The restoration of the Lefurgey House began in June 2003. The 6000 square-foot building was in need of major upgrades and over the course of the project the structural, mechanical and electrical issues were resolved. The work, which took place over nine months, was made possible in part by the generosity of the Wanda Wyatt Foundation, which also enabled the refurbishment of the MacNaught House and the Wyatt House. Other major sponsors included the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the City of Summerside and Human Resources Development Canada.
Plans to have the newly restored structure open for a prepared March Break children’s program in 2004 were abandoned when fire destroyed the eastern side of the house on March 14th. The tragedy was caused by arson and was felt keenly by many Summerside residents who were familiar with the property and knew its historical significance and its important role in supporting arts and culture in Summerside. The west side of the building suffered extensive smoke and water damage but the kitchen annex was only slightly affected.
Extensive newspaper coverage recorded the major damage to the landmark building and the subsequent rallying of the community as the weeks passed. An open letter to citizens written by Allan Savidant, the manager of the properties, appeared in the Journal-Pioneer on March 24th and pledged to “recover from this unforeseen turn of events and move forward.” That movement began with the removal of debris and the stabilization of the remaining structure. By the month of May plans were being made for another restoration with the valuable resource of hundreds of photographs taken during the previous work.
In July 2004 tenders for structural and exterior restoration were called under the supervision of the architectural firm of Bergmark Guimond Hammerlund Jones of Charlottetown. The contract was awarded to All Star Construction of Bedeque and work began in August. By November the construction and repairs known as Phase One were almost complete. The painting of the exterior was done the following spring in the original gold tones with sage green and brick red accents.