Progress Reports ~ April 2017


The ninth weekly Master Plan report

Sunday, 4/23/2017

Here's a quick overview of what's been going on this week and some indications of what will be going on over the next couple of weeks. We are moving forward as you will learn from this list of activities.

This week's activities (week ending April 21):

  1. The surveyor and the civil engineer have marked the new entry driveway with stakes and painted lines. While the driveway seems close to Shields House, it is as planned. Its location is a function of (1) where it needs to enter the reorganized parking lot, (2) the space needed to allow a gentle slope down from the terrace (which is at the level of the floor of the Sanctuary) for the two pathways, and (3) space for the sidewalk along the driveway from the parking area to the main Sanctuary entrance.
  2. The organ console was taken out of service and wrapped in plastic to protect it from dust. Certain pipes were also sealed. The Steering Committee distributed requirements for keeping dirt and dust out of the Sanctuary during construction, a copy of which are pasted below:

    You are probably aware that in order to protect our organ from harm as work begins outside the Sanctuary on the terrace, on the new accessible double door entrance to the Sanctuary and in the passageway leading to the Church House, the organ has been taken out of service and the console and openings to certain organ pipes wrapped to keep out dust. In order to minimize the infiltration of dust into the Sanctuary, avoiding the need for more extensive protection of the organ, we need to keep the Sanctuary closed up as much as possible while work is going on outside. We expect that outside work to begin in the coming week, when the main driveway entrance will be relocated and temporarily surfaced, and the construction fence will be moved outwards. A.P. Construction will provide us with notice of when they will start dust producing work outside the Sanctuary, but you should assume that will begin on April 26.


  1. While work is going on (essentially 7 AM to 4 PM), we should keep Sanctuary windows and doors closed and the fans off. This includes the upper and lower windows, and the entry/exit doors. AP will seal the double doors leading into the Sanctuary during the week.
    • If members of staff or the congregation need to work or meet in the Sanctuary during these hours on weekdays, and temperatures are uncomfortable, it will be OK to open the lower windows on the NORTH side only and turn on the fans. Those using the Sanctuary must close the windows and turn off the fans before leaving.
    • If there are special events (for example, memorial services), we will need some notice to make arrangements with A.P. Construction to stop work outside the Sanctuary. For such events, the fans can be used, the doors opened, and the lower windows on both sides of the Sanctuary opened. However, if the weather is dry and windy, with dust blowing around, only the NORTH side windows should be opened, and the main doors on the south side can be used to enter and exit but should not be held open. When the event is over, the doors and windows must be closed again and the fans turned off. We will also need to make sure the double doors at the front of the Sanctuary can be opened, as that continues to be an emergency exit. A.P. will need to reseal them before beginning work again.
    • If the Sanctuary is used during the evening hours (for example for rehearsals), the doors at the back of the Sanctuary may be opened, the lower windows on both sides opened, and the fans used. If it is dry and windy, only the NORTH side windows should be opened. Users must close windows and doors and turn off fans before leaving.

  3. If no work is going on outside, the lower windows may be opened and the fans turned on. If it is dry and windy, only the NORTH side windows should be opened. Whoever opens the windows or turns on the fans is responsible for closing all windows and turning off the fans before leaving.
  4. A word about the double doors at the front of the Sanctuary. As noted, these doors will be sealed during the week and should not be opened unless we have made arrangements to accommodate a special event. The doors will be unsealed for weekends, but the vestibule outside and the passageway must remain empty--this is an emergency exit only.
  5. These usage rules will remain in effect until we reach the point in the project when the organ can be unwrapped, hopefully sometime in August. If we find that they are not sufficient to protect the organ, we will work with the firm responsible for protecting the organ, A. Thompson-Allen Co. to develop further steps.
  6. The oil tank and contaminated soil were removed and the hole backfilled with clean materials. We will incur clean up and disposal costs for dealing with the oil tank leaks, but fortunately the leaks don't appear to have been extensive. The removal of the tank clears the way for work to begin on the new entry vestibule.
  7. Masons continued to build new concrete block walls where necessary to support the roof structure--generally in the area of the new Welcome Center and the nearby bathrooms. Scaffolding will remain in place until new load bearing walls completed.
  8. Continuing installation of new door frames and lintels, installation of metal studs for new room configurations, framing of the new Lund Hall ceiling, electrical work.
  9. Still taking steps to ensure that the roof structure is adequately supported given changes in the room configurations and the planned removal of some load bearing walls.
  10. The Furniture Committee presented its recommendations for the Welcome Center, the Parlor, the Library and the Youth Rooms, and is proceeding to place orders. The search for suitable chairs (meaning comfortable, durable, stackable, stable, and reasonably priced) for Lund Hall continues--Steering Committee will get an update at its meeting on April 24.

What do we expect to happen in the coming weeks?

  1. Inside the Church House, masons will continue to work on block walls, interior framing work will continue, and work will begin on framing for new window and door openings (though not for new Lund Hall windows, yet),
  2. During the week of April 24, the site contractor will create and temporarily surface the relocated entry driveway in its new permanent location. This will require relocating the small flowering tree (NOT the previously relocated memorial tree given by the Dages) closer to Shields House. Once the entry driveway is done, the construction fence will be moved towards Main Street, expanding the fenced in area so work can begin on the new entry vestibule, the new terrace and the new accessible door to the vestibule area outside the front of the Sanctuary. The driveway and fencing work should be complete on Friday, April 28, assuming no weather related delays. Those coming to the Church during this period should plan on using the West Lane entrance to access the parking lot. Note that there will be future disruptions in the use of the new entry driveway as conduit for communications and electric service are installed, and again when permanent paving is done.
  3. We expect to be making a new connection to the Aquarion system this week as well, This will involve digging up, and then repaving according to state requirements, a part of Main Street. The new connection is necessary because of the increased water supply required for the sprinkler system.
  4. We've been advised that the roof HVAC equipment may be arriving onsite on or about May 8.
  5. We will be discussing the options for addressing the siding and roofing issues we identified in light of the cost information we have gathered. When we have recommendations, we will present them to Trustees and Council.
  6. The Furniture Committee will have displays showing furniture and fabric selections in Shields House following the Groundbreaking ceremony on April 30.

Master Plan Update - April 2017

Sunday, 4/09/2017

Here's a quick overview of what's been going on this week and some indications of what will be going on over the next couple of weeks. This is the seventh weekly report.

The project continues to be on track.

This week's activities (week ending April 7):

  1. With shoring in place, demolition of load bearing walls completed. Masons began work on new bearing walls (generally in the area of the new Welcome Center and the nearby bathrooms). New door frames and lintels being delivered.
  2. The entry steps and landing at the main Church House entry were removed (preserving the 1980 'cornerstone'), and removal of the plantings in the area began.
  3. Electrical 'rough in' work continues
  4. A number of necessary planning activities are underway:
    • Site work contractor is planning the sequence of work efforts over the next thirty days. This will include (after Easter) relocation of construction fencing, driveway relocation}
    • Planning for steel fabrication requirements.
    • Determination of requirements for new connection to Aquarion system and associated costs, including road opening and repaving to meet state specifications.
    • Reviewing ductwork, flue, and sprinkler plans for the basement, requiring reorganization of the space there.
    • Finalizing designs for ductwork, including kitchen ductwork and hood coordination
    • Contacting firm which will protect the organ from construction impacts after Easter.
    • Contacting surveyor to start laying realigned parking area and fence along the property line
    • Revised plans for supporting roof joists over the Commons
    • Stone samples reviewed by Architects and development of plans to 'mock up' new stone construction to make sure mortar will match existing Sanctuary building.
    • Initial assessment of options for addressing issues with Church House siding (extensive peeling, some trim in poor condition).
    • Initial assessment of options for addressing the fact that we cannot match the existing Church House roofing for the roof over the new entry vestibule, so we are considering costs and options to maintain some visual consistency in roofing as viewed from Main Street.
  5. We know there is an unusual amount of water in the Sanctuary basement--monitoring to determine if this is a function of higher water table or shifting water flow patterns resulting from construction activity.
  6. The Furniture Committee has continued to move towards final plans for furniture in the Welcome Center, Library, Parlor, and Youth rooms. We continue to look for chairs for Lund Hall offering the right combination of value, comfort and ease of storage.

Master Plan Update - April 2017 Fountain

Sunday, 4/02/2017

After six weeks, the Church House renovation project is on track, despite the mid-March snowstorm.

You have adapted to the changes in traffic flow, parking, and access to the Sanctuary. During April, you will need to adapt again when construction fencing and the Main Street entrance driveway are relocated in preparation for work on the new terrace connecting the Sanctuary and the Church House. Soon we will remove the current entry porch foundation (saving the cornerstone), preparing the way to begin excavation and other work necessary to construct the new entry vestibule. Construction activity near the current single door entrance to the Sanctuary will start after Easter, once the organ is taken out of service and protected. To prepare for this site work, some heavy equipment has been moved in. As plans become more specific, we'll provide updates.

We now have a website where you can find progress reports and lots of photos. Go to

Trees located in areas impacted by our parking lot plans have been removed. Later, new trees will be planted around the parking area.

The inside of the Church House has been largely gutted-kitchen equipment, closets and cupboards not needed after renovation, carpet, flooring, ceilings, ducts, and some of the concrete block walls have been removed. Electricians have removed old wiring and panels and begun installing new wiring. Foam insulation has been applied to the underside of the roof throughout the building, an effort completed at the end of March (the children's classroom area will be done this summer). Framing for new walls and ceilings is underway.

Thanks to all who have made commitments to the Capital Campaign-receipts now stand at just over $4.4 million, giving us confidence we will complete this project without taking on long term debt. Our total project budget remains at $4.8M. To cover those costs, we still need to receive outstanding commitments. We welcome new commitments, and any acceleration of planned payments.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask any of us on the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee: Chris Bennett, Paul Gervais, Randy Glendinning, Rhonda Hill, Ruth Kirkpatrick, Dave Lussier, David Montieth, John Moscone, Mike Pommer, Bob Yates, Reverend Charlie, Reverend Karen