This information was published in the restoration news center on Sept. 13, 2012:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass, Pastor
The Ground Breaking Celebration will be held on Sunday, September 23 at 4 P.M. Plans are well underway for refreshments, guests, ceremonial ground breakers, balloons and a hearty welcome to one and all. The celebration will be held under a tent on the slab; there will be chairs set up, we will make use of a sound system and we have done our best to think of ways to make this a great and enjoyable celebration for all. The parking lot will probably be full, so if you are able to walk a few extra steps you might consider parking across the street to leave plenty of room for those with mobility issues close to the building. After these past 9 months this Celebration will be awesome!
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Speaking of the parking lot, we have added speed bumps to help control traffic. Four times a day the lot is pretty full as Pre-School parents drop-off and pick-up their children. On Mondays we have the added traffic of Champ’s Place throughout the morning, and twice a month there are cars in conjunction with the Food Share truck. In addition to these, there are many vehicles related to the subcontractors who are working to get our building in shape, and soon there will be construction equipment and workers as the new meeting House is raised. We urge everyone to use a great deal of caution in entering and leaving the parking lot and when walking around it while you are here so that things will continue to go smoothly and safely.
Lots of work has been done and more is being done in the office wing. The elevator is nearly operational, requiring a couple of parts that should be installed next week. Sheet rocking is finished and the painting has begun. Painting will include a primer coat and two finish coats on everything, so this will take some time, but it is underway. The grids are being set for the ceiling tiles on the first floor. Floor tiles are being grouted where they have been replaced and work is proceeding on installation of the temporary boiler. Flooring installation will begin when the painting is completed. On the whole we are making good progress and should be able to move back into the offices by mid-October, at which time we will be done with the office trailer and it will be moved off site.
Work has been begun in the Memorial Garden. In order to supply electricity to our facility, a new transformer will be installed on a cement pad just outside the northwest corner Memorial Garden. Conduit will be laid underground to carry power from the street to the transformer and from the transformer to the building. This will mean that a section of the Memorial Garden wall will be removed in the northwest corner so the trench can be dug for the conduit. The conduit will enter the building at the northeast corner of the garden, the point where the office wing connects with the Bugbee Center. Though a trench will be dug for the conduit across the north side of the garden, and there may be some disturbance to the walkway and a few memorial stones, there will be no disturbance of any burial sites that have been used. No urns or ashes will be disturbed in the process. The location of the trench was, in fact, changed in order to avoid disturbing any used burial sites. Once the conduit has been installed the trench will be filled in and the wall of the garden restored.
It has also been necessary to remove the wall on the south side (Main St. side) of the Memorial Garden because the Meeting House will extend to meet the edge of the Garden. Ground where the wall was removed has been sloped to prevent erosion. When construction is complete the wall and stairway will be put back, with the stairway centered on the south side of the garden. Again, no burial sites will be disturbed by this work.
Once construction begins on the Meeting House it is expected to take 11 to 12 months to complete, meaning we hope to be in the new facility for Homecoming Sunday 2013. What a celebration that will be!