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Ninepipes Museum shares storage need, community comes through

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RONAN — The Ninepipes Museum received a new storage shed last week thanks to the combined efforts of a supportive community.

The ever-growing museum has been using their basement to store ladders and tools alongside important storage sections for both their gift shop and their collections. The multiuse space is also where they work on the preservation and cataloguing of museum items. 

“We’re really stacked for storage here,” Jo Cheff of the Ninepipe Museum stated. “(A storage shed) is much needed.”

Through a newsletter, the museum spread word to their members that they needed funds for the project. One long time member, Dick Moore, stepped up and funded the approximate $7,000 needed for materials.

According to Jo, the 97-year-old Moore has helped the museum with funding time and again, stopping by periodically in the past to ask what needed doing in the institution. He even contributed to the roofing and renovation of an historic cabin in Jocko a few years back, simply asking them what they needed to finish the project.

“He’s been a really wonderful supporter of the museum,” Jo said. “A really great guy.”

Once the museum had the funding, Jo reached out to Hap Cheff, a shop teacher at Ronan High School, to see if his students would be willing to build their shed. 

RHS students are no stranger to community projects. They’ve built bunkbeds for local foster care, campus storage buildings, and bridges for a Ronan park. The students have also contributed to the Ninepipes Museum in the past by building picnic tables and a few wooden displays. 

They agreed to take on the project for only the cost of materials.

“I like trying to get them real-world application projects,” Happ said. “Usually when it’s for a nonprofit, it gives them a reason to build it instead of just for a grade. They get the experience, they get a grade, and they do some good for the community.”

The storage shed took the level two and three construction classes about two and a half months to complete over their 50-minute class periods. Hap said students figured out and drew up the floorplan and cut list for the 10- by 16-foot structure themselves. 

Each week, one student took a turn as foreman of the job. They would line out what needed to be completed over the next few days, and have their turn being the boss before switching out with another student. 

Once it was finished, Draggin’ Wagon Towing delivered the shed from the high school to its new home at Ninepipes Museum for a reduced fee as a community service late last week. 

With the project completed, students can be proud of their work. 

“We try to do what we can,” Hap said of their community involvement. “It gives (the students) a purpose for doing what they’re doing, and they rally behind it too.”

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