Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Saved: Eagle Scout Candidate Completes Rebuild of Grass Island Shack

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After a year of planning, fundraising, and construction, Eagle Scout candidate John Markowski completed the “Save the Shack” project on Nov. 23. Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier

After a year of planning, fundraising, and construction, Eagle Scout candidate John Markowski completed the “Save the Shack” project on Nov. 23. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier)

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The Grass Island Shack has a new deck, a new roof, a new coat of paint, and the center structure has been stabilized. Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier

The Grass Island Shack has a new deck, a new roof, a new coat of paint, and the center structure has been stabilized. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Courier)

An eyesore no more: After years of wear and tear, the iconic Grass Island Shack looks as good as new thanks to the efforts of Eagle Scout candidate John Markowski.

Markowski established “Save the Shack” as his Eagle Scout project back in 2015. In September 2016, Markowski and a crew of nearly 40 volunteers and professional contractors began work on the shack. The old deck and roof were replaced, the center structure was straightened and reinforced, and a new coat of paint was applied. The project officially wrapped up on Nov. 23.

“I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to give back to my community and I am so thankful for all of the donors and volunteers that came together to make the rebuild happen,” said Markowski. “Overall, I’m relieved that the project is complete. It has been over a year in the making and it is so exciting to finally see it complete.”

The town currently owns the little red shack. The current structure, once privately owned, was erected in 1930, after a fire burned down a circa-1900 summer cottage on the grounds. In the 1950s, it was pushed up the beach to higher ground to avoid rising waters. In 1963, the shack and its perimeter of land were acquired by Guilford.

Since November of last year, Markowski has been working on the fundraising part of the project. To date, Markowski raised $28,000 through fundraisers and received a matching grant from the Guilford Foundation of up to $10,000.

Markowski said that if there are any leftover funds, they will be put toward future maintenance.

“Anyone interested in donating to Save the Shack still can going forward,” he said.

Overall Markowski said the project was a big learning experience for him—he said he learned how to work with town officials, professional contractors, and volunteers. With construction now finished, Markowski is almost ready to officially complete his Eagle Scout project.

“The next step for me to earn the rank of Eagle is to finish and submit all of my paperwork to council for approval,” he said. “In addition, I am working to schedule and plan a ribbon cutting ceremony for the spring of 2017.”

For more information on the project, visit www.savetheshackguilford.com.


Zoe Roos covers news for Guilford and Madison for Zip06. Email Zoe at z.roos@shorepublishing.com.

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