Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Old Stoney project nearly complete

Years after the school was first marked for preservation, the project to bring it back to life is edging towards the finish line

With an estimated date for completion now set near the end of February, the long-awaited refurbishment of Old Stoney has reached its last leg.

Museum Director Rocky Courchaine is already planning the displays that will greet visitors in the museum on the main floor. One room, for example, will be themed as a courtroom to include a judge’s bench and juror chairs as well as the Sundance Kid, murder mayhem and an outlaw exhibit. Another will feature Native American and natural history.

“I’ll have hoofprints throughout,” Courchaine says, describing the museum floor as a circuit visitors can follow.

The elevator, a sticking point for a number of months thanks to issues with the building’s shallow footers, is complete. “We’ve got to get the fire marshal in here to do the final check, so we won’t be able to use it until February, but it’s in,” says Courchaine.

Downstairs, there will be two offices for rent as well as desk space in a third room. A larger space will serve as, “A meeting room plus a room for classes and cultural events,” says Courchaine.

Courchaine is particularly excited about the archival storage in the sub-basement, which will mean exhibits not on display will no longer be “crammed in a little room.”

As much of the original building as possible has been retained, from wooden beams to the original staircase. In the 1875 Gallery, a blend of modern and historic will see some brick walls left exposed, while volunteers Penny Clark and Larry and Barb Byrne are still working to refinish original trim.

The final windows were installed a couple of weeks ago, says Courchaine, including on the top floor. Although the auditorium will not be renovated until the next phase of the project, says Courchaine, if the fire marshal gives the go-ahead it will be used for events and programs this summer.

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