John Michael Spelman
Beginnings of the Dam Renovation
In March of 2018, the Lake Aldersgate Dam sprung a leak!
Over the course of a few days, the water level dropped more than 6 feet. After contacting the town Emergency Management and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, we were informed that the dam needed structural repairs.
In November 2018, culvert repairs were completed with funds from the Inspiring Minds Capital Campaign. A new PVC spillway culvert was installed, replacing a damaged steel culvert.
The lake level was kept low to encourage the concrete to cure; however, the low water level exposed previously underwater sections that also needed repairs. In March 2019, a concern area started leaking and the water level dropped considerably. A hole was identified as the source of the leak and debris was cleared.
A sandbag cofferdam was put in place to hold the majority of the lake and reduce pressure on the compromised dam walls. The spillway wall was reinforced and all holes were repaired. At this time, the cofferdam is still in place and campers were able to enjoy the lake for Summer 2019 & 2021. However, the cofferdam is nearing the end of its expected lifespan and a permanent repair is needed.
We applied for funding through The Champlin Foundation and received a grant of $175,000 to begin construction. Leadership donors have pledged $50,000 towards the project.