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The Renovation of Our Church House

Is On Schedule!

The renovation of our Church House is well underway and on schedule-as you read this report we will be roughly halfway through our six month project and expect completion by Rally Day in September.

After last year's Annual Meeting, years of planning ended and implementation began. Last June, two large engineered fans were installed in the Sanctuary to improve comfort during the summer months and heating efficiency during the colder months. Lights in the Sanctuary were moved to avoid strobe effects. In July and August we rerouted the 100 year old Town sewer line around the Sanctuary, a precondition for Town approval for our plans.

At Rally Day in September, we shared the final room layout, along with our flooring and lighting selections and sketches showing Lund Hall, the Welcome Center and the Parlor. That kicked off a very busy Fall, as we: began the process of obtaining a building permit from the Town; finalized an easement to the Town for the rerouted sewer line; started to prepare our campus by moving significant plantings and taking down and storing the flagpole; reviewed; revised and value engineered design packages to arrive ar a proposed Guaranteed Maximum Price that fit our anticipated resources; had our Construction Manager, A.P. Construction, put the project out to bid; and continued to review and revise project scope and budgets and our anticipated resources. All of this work culminated in December when Trustees and Council approved the project scope and a project budget of $4.8M-within our resources. With that approval, we finalized our contracts with A.P. Construction, enabling them to lock in favorable bid prices and keep the project on schedule.

The entire church pitched in during the first two months of 2017 to empty the Church House (except the childrens' classroom area). A team identified items we would need during the project, items which would need to be stored for use after the project is complete, and items to be disposed of. Needed items were stored in Shields House and a rented storage unit. Unneeded items were offered to local non-profits or sold to members of the congregation in a memorable tag sale in February. Proceeds from the tag sale went to our Mission Ministry. Once these efforts were complete, all remaining 'stuff' was disposed of, leaving the Church House empty by the third week of February.

At the end of January, A.P. took the final step required for the issuance of a bulding permit, installing run-off control fencing around the property. The Town issued the permit on February 6. During the week of February 20, A.P. began interior demolition work, installed construction fencing and marked pedestrian walkways, sealed the construction zone from the Sanctuary and children's classroom area, and built a temporary access ramp to the West Lane (Bell Tower) entrance to the Sanctuary. Members of the congregation adapted to this first set of new traffic patterns, parking, and access arrangements.

From February through the date of this report, work has proceeded both inside the Church House and outside, interrupted at times by weather and the discovery of conditions requiring evaluation:

  • Ceilings, carpets, light fixtures, electrical wiring, ductwork, selected walls, the Lund Hall floor, the boiler, plumbing, cabinetry, and kitchen equipment have all been removed;
  • Shoring required to support the roof as some rooms are reconfigured and new interior walls are built was installed, and some of the roof supporting structures redesigned;
  • Much of the framing for the new Lund Hall ceiling, reorganized rooms, and corridor walls has been done,
  • New electrical conduits and some wiring is being installed,
  • The installation of some of the ductwork for the HVAC system has begun,
  • Trees impacted by the reorganized parking lot were taken down,
  • Work on the new water connection to Aquarion (required because of the sprinkler) began,
  • The porch outside the Church House has been demolished and the buried oil tank removed,
  • The base for the relocated entry driveway has been installed and will be in use until it is paved during the summer,
  • The organ in the Sanctuary has been taken out of service and wrapped to protect it from construction dust,
  • Work has begun on foundations for the new entry vestibule and the new terrace,
  • New Lund Hall chairs and furniture for the Welcome Center, the Library, the Parlor, and the Youth Rooms have been ordered.

The congregation will have the opportunity to see how much progress has been made through "Hardhat" tours following the Annual Meeting on June 4. At that point, we expect that the foundations for the entry vestibule and terrace will be done, sheetrock work will have begun, installation of the ceiling grid will be in progress, and some HVAC equipment will be installed on the roof. If all goes well, framing will be underway for the new entry vestibule. Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done. Over the summer, work inside the Church House will move forward, including completion of electrical work and the HVAC system, the installation of plumbing and the sprinkler system, the installation of new energy efficient windows, the fitting out of the redesigned kitchen, and installation of the planned ceilings, floors and finishes. Outside, we will complete the entry vestibule and the terrace, and build the new accessible entry to the Sanctuary. We will also renovate the children's classroom area, adding fire sprinklers, new windows, new HVAC, new ceilings and lights, and new flooring. Summer will also bring work in the parking lot to improve safety, accessible parking, lighting, and drainage,and install the new boundary fence, all followed by necessary repaving. Beginning in the latter part of August, we expect to be able to begin moving stored items back into the renovated Church House.

The Steering Committee has constantly monitored project income and renovation expenditures, managing our Owner's Contingency to address unanticipated costs within the approved budget. We are constantly assessing the possibility that funds may be available to address items we were unable to include, within the project schedule. We have been providing regular weekly updates on the project to members of Council, in addition to regular church-wide Fountain updates.

We are thankful that that everyone in the congregation has adapted willingly to the impacts of the construction, working to ensure continuity in the many activities and meetings, fellowship opportunities, programs, and outreach efforts, which relied on the Church House space. We are immensely grateful for the continuing prayers and support of the entire congregation. This has been and continues to be a community-wide effort and accomplishment.

Chris Bennett, for the Master Plan Steering Committee: Paul Gervais, Randy Glendinning, Rhonda Hill, Ruth Kirkpatrick, Dave Lussier, David Montieth, John Moscone, Mike Pommer, Bob Yates