Tabernacle needs new roof

The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association is looking to replace the 88 year old roof of the Tabernacle. — Gabrielle Mannino

After 88 years, the Tabernacle’s roof needs to be replaced. In a presentation to selectmen, representatives of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association shared their plans for replacing the roof of the historic structure.

Restoration began in 2002 when concrete footings and braces were installed to secure the Tabernacle to the ground. Since then, the association has done painting and lantern lights in 2004, cupola repairs in 2008, other repairs in 2009, and bench and stage repairs in 2014.

Now the association is asking for help from the town.

The roof project is estimated to cost $2.2 million. The Camp Meeting Association is applying to the Community Preservation committee under historic preservation, and asking for $315,000. The request would have to be approved by voters at a future town meeting.

Future plans for the structure also include adding an accessory structure to the back of the Tabernacle to allow for climatized storage of a Steinway piano.

“It’s a big part of Oak Bluffs, and we know that, so we appreciate what you guys are doing over there,” selectmen chairman Jason Balboni said.