Calgary's Hangar Flight Museum hopes to raise the roof with new campaign
CALGARY -- Calgary's climate has not been kind to the Hangar Flight Museum.
Engineers have found dozens of cracks in the roof trusses because of decades of seasonal humidity changes.
Five need immediate attention, says operations manager Herb Grieder.
"Over the years there was some water damage and some rot," Grieder told CTV News Friday. "But the majority of the damage is from basically the wood drying out and splitting."
The museum's home is in a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan building that was built as a drill hall in 1941 during the Second World War. Now it houses many historic civilian and military aircraft.
The collection is a tight fit inside the old hangar and Grieder, along with his team of volunteers, will have to move a number of aircraft around to keep them safe and allow construction crews access to the trusses.
"For starters, our F-86 Sabre jet will be moved outside," said Grieder. "(That) will give me extra space to, as we're calling it, the giant Tetris game."
Last November, a massive humidifier was installed inside the museum to prevent any more of the wooden trusses from splitting. The majority of the funding for the project is coming from the City of Calgary.
Executive director Brian Desjardins says $200,000 is coming from the city and the museum has to raise the remaining $50,000.
"We do receive a lot of donations from the aviation community," said Desjardins. "Private individuals and donors as well as the airport district."
The museum was looking to give back to it's regular donors and came up with a campaign called 'Treat the Trusses' and sold tickets for a 50/50 draw.
"We raised $5,000 in three weeks," said Desjardins. "So now we're going to be launching another 50/50 so that we can meet the $50,000 or 20 percent that we need to give to the project."
Work should start on the trusses in April but the museum is also waiting on another roof project.
In December, a massive snow fall ripped the fabric of the tent structure that houses the museum's larger aircraft. A wind storm during the following month enlarged the opening, exposing the historic aircraft inside to the elements.
Insurance will replace the fabric, but there is a backlog largely because of the pandemic.
"The plant is dealing with their own COVID impact with personnel for manufacturing of the fabric. It is on high demand so we are on back order. It's a 'hurry up and wait' situation," said Desjardins.
But Desjardins says there is some good news for museum supporters in 2021. He received approval from the city to go ahead with a feasibility study to look at a new permanent structure to replace the tent.
"It will give us design and renderings and drawings and amenities and the cost," said Desjardins. "That way we can launch by the end of this year a campaign to build a bigger, better permanent structure."
Learn more about the museum online.