Skansie Netshed under wraps

Posted on May 31st, 2024 By: Chapin Day

With the 2024 Maritime Gig Festival on tap this weekend, the Skansie Netshed is all dressed up — but it’s no place to go.

Normally abuzz with visitors’ activity during the the annual fest, workers have garbed the historic shed in white vinyl tarps draped over skeletal scaffolding. It is closed to the public through the weekend, the summer and, effectively, until next June.

The shimmering gown represents progress on a recently begun project to repaint, reroof and refurbish some woodwork of the Skansie Park landmark.

Work on the Skansie Netshed could take up to a year. Photo by Chapin Day

Popular stop for visitors

The city-owned shed, operating under a contract with the Skansie Netshed Foundation, drew 22,000 visitors last year, according to foundation board member Lita Dawn Ancich, who laments that it will not be open this weekend.

“I wish the timing had been better,” she told Gig Harbor Now.

City Public Works Project Engineer Marcos McGraw said workers needed to start the weather-dependent project before the festival.

“We wanted to catch as much of the summer as we could,” he said, adding that the work now underway should be complete in October.

Ancich, formerly historic preservationist for the city, said colder weather in the fall and winter makes it difficult to keep the shed available to visitors.  The foundation has previously told the city it will re-open to the public in June 2025.

A tarp covers the Skansie Netshed, which is being repainted, reroofed and refurbished. Photo by Chapin Day

Foundation to provide info during Gig Fest

During this weekend’s festivities, she said, foundation supporters will be available at a table near the shed to provide information and background to passersby.

McGraw explained that the tarping serves multiple purposes, including keeping old paint — being removed — and new paint — being applied — out of the harbor.  The tarp also provides protection and safety for the workforce.

The project will cost about $315,480, he said. It’s an investment in preserving a piece of the past for future generations.

“We want to keep it as a hub for the community and for visitors,” he said.

Workers put up tarps ahead of repainting and other tasks on the Skansie Netshed along the Gig Harbor waterfront. Photo by Chapin Day