You are here
Home > News > After delay, new roof for Step by Step underway

After delay, new roof for Step by Step underway

Construction of the new roof began last week, and will finish in July or August. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

By: Franca G. Mignacca, The Eastern Door

After years of issues and repairs, Step By Step Child and Family Center is finally getting a new roof. Installation of a new, tin roof began last week and will likely be finished by the end of July or beginning of August.

“We’ve had problems over the years and it was really affecting the classrooms because having to move all your kids and go into a different locale and everything – it was very disturbing and not very conducive to a great learning environment when you’re constantly worrying about the roof,” said Step By Step executive director Natalie Beauvais.

The roof situation had gotten to the point where teachers and students would have to strategically place their work around the classroom and on classroom walls, to avoid water damage from the leaks in certain problematic areas.

“We don’t have to worry about that anymore. We’ve always continued to focus on the programming, but now we’re not going to have this other thing hanging over us. Every time it rained, we’d cringe and wonder what to anticipate and it was always something that was bothering us,” Beauvais said.

She added that they feared one of the leaks would cause water to go through their heating system, which would be hazardous. Getting the roof replaced was key for the safety of all.

Step By Step had been having issues for several years and owing to having it repeatedly repaired, it was discovered that the tiles were defective. Rather than following through with a class-action law suit, the school decided a new roof should be purchased.

Unable to afford a new roof, they organized the Repair The Roof Radiothon with K103 Radio, from May 27 to 29 last year. They raised just over $111,000, exceeding their goal of $100,000. With the help of a raffle and a few anonymous donors, their total rose to about $122,000.

As the community began hearing of their fundraising efforts, it was suggested that they aim higher and opt for a tin roof – a roof that would last them much longer.

“We thought, oh my goodness, a tin roof that would just be wonderful because then a tin roof can sometimes last 40 to 50 years, if not more, and that would be definitely the ideal situation. However, we knew the cost would be quite a bit more than what we were able to get,” Beauvais explained.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake came forward last year, offering to help with the new roof. They would help provide an engineer for the site and would take it on as a capital project, helping to finance the difference.

The installation of a new roof has been a major relief for students, staff and parents alike. Beauvais said that there have been no issues with the construction up to this point, and teachers have continued with their lessons without any disruptions. No classrooms had to be moved.

The only changes students do face are interruptions to their naptime, and not being able to go in the yard on some days for safety reasons.

“Kids are so resilient. They adjust so well. Everybody’s been accommodating and understanding and working together because they all know that the roof is needed. It’s not really up for debate that it’s a necessity and we need to get it done.

“Little kids just love to see big tractors and things going up and new things,” Beauvais said.

Beauvais feels grateful to the entire community for their help in getting the roof replaced.

Top

Dear Readers:

As an essential service that is still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eastern Door is fighting hard to keep news like this flowing, in our print product, though an online subscription at www.eastermdoor.com and here, for free, on our website and Facebook.

But when a large portion of our regular revenue has disappeared due to so many other businesses being closed, our circulation being affected by the same issue, and all of our specials canceled until the end of the year, we are looking for alternative ways to keep operations going, staff paid, and the paper out every Friday for you to enjoy.

Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid, continuing archive that documents our cherished, shared history. Your kind donation will go to a newspaper that stands as the historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news; colourful stories, and a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers.

Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake or Chateauguay. Akwesasne delivery has been suspended due to the pandemic and border issues.

We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing a whole lot of facts, separated from gossip and rumors.

E-transfers are accepted and very much appreciated at: [email protected]