This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Nov. 13, 2012:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
The Building Committee met for three hours this morning and had a chance to review all the plans for electrical systems, including outlets and light fixtures throughout the new Meeting House. This is one of those times when we are able to remember the inconveniences we lived with in the old Meeting House and make improvements. There will be several areas where lights will come on when someone walks in and then shut off when no one is there. This should help prevent lights being left on for days on end. There will also be adequate lighting in closets and storage areas and of course in the stairways. We also looked at where all the outlets will be and have tried to be sure we will have enough conveniently located so there will be no need for extension cords.
Today we also had a first look at many of the suggestions for furniture in the Meeting House. Although it is a pretty big building, there is really not that much furniture to be bought. In the sanctuary we will have chairs for the choir, the communion table, pulpit and baptismal fount, stands for flowers and a couple of chairs for the preacher and lay reader. We have chosen to have all furniture easily moveable so the space will be easily adjusted over time. We also are looking at chairs for the Foundation Room to go with tables that were replaced earlier in the year. One improvement we have planned is a chair and table storage closet on the south end of the Foundation Room where all the chairs and tables can be put away out of sight. On the second floor, between the sanctuary and the office wing in the area essentially equivalent to the former Pilgrim Hall, there will be two rooms. One will be set up with sofas and chairs similar to Pilgrim Hall and the other will be a meeting room suitable for up to about fifteen people with a round conference table. These two rooms will adequately replace Pilgrim Hall. In the Office and Bugbee wings, furniture that was destroyed has been replaced with the same type of pieces wherever possible.
Construction on the site continues. Forms and rebar have been set for the footings which should be poured by the end of the week. Once these are in place forms will be set for the foundation and that will be poured. Due to the nature of concrete it is necessary to allow a twenty-eight day “curing” period to make sure the concrete is strong enough to hold the large load that will be built on it. Then work will be completed on the utility conduits that will be placed in the floor and walls of the Foundation Room and kitchen.
Each week the Building Committee gets an update on progress being made, things completed and next steps to be taken. A detailed construction scheduled is prepared to help us see where we are. Each step of the construction process builds on the previous step and several different areas of construction come together for each step.
Work is continuing in the process of negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. We will be providing additional information they have requested this week and hope to hear a further response from them next week. While each week brings us closer to settlement, we are not sure yet when one will finally be agreed to.
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