhead gate, along with display windows for marketing and advertising.
Officials say the space also has a new roof over it, ensuring artifacts are protected from inclement weather.
Town officials signed a contract last year with mall management in an effort to consolidate storage and to remove items that were previously stored at the former Massena Museum building on East Orvis Street, as well as the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce’s basement.
“This award will help us so much in getting the proper storage for our beloved archives,” Town Supervisor Sue Bellor said.
Though the deal currently stands with the mall, officials say there are concerns that management may pivot to utilizing the space for warehouse storage, leading to the town being forced to remove items from the space.
Though that hasn’t happened, officials are taking steps to secure funding for the storage building in the event mall management does decide to go in that direction.
Linda McQuinn, who is the town’s grant writer, said she is seeking grant funding to pay for the $57,000 storage building.
As part of that effort, the Northern New York Community Foundation has awarded the town $5,000 to jumpstart the funding process.
“We are pleased to help build upon the investments that continue to be made to enhance this important resource in the Massena area,” Executive Director Rande Richardson said in a statement. “The facility is a great reminder of the importance of the appreciation of the region’s history and heritage.”
Bellor told town board members the grant came at a great time as the town continues to research funding options for the building.
“I know I am speaking for both the Massena Town Board and that of the museum in extending our gratitude,” Bellor said.
“We certainly want to thank the Northern New York Community Foundation for thinking of us and awarding us that grant of $5,000, which has helped us substantially to store our archives safely and preserve our history.”