This summer, a huge and exciting project is beginning at Crieff Hills! The dining room, called Maclean Hall, is being renovated to offer barrier-free access to all of our guests. We believe that everyone should have a place at the table!
The Maclean Hall dining room began as a schoolhouse for nearby farming families. Built in 1874 by a local stone mason Mr. Ritchie and his three sons, it was known as Puslinch S.S. Number 6. It was well used by local students for several generations until its closure in 1964, when it became part of Crieff Hills.
At first it was a gathering place for local events and parties, but quickly became a dining room for those staying on the property. Through the years additions have been added so that it now includes a large professional kitchen, staff room, washrooms, offices and reception area. Currently, none of those areas are accessible to those with physical limitations.
This project involves a number of different areas:
- Entry: In order to create a straight, wide entrance and hallway, the front door will be moved and the old entry made into a coat room. Several paved concrete parking spaces will be added adjacent to the main door.
- Washrooms: The old men’s washroom will become a gender neutral, barrier free washroom while the women’s washroom will simply be made fresh and new. A new men’s washroom will be created in space that is currently part of the utility room.
- Office and reception: Along with a wider door, a generous area will be created for guests who are checking in or speaking with our staff. There will be a private office for the director, staff work stations, and an ample pathway into the staff room at the back of the building.
- Dining room: Without harming the historic structure, the doorways will be widened to make them wheelchair accessible. The floor of the original entry to the schoolhouse will be raised level to the dining area and a ramp will replace the concrete steps outside.
- Flooring: New commercial grade tile (with a wood look) will be installed to ensure flat, even floors. Unfortunately, the old floors require professional abatement–trained environmental workers who will safely remove and dispose of the current asbestos tile. Because these tiles are in almost every room, this is an intense and expensive process.
- Paint and furniture: New desks will offer reception service at two heights for those sitting or standing. A new, large hutch will display our honey and other items for sale all in one place. Fresh paint colours have been chosen for every space that will make the rooms bright and attractive, while honouring the building’s history.
In order to pay for this extensive work, we are using special donations received over the last several years, and expect it will cost almost $95 000.
It’s an important investment that can’t wait a minute longer, and we welcome your support! If you would like to contribute to making Crieff Hills barrier free for everyone, it’s easy to make a donation at 1-800-884-1525 or [email protected] You can even make a gift through the website.
Just this week we really got started. The dust is flying! Stay tuned for the progress on the Maclean Hall Welcome Project!