Building safety concerns force Londonderry Lions Club to cancel fundraiserBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
March 18. 2014 7:13PM
LONDONDERRY — A popular fundraiser for the Lions Club has been postponed due to structural concerns about Lions Hall.
The main function room inside the hall, located at 265 Mammoth Road, was temporarily shuttered last week after a preliminary inspection before the club’s scheduled Comedy Night fundraiser Saturday revealed several large dips in the hall’s floors, hinting at overall structural weaknesses.
On Tuesday afternoon, Richard Canuel, senior building inspector for the town of Londonderry, said the building’s main function room couldn’t be used until the hall’s failing floors were addressed.
Canuel said he visited the facility on Monday with a group of engineers who were further analyzing the conditions at Lions Hall.
“At this point, we have to consider that room unsafe,” Canuel said.
As club members await word on what repairs will be necessary, other areas of the building, including the front lobby, kitchen and smaller meeting rooms upstairs, have all been deemed safe for them to conduct their business in.
The local Lions Hall is used for a variety of club and community activities, including American Red Cross blood drives, throughout the year. The Londonderry Lions also raise additional income for club activities by renting out the hall to organizations and individuals for small functions and events.
The Lions Club was chartered in Londonderry over four decades ago, though the hall itself is much older.
The building, which is believed to be the town’s oldest public facility, once stood at the corner of Pillsbury and Hardy roads and dates to the late 1700s, when it was a religious meeting house. The building was moved to its current location in 1837, where it was enlarged to host various social functions. It was later used to house the Londonderry town offices in the late 1950s. The Lions Club began using the space in 1972.
Last weekend’s Boston Comedy Night fundraiser would have brought such professional comedy acts as Chris Pennie and P.J. Walsh to the local venue, with sales of $20 tickets, along with raffles and concession sales, to assist the club with its local high school scholarship program and its eye care and hearing aid assistance programs.
Lions Club member Gary Smith said the comedy night fundraiser would be rescheduled to a later date once the hall’s floors were repaired, though plans were still in the works as of this week.
“There will definitely be a Comedy Night at some point in time,” Smith said on Tuesday. “That’s our intention.”
Those who previously purchased tickets for the Lions Club Comedy Night may contact the Londonderry Lions at 845-8416.