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West Overton project gets boost from Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:12 p.m.
A.J. Panian | For The Independent-Observer
The Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant donates $3,000 to West Overton Museums to aid in completion of a project to replace the roof of the Big Barn on the historic property near Scottdale. Pictured (from left) are club President-elect Kathleen Comini; club President Tom Forsythe; Rotarian Maynard Brubacher, master contractor of Brubacher Enterprises of Scottdale; and club Treasurer Dale Walker.
A.J. Panian | For The Independent-Observer
Maynard Brubacher, a Rotarian and master contractor of Brubacher Enterprises of Scottdale, points to the roof of the Big Barn which is in need of replacement at West Overton Museums.
A.J. Panian | For The Independent-Observer
Maynard Brubacher, a Rotarian and master contractor of Brubacher Enterprises of Scottdale, stands before the Big Barn at West Overton Museums.

Since the beginning of 2013, Maynard Brubacher estimates that he's donated roughly 400 volunteer hours to renovating the grounds of the building simply known as the “Big Barn” at West Overton Museums near Scottdale.

Most recently, Brubacher, master contractor of Brubacher Enterprises of Scottdale, led an effort in his spare time to create an 80-space parking lot near the 100-by-50 foot brick building to accommodate its most frequent visitors — wedding goers.

“That lot was completed by March 15, just in time for our first wedding there in April,” Brubacher said. “I donated 300 hours to spreading shale on that lot alone.”

Soon after, Brubacher focused on the next phase of the barn's renovation — replacement of the roof.

“There are a few leaks, so we've got to get this taken care of,” he said.

So Brubacher, a Rotarian since 1987, contacted those he felt might appreciate his concern and offer some help — the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant.

He explained to the club's leaders that such a project would cost $12,000, to be paid to Scottdale-based K.L. Miller Enterprises LLC to do the job. The proposed gray, ultra-violet reflective roof, made from titanium dioxide, will have a 20-year lifespan, Brubacher said.

In response, the club stepped up with $3,000, the first donation toward the task.

“If you don't have a roof, the rest of the structure kind of deteriorates. That's pretty important, and Maynard told us it needs the roof as soon as possible, so we saw it as kind of an emergency situation and that's why we decided to help jump start his project,” said Tom Forsythe, president of the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant.

“The barn is used by the rest of the community and we're a community organization,” he said.

The Scottdale Rotary Club soon followed with a donation, followed by several past presidents of both clubs who choose to remain anonymous.

At present, $10,000 has been raised, Brubacher said.

“So that really makes this a Rotary project to save that old barn roof,” he said.

And doing so, along with completing other planned renovations to the building will go even further to ensure that the tradition of rustic weddings will continue well into the future at the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick, said Jessica Kadie-Barclay, West Overton's managing director.

“I'm just so pleased to see such a level of interest from the community in this project. This has been wonderful support, and we are very grateful that the community wants to help be a part of this and help keep it going,” Kadie-Barclay said.

As for Brubacher, Kadie-Barclay was effusive in her praise of his volunteer dedication to the historic site.

“We appreciate anyone and everyone who donates their time helping us, and there are many who do, but Maynard, just the sheer amount of time he devotes is impressive,” she said.

Brubacher's wife, Jan Brubacher, leads the West Overton Garden Society, as well, Barclay said.

“As a couple, the Brubachers have been priceless as far as their support for West Overton,” she said.

Brubacher responded by pointing out what he sees as Kadie-Barclay's focus on further revealing the village's 19th century mystique.

“Jessica is very focused on bringing out the 1800s story of West Overton,” he said.

Brubacher said he hopes to see the project to replace the roof of the “Big Barn” completed by summer's end.

Overall, additional planned renovations to the barn built in the late-1870s include stabilization of its brick walls and installation of a handicapped accessible restroom, Brubacher said.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or

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