The Gönpa at Merigar West, Italy has been undergoing extraordinary maintenance work for several months. The most urgent work, coordinated by engineers, professionals and expert consultants, started in May 2019 and has been carried out in collaboration with specialized companies.
Work began on May 6th and before the summer break the lantern was redone, part of the fixtures changed, the copper roof rebuilt, some external columns were reinforced and / or changed, and the external walkway and the windows in the renovated area were partly redone (north and east sides), as was the wooden access stairway, all the rainwater channeling system and the guttering.
After the break during the summer so that the Gönpa was available for various summer activities, work began again on October 7.
In recent months, the three supporting beams on the south, south-east and south-west sides of the building have been redone in concrete since they were found to be seriously damaged when the external walkway was dismantled. In order to do this it was necessary to dismantle part of the interior floor which was then rebuilt. On these sides of the building the external walkway has been completed and the new fixtures mounted.
The sanding of all external wooden parts was also completed and the first treatments for the wood were undertaken. For effective wood maintenance we are studying with experts an elastic and resistant grouting system that will adapt to the movements of the wood due to sudden changes in temperature, humidity, etc. This grouting will be followed by new treatments that will create the base for the decorations. The project for decorations will be created with a team of experts in 2020.
An essential maintenance program is also planned to prevent the deterioration of wood and paint, as well as the control of rainwater runoff.
The intense period of bad weather of the last few months has delayed and complicated completion of the works. For this reason it has not yet been possible to build and assemble the railing of the external walkway [Ed. As of December 2019].
The total cost of the works to date has been around 345 thousand euro; 200,000 have been financed by the ‘8 per mille’ contribution from the UBI, the Italian Buddhist Union, of which Merigar is a member.
Other donations have come from Dzogchen Community practitioners to who we give heartfelt thanks. Unfortunately we have not yet covered all the expenses and much remains to be done. For your contribution, go to the website https://www.merigar.it/en/donation-for-a-specific-project/ and for more details https://www.merigar.it/en/visit/gonpa/the-restoration/updates/
There are also other important projects in progress, such as the “Path of Awareness” and the restoration of the Master’s retreat house, which however fall within the broader hydro-geological and security project of the Merigar area, the subject of an intervention plan with a geological study in collaboration with the Tuscany Region and the Municipality of Arcidosso.