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“It’s generally agreed that Mount Hermon’s accommodations are not what they should be.” This quote was recorded in the minutes of a Board of Director’s meeting in 1929. What was true in Mount Hermon’s history is even more magnified today.”
Increasingly, over the last few years, evaluations from our guests have elevated our concern about worn out accommodations to a whole new level. As the Facilities Manager, you can imagine my surprise and delight at the news that at the March 2013 meeting of the Board of Directors, it was agreed to allocate $300,000, from an unexpected bequest, to update some of our cabins.
This news was both a blessing and a challenge to the Facilities department, as our busy summer season was fast approaching. Our goal was to do as much updating as possible before the arrival of our Family Camp guests. We quickly put together a committee to decide which were the most urgent changes and got to work on some of our neediest cabins. With the help of some great local contractors alongside our talented staff, our summer guests were able to enjoy upgrades to several of our cabins. Here are some of the highlights of the improvements.
- For all six units of Oak, Maple, and Madrone, all the walls and ceilings were painted and new flooring, furnishings, bedding and curtains were installed.
- In Upper Holly all the walls and ceilings were painted, (including removal of the “popcorn” texture). Then, new kitchen cabinets, counters, appliances, floors, furnishings, bedding, and window coverings were added.
- In Lower Holly the celetex ceiling tiles in the kitchen area were removed and replaced with sheet rock. After extensive interior painting, we repaired the living room floor, installed a new forced-air heater, new kitchen windows, and relocated the water heater.
- In Spruce we rebuilt a kitchen wall including new plumbing and electrical, and installed new kitchen cabinets, counters, and flooring on the main floor.
- Sycamore received a whole new roof and a repair to the roof structure.
- Acacia Cabin got a new forced-air heating system and the old floor heater removed, as well as some new furnishings.
- In Toyon a new forced-air heating system was added and the old floor heater removed, as well as some new furnishings.
- In Walnut the front deck was completely rebuilt and the living room couch and curtains were replaced.
- Upper Blackberry had the front stairway completely rebuilt.
- In Elm we completely repainted the interior, added some new furnishings, and updated the décor.
This fall other cabins can be addressed, and we’ll be ramping up our improvement efforts. We are committed to the notion that our accommodations should facilitate an experience, not distract. Guests are discovering that these cabins are looking much more like “what they should be!”
Mark Lilley, Facility and Properties Manager, has been at Mount Hermon for over 20 years. As the Properties Manager, Mark and his team work tirelessly to keep Mount Hermon up and running for our thousands of guests each year.