A society interested in preserving Hanna’s local history is campaigning to raise funds to purchase the Hanna Roundhouse.
The Hanna Roundhouse Society was formed officially in January of this year. The vision of the Hanna Roundhouse Society is to restore the roundhouse in Hanna and possibly build a cultural centre to support local rural communities along the railway.
To get there, they first have to secure the property. Sandra Beaudoin, president and founder of the society said it is campaigning to raise funds to purchase the property on which the historical icon is situated.
“The most important lots of the Roundhouse property is Lot 3 (Roundhouse building site) and Lot 2, directly west of the building,” said Beaudoin.
The society has been in contact with the current owner of the property and has made them aware of its interest.
“She (the owner) has provided us with a price for the two lots of $200,000, but will donate $30,000 to the Hanna Roundhouse Society, reducing our net price for the two lots to $170,000. The smaller lot directly along Palliser Trail (Lot 1) would be nice to have, but in order to start restoration and developing, Lots 2 and 3 are the most important and need to be purchased soon,” said Beaudoin.
She adds the asking price provided to the Hanna Roundhouse Society, is to remain the same until December 31, 2011.
In the meantime, the society has been busy doing groundwork. It is registered as a non-profit society and has opened a bank account. Donations are tax deductible. To spread the message they have a website at www.hannaroundhouse.com, and set up a Facebook group to keep interested parties up to date with developments.
“We are trying to anticipate everything needed to be done to ensure the proper checks are in place prior to purchasing the roundhouse property and to be aware of any restrictions we may be faced with in developing the property,” she said.
She has recently had an appraisal completed on the property and has had a structural engineer in to assess the integrity of the structure.
The vision of the society is to restore the Hanna Roundhouse to its original state (or as much as possible), build a cultural centre directly west of the roundhouse lot to exhibit history of local railroad workers and railroad archives, as well as local settlers and prairie families. It also has the vision to construct a venue for live theatre, conferences or weddings. It would also be a venue to support local artisans.
“There are many other ideas in the developmental stage with the focus of community involvement to support the communities in and around Hanna. Since the roundhouse is the focal point of the whole project, there will also be a strong theme dedicated to the railroad; but everything is dependent on purchasing the roundhouse property,” said Beaudoin. “The Hanna Roundhouse Society is in the process of applying for grants and will continue to do so. However, this process can consume a large amount of time and further delay starting the restoration work and in the preparation work required for the restoration.”
For more information or to donate to the not-for-profit Hanna Roundhouse Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.