Hoyt Farm park manager Jeff Gumin has been dealing with problems with the roof of the property's old silo for a long time.
"I've been restoring it since I was a kid," said Gumin, who volunteered at the park when he was a teenager. He said it was "nervewracking" climbing the tall cement cylinder to nail cedar shingles where they had fallen off.
That was until 2008, when a strong wind storm damaged the roof beyond repair. Gumin collapsed what was left, and the 80-year-old silo has sat open to the sky since.
Enter Jeremy Wendt, a Kings Park Boy Scout with Troop 708 in Huntington. Wendt was looking for something to serve as his Eagle Scout project and asked Gumin if there was anything at the farm that needed doing. After some consideration, Gumin suggested the replacement of the fallen roof.
The project was daunting; build a new roof and get it on top of the two-story-high silo. After Wendt's idea was approved by Scout leaders in May, he raised $1,000 with a pancake breakfast.
When he went to buy shingles at Florence Building Materials in Huntington, he told the staff there what he was doing and the company donated the amount he needed.
Wendt's boss of several years, Joe Hallaran of Commack, is a master woodworker. The roof's frame came together in his shop, and Wendt was joined by more than a dozen fellow Scouts, Hallaran and two family friends on Veterans Day to finish the job. Once they were done, all that remained was to get the roof, 1,300 lbs. by Gumin's estimation, on top of the silo.
"Nobody thought they had a boom big enough to do this," said Gumin of his search for a truck and crew that could handle the load. He finally found help from Smithtown's traffic engineer, Tony Cannone. Two trucks arrived Friday afternoon and hoisted the roof to the silo's top as Gumin stood with Wendt and Wendt's parents below to see it through.
As a worker edged the structure into place, Gumin expressed relief that Wendt's ambition had gotten done what the park had not had the means to do.
"It wouldn't have been possible," he said.