LOMBARDY – Every year, the Kemptville College Alumni has a reunion to keep tabs on how everyone’s doing and what everyone’s been up to; but there was something very special about this year.
After Kemptville College closed down back in 2016, the Alumni Association wanted to find a way to preserve some of the history that had been collected by the group. Their solution – erecting a building at the Lombardy Fairgrounds to put all past, present and future memorabilia for all generations to enjoy.
“[The building] just opened today (Sat., Aug. 24),” said Audrey Baker, president of the Alumni Association. “We actually just finished it last Wednesday (Aug. 21).”
The building took approximately three months to build and complete for use, with construction starting back in June.
“The building is going to be used for alumni jackets, class pictures, trophies and other donated items,” said Baker. “A lot of our stuff is still not in that building, it’s in storage. We only had a few days to put something together.”
To celebrate the opening of the building, the Alumni Association invited Rideau Lakes Township Mayor Ari Hoogenboom, who was also previously a farm kid from Mountain, to say a few words.
“I want to say, on behalf of my council, this township has been quite supportive over the years, both with the Lombardy [Agricultural] Society and now with the Alumni [Association],” he said. “We gave them a good break on the building permit and we just recently agreed, as a council, to become one of the corporate sponsors at $1,000. I was proud of my township council for stepping up to the plate and I am proud of the fact that you folks have decided that this is a good place to be”
He continued with comments eluding to the Alumni Association’s previous troubles with the North Grenville council, “I know other municipalities weren’t quite as welcoming but we certainly do welcome you to our area and we think this is a great fit with the Lombardy Agricultural Society.”
In order to build the structure, a total of six craftsmen and nine volunteers led by the project co-ordinator Ron Burgess were critical to the building’s success. After the ceremonies, there was a ribbon cutting followed by cake and lemonade.