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Mar 12, 2018 11:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Refuge's Ice House Repairs Nearly Complete

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Executive Director, Michael Nelson, stands on the steps of the newly restored Ice House. COURTESY QUOGUE WILDLIFE
Mar 13, 2018 3:46 PM

Repairs are nearly complete on the Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s Ice House, which was damaged in an early morning fire on July 4 of last year.

All that’s left to do before the more than 100-year-old building reopens to the public is incorporate the century-old ice tools and install new signs downstairs, according to the refuge’s director, Michael Nelson. He added that he thinks the ice harvesting exhibit will reopen to the public within the next two months.

The two-story building, which was once home to the Quogue Ice Company, caught fire after a family of squirrels chewed through several of the building’s electrical wires, according to Southampton Town Fire Marshal Chris Hansen.

“Most of the structural stuff is done,” Mr. Nelson said on Thursday, March 8, adding that the estimated $113,000 repairs included installing a new roof and rebuilding the second story, which was built using repurposed wood from an old barn in Pennsylvania.

“Using brand new wood—it wouldn’t have had the same feeling,” said Anthony Bonner, the owner of Sea Level Construction in Westhampton and the contractor in charge of the repairs.

The initial $113,000 was funded through Quogue Village’s insurance carrier, Glatfelter Insurance Group of Pennsylvania, according to Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius. Village Board members handled the claim as the Ice House is owned by the village and under its insurance policy.

Any additional costs were donated by Mr. Bonner who serves as a member of the refuge’s Board of Directors. In recent years he built the facility’s feed shed and nature center deck free of charge, and also donated new windows for the nature center. “I love the place,” he said during an interview this week.

“It was an expensive job, but he donated the rest of his services,” Mr. Nelson added of Mr. Bonner. “It’s exciting to have it redone.”

Mr. Bonner will be honored for his dedication to the wildlife refuge at the organization’s annual benefit gala, Wild Night for Wildlife, this July, according to Mr. Nelson.

“He’s done a lot of great work here at the refuge,” he added.

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Go Ant-nee!!
By whparent (7), Westhampton on Mar 12, 18 7:13 PM