The R.M. of Dufferin has set aside $25,000 for the Boyne School restoration project. Reeve Shawn McCutcheon explains that when the school was closed back in the 1960's the municipality ended up with the title to the property, and after the building was moved off the land earlier this year it became surplus and discussions were held as to what was the best use for it. "We thought we would tender the property and we ended up selling it for about twenty-five thousand dollars, which is public information, and we decided to put those dollars towards the restoration and preserving of the Boyne School at the Dufferin Museum site in the town of Carman." He goes on to say that Boyne School is pretty unique, adding there's not a lot of preserved one-room school houses that are available to the public, and when it's all said and done will be a "terrific addition to the Museum site."
McCutcheon explains at its last meeting, council voted to establish a reserve account for the money and now it's up to the Historical Society to decide how it would like to use those funds. When asked if this was a one-time donation from the R.M., McCutcheon explained that some preliminarily discussions have taken place and says the answer to that question will depend on whatever is built on that empty lot. "If there is a house built on that property we may look at putting some of the on-going tax revenue towards the Boyne School Reserve Account." He adds this is something the municipality would like to discuss with the Town of Carman as well. "We know there will be some on-going funding requirements to not only bring that project to the right stage, but sustain it over a number of years."
Meantime, we asked McCutcheon why this was something the R.M. wanted to do and he responded by saying that the Dufferin Historical Society doesn't have a lot of cash laying around and this project is above and beyond what its done in the past. "Whether it's in this fashion that we fund it or some other, I think there will be the need for additional dollars." He hopes the public also continues to donate towards the project, noting this will always be an important part of the operation.
The ultimate goal is to have the one-room school look and feel just as it did in operation complete with desks, maps, and books. Down the road the Society would also like to invite teachers to bring students to the school for an afternoon of classes, so they can experience this piece of local heritage first hand.