March '21 Update
Installation of the shake shingles at the stage is complete. The stage is essentially done except for applying the finish which will need to wait for warmer weather. As the physical structure of the community stage nears completion, the focus has begun to shift to landscape preparation — grading, rocks, fill, and plantings.
The Special Use Permit application has been completed and submitted to the County permitting department. This permit is required by the County and must be approved before any events can take place at the stage. The detailed application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee. When COVID restrictions are lifted we hope we will be permitted and ready for use.
January '21 Update
The rains are upon us and mud season is here which is hindering the moving of dirt. Work progresses on installing the shake shingles on the stage walls. The electrical work is finished and stage lighting occasionally illuminates the structure for a few hours at night. The gutters have been installed. We purchased a rainwater collection tank for landscape irrigation and the system will soon be installed.
The Pre-Application has been submitted to the County and our Pre-Development meeting is scheduled for our Special Use Permit. This permit is required by the County before any events can take place at the stage.
December '20 Update
So fun to see how far we've come this last year, even with all the weather and pandemic challenges!
The GICCA Board appreciates our dedicated stage crew and the many compliments and outpouring of community support we've received. Work remaining on the physical structure includes sanding the floor, installing cedar shakes on the walls, and applying timber oil to both. The final electrical work can then be completed. Gutters and landscaping round out the list.
Progress continues on the Special Use Permit required by the County before any events can take place at the stage. This very detailed application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee.
November '20 Update
The Great Pumpkin visited the stage over the Halloween weekend and the structure had an eerie glow under the light of the full moon.
November brings the time change and a transition to cooler weather. The stage crew is thankful that the main construction elements are completed. The final wall coverings will be installed in the next few days. Options for gutters and drainage are still being considered. The landscape plan is coming together with the help of Kent Scott, a landscape architect, who is donating his time and expertise.
As previously stated, final inspection and occupancy permit, COVID restrictions, and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use Permit will determine when the stage will be available for use by the community. The GICCA Board and our dedicated stage crew appreciate the many compliments and words of appreciation we have received.
October '20 Update
It is now officially Autumn and the cooler nights and falling leaves usher in the changing season. The completed Stage roof was especially welcomed as a cold front brought nearly 1 1/2 inches of much-needed rain. We passed our County framing inspection. The stage crew had a few electrical details to revise before our 2nd electrical inspection but we received the go-ahead to close in the side and back walls. The final wall covering will compliment the appearance of the rugged but elegant timber frame structure. Timber oil will be used to treat all remaining raw wood surfaces.
Discussions are underway with landscape professionals, excavators, and with the County as we develop the landscape plan for the Stage site. The ADA ramp, parking, an access ramp for equipment, grading, and future audience seating are all elements being discussed. We must complete the required mitigation conditions for the wetlands buffer zone before the final inspection.
As stated before, final inspection and occupancy permit, COVID restrictions, and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use Permit will determine when the Stage will be available for use by the community. The GICCA Board and our dedicated Stage crew appreciate the many compliments and words of appreciation we have received.
September '20 Update
Another Summer month is behind us and we bemoan the inability to enjoy our normal island traditions and events. GICCA projects, however, are continuing within COVID-19 guidelines. Visitors to Schoolhouse Park can at least enjoy a "distanced" view of the impressive, and long-awaited, community stage as it nears completion.
As seen above, the metal roof is now in place. An electrical and lighting plan was developed and installation is complete; we are awaiting the required inspections. The side walls will be finished and siding installed.
GICCA wishes to acknowledge and thank Dan Olsen of Olsen Tree Service for volunteering his services to trim the north purlin ends. This high altitude task was accomplished safely with his donation of time and expertise. We are grateful to yet another Community Partner!
A number of details remain before an occupancy permit can be granted. Many tons of fill dirt and grading are necessary to bring the surrounding site to code. The ADA ramp and railings must be completed. Future landscaping plans will need to consider ADA access, parking requirements, Ferry Trail plans, and County Parks and Recreation guidelines. COVID restrictions and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use permit will determine when the Stage will be available for use by the community.
GICCA is grateful for our crew of dedicated volunteers and for all those who have contributed generously with their time and/or money over the years. The Board is frugal, but expenses continue. You may donate through online or mail a check to GICCA, 7549 Guemes Island Rd, Anacortes, WA 98221 with a "Stage Donation" designation. Your support is greatly appreciated.
July '20 Update
July 4th usually brings over 400 people to Schoolhouse Park to celebrate the holiday, meet the Guemes Fire Department, picnic with friends and family, and eat a famous Guemes hot dog grilled by community volunteers. Covid-19 is keeping us from gathering this year but there is still cause to celebrate. In addition to Independence Day, celebrate the progress on the GICCA (Guemes Island Community Center Association) Stage Project.
We applaud Strandberg Construction...THANKS FOR THE LIFT! A Strandberg crew of two with their huge Gradall forklift came to the site and lifted 5 of our 7 purlin logs, placing them atop the front "showcase" log and the back beam. This donation of time and equipment saved the GICCA Stage Project thousands of dollars. The Stage crew, Rick Norrie, Tom Fouts, Jep Burdock, John Strathman, and Gerry Bosworth, have worked tirelessly to prep the logs for "The Big Lift." After minor adjustments in the next few days, the logs will be shifted into their final positions, awaiting the roof decking and finished metal roof. Using the equipment on-site, work can proceed on the placement of the last two purlins and three remaining vertical logs. The side walls can then be finished followed by electrical, lighting, and sound.
Community volunteers and community partners working together...
“Teamwork makes the dream work”
— a quote from Bang!Gae
May '20 Update
The weather has been mostly favorable recently and the stage crew has made a lot of progress in the last several weeks. The crew is following the COVID-19 Job Site Requirements that allow some construction projects to resume. The seven purlin logs (the front to back roof supports) have been stripped and sanded and timber oil has been applied. The showcase log, back beam, and nearly all of the vertical logs have also been sanded and oiled. Raising and installing the purlins is the next step and the crew is looking for the most economical and safest method. Installing the remaining two side walls and the wiring will follow.
Please take the time to drive past the park at Guemes Island Road and Edens Road to see the progress on the GICCA Stage first-hand. The crew appreciates a friendly honk and a thumbs up. Rick is happy to answer any questions (while social distancing) if you want to stop outside the gate. Thank you to the community for your continued support as this project moves forward toward completion.
January '20 Update
Work is progressing at the stage, although safety concerns prohibit the crew from working in wet and slippery conditions. The final perimeter vertical logs are now in place on the east side of the foundation. Three remaining vertical logs are stripped, dressed, and ready for placement on the west side after the roof purlins are raised. The crew is working on stripping the seven 33 foot long purlin logs. When the weather permits and the logs are ready, they will be raised atop the main vertical logs and work can begin on the support structure for the roof. Read more & view latest photos
November '19 Update
As you drive past Schoolhouse Park at Edens Road and Guemes Island Road you can see the latest progress at the GICCA Stage. The "showcase" log, donated by Lorrie Steele, is now in place atop the two front vertical logs, donated by Yadi Young. This large arch frames the beautifully crafted back milled beam that is made from timber from Darrington, WA. Read more & view latest photos
October '19 Update
We are pleased to report more exciting progress at the stage over the last couple of months. Summer is over and rain has interfered with work on some days. However, our dedicated (and hardy!) crew is still working on most clear days despite the increasing cold. Please stop by the site and cheer them on if you see them working. Snacks or warm coffee are always appreciated. Read more & view latest photos
Stage documents shared at 9/19/19 GICCA public meeting
August '19 Update
Summer has been a busy and productive time for the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park. We are excited about our recent progress and renewed momentum!
Here’s a summary of our recent progress:
- The site has been cleaned up and secured with a construction fence.
- The deck has been completed.
- Donated logs have been inspected, graded, peeled, and sanded.
- Where possible, rot and insect damage are being repaired, and replacement logs have been acquired for those logs that were not salvageable.
- Donated timbers have been milled into dimensional lumber.
- Six of the eight main upright logs have been through-bolted in place.
May '19 Update
GICCA Board Announces New GICCA Stage Project Manager
At the May 16, 2019 Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) monthly meeting, the GICCA board introduced Rick Norrie as the newly appointed volunteer Stage Project Manager. Rick and his wife, Renee, are longtime islanders. Recently retired, Rick now has more time to give to the Guemes community. He is already a valued member of the Guemes Island Volunteer Fire Department. Rick brings his management skills and construction experience to this long-running community project. Rick is committed to moving forward with a positive attitude that emphasizes cooperation and inclusion.
Progress is already apparent when you drive by Schoolhouse Park. A new secure fence is in place around the construction site to keep the community safe as summer attracts more visitors to the park. The site has been tidied up, materials are being inventoried, and construction schedules are being developed. If you recently donated materials or funds for materials and have not been recognized, please contact Rick or a GICCA board member so that we can thank you for your generous donation and provide you with a tax deduction receipt.
Working with the GICCA board and many of our talented volunteers, Rick is leading this ambitious project toward completion. Please contact Rick Norrie at 360-661-5770 with questions or to volunteer.
April '19 Update
In preparation for a busy Easter holiday weekend at Schoolhouse Park, a crew of past and present GICCA board members met at the Stage Project construction site for a Spring cleanup.
One of the hoop houses is no longer needed and was removed. The second will come down soon in preparation for the arrival of fill dirt. The deck platform is very close to completion which will signal the end of Phase I of the project. Thank you to Mike Gwost, Jorge and Bill Clark for your work on the deck.
Construction has gone on much longer than anticipated and our building permit has expired with no extensions remaining. Phase II will require better planning and a new building permit. The GICCA board is responsive to the community's desire to see the project finished. An updated Volunteer Waiver Form must be completed by all volunteers and submitted to GICCA (updated forms are also available at the stage). Please contact Barb Ohms or Rob Schroder if you have questions on the steps ahead.
March '18 Update
The weather this winter has kept even the hardiest of our volunteers from working on the Stage the last few months. The Community Center Association has the Phase I plan laid out. Our project manager, Rob Schroder, is working with longtime islander and retired builder, Jep Burdock to complete some electrical work before we can finish the decking. Next, we need a stretch of dry weather and more fill dirt before we can finish the grading. When that's done and the hoop houses are removed, we will have a performance platform that can be used.
With Rob and Jep's guidance and a good community effort of cooperation, we could complete Phase I this summer. A tribute to Banjo Eddie would be a fitting inaugural first performance for the stage.
September '17 Update
Volunteers have been hard at work on Phase 1 of the Stage Project. Key word here - "volunteers". Many islanders are giving their time and talents to further progress on the stage, and for that, we're very grateful. The current work happening is part of Phase 1.
If you'd like to volunteer, there are jobs of every level that need hands - from staining wood to hammering and sawing. You don't need prior construction experience for many of the tasks, just a desire to help and hands ready to work.
Jep Burdock, a long-time islander and retired builder, is generously lending his expertise to the stage project. Many thanks to Todd Figenshow, Michael Grennell, and Scott Parker who are working with Rob Schroder, project manager, and Jep to keep island volunteers involved. Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact one of these individuals or email us at email@example.com to find out about volunteer opportunities. Be sure to fill out a Volunteer Waiver Form available by clicking HERE (updated, 4/2019) or at the site.