This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Nov. 28, 2012:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
The Building Committee spent a good deal of time this week looking over the construction schedule provided by Petra Construction. The projected completion date for the Meeting House is fall of 2013, and it is very difficult to be more specific than that this early in the project. So far we have only contracted for the site and concrete work. As other parts of the project go out to bid and contracts are signed we will be able to have a better idea of when to plan for the celebratory dedication services.
On the schedule to go out to bid is the steel work, which should be out this week, followed closely by the framing and sheathing work, which includes the roof and all the decking, and then the electrical, plumbing and HVAC portions of the project will go out. All of the bidding is done through Petra Construction with a recommendation made to the Building Committee about individual contacts.
We have continued to discuss what, if any, use can be made of the beams that were salvaged from the Meeting House after the fire. There are several in our possession. It has been impossible so far to get anyone to cut into them so we can determine how good they are and how they might be used, because there are lots of nails and other bits of metal in them. No mill wants to risk damaging saws and other cutting tools. We hope to find a way to remove nails from some sections of the beams so that they can be used in the new building. Thoughts for use have included the cross at the front of the sanctuary, the top of the communion table and various hand rails and door pulls that will be needed. The Building Committee is continuing to work closely with the Artifacts Committee and will seek that committee’s input prior to making final decisions. We have agreed that we want to recognize the history of the third Meeting House by using some wood in the fourth, without creating a constant reminder of the fire.
We are waiting for approval from the CT Department of Transportation for digging on the street necessary to connect to the power pole in front of the Bank of America. A trench will be dug from the pole across the driveway of the bank and onto church property to the location of the new transformer. This is pretty straightforward, but approvals need to be in place. Watch for that to happen very soon.
We are expecting a progress report on construction of the organ within the week. Work is underway on creating the pipes and we will be receiving drawings of the new pipes and the organ and choir loft which we will share with everyone.
Next week the Building Committee is scheduled to discuss electronics, audio visual and other technological concerns with our acoustician and our own Tech Committee, as well as looking at possible security systems. We have determined it will be crucial to secure the new building at a higher level than we had secured the old.
A subcommittee of the Building Committee is meeting this week with CHK’s interior design experts to narrow our choices of furniture and the Interiors Committee is also meeting with them to make some decisions about fabrics, paints and flooring.