This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Jan. 15, 2013:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
This week, seventy-six yards of concrete have been poured for the piers and colonnade at the front of the Meeting House. With the forms removed, we will be able to see just where the front of the Meeting house will be and get a sense of how it will be when the building construction has been completed. While that has been going on there has also been under-slab plumbing and electrical work in preparation for the pouring of the slab in the near future. Each section of the foundation has been waterproofed as it cured. All reports indicate that the concrete is setting well and we are moving ahead with the project right on schedule.
We are still waiting for the official notice of easement form the owners of the Bank of America property and for word from our insurance company that they are ready to offer a settlement. Both of these are expected in the next week or so. The easement will make it possible to continue with construction on schedule.
Reaching a settlement with the insurance company will move us ahead in many ways. We are aware of the fact that construction of the new Meeting House will cost more than the amount of money we will receive in the settlement but we are not yet able to identify how much more. Once we know the amount of the settlement we will know how much will remain for us to raise. At a special meeting of the congregation in November, authorization was given for the Church Council to move ahead with a Capital Campaign to raise necessary funds for the completion of the Meeting House. Once we know how much we need to raise we will be able to contract with United Church of Christ Capital Campaign Services to put the campaign into motion.
The Building Committee has conducted several informational meeting with Boards and Committees of the church, “walking” members through the floor plans and describing the ways in which the new Meeting House will be the same as the old, and the ways it will be different. There will be another informational meeting on Monday, January 21 at 7 P.M. in room 204 in the office wing which will be open to anyone who would like a chance to hear about the plans and see the drawings. As groups have asked questions we have done our best to answer them and when the answers were not readily available we have done the research and gotten back to the group. As always, our first priority is to have this process open and available so that everyone in the congregation has a clear picture of where we are and what the future will hold.
Work continues on “value engineering”, reviewing the plans looking for cost savings and making sure we will get the best value for the money we spend. It is a challenge to balance our commitment to being historically accurate, acoustically sound and aesthetically pleasing while getting the most value out of every dollar we spend. Since this is our commitment, however, the Building Committee is confident that the new Meeting House will meet the expectations of the wide variety of people who will eventually be using it.
The steel should arrive on site by mid-February and the Meeting House will rise right before our eyes over the following weeks.