This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Dec. 18, 2012:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
One hundred thirty-three yards of concrete were poured into the forms for the foundation on Friday. And now the forms are being removed and you will be able to see what the foundation will look like – windows and all! While the concrete is curing there will be other things going on at the site. There will be forms and then concrete for the front steps and for the elevator tower. Eventually the steps and most of the foundation that is visible above the ground will be sheathed in granite block and will look very much like the steps and foundation of the former Meeting House.
Other work that will be done while the concrete cures will include additional site work by Avery Construction and the placing of conduit for utilities under the floor. We are waiting for the approval we need from the Bank of America to dig across their driveway for the installation of electric service. The next step after the foundation and current work will be steel. The structural steel “shop drawings” are being done in preparation for the arrival of the steel on the site in February. Bids have been received from contractors for the framing, drywall, sheathing and rough carpentry and for the electrical work. We also have requested bids for the HV/AC work.
The good news is that everything continues to be on schedule.
Dan Clayton, the acoustician for the project was with us for several hours today as the Building Committee went over in detail the proposal for sound enhancement and audio-visual components of the project. This new construction is allowing us to create a sanctuary with much better sound than would ever have been achievable in the old Meeting House. A combination of wireless and wired microphones will work to be sure the spoken word is clear throughout the sanctuary and will also bring us the best sound from the organ and other musicians as well. Because the system will be integrated into the construction there will be fewer opportunities for things to go wrong.
One of the great features to be included will be preset lighting and sound in the sanctuary. Once the building is completed we will determine the various kinds of services that will take place and the level of lighting and sound desired for each. There will be a panel in the sanctuary that will allow an usher or someone else, to turn the lights and the sound system to “ON” and then choose the type of service, “Sunday morning” for instance, and all the lights and sound will be set at the desired levels. Aside from convenience, the important thing here is that no one will have access to the controls of the systems, so there will be no chance that microphone levels will be changed.
We are also anticipating times when the church is full for various services and there may be a need for overflow seating. Sound and perhaps video will be available in the Foundation Room and Care Center with the additional possibility of making it possible for people in the kitchen, Pilgrim Hall and bride’s room to hear what is going on in the sanctuary. The system will also allow for recording of worship services for use on the internet or for direct streaming for homebound and other people who wish to see and hear the service when they are not able to attend.
Arrangements are being made for members of the Building Committee to present building plans to the Boards and Committee of the church during January. Any interested member of the church will also be invited to attend one of these informational meetings. Details, dates and times will be posted on the church web site and in the January 2013 edition of Highlights to invite everyone. There are many plans and much excitement to be shared!
Due to Christmas the Building Committee will not meet next week and there will not be a printed update. Merry Christmas!