This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Dec. 12, 2012:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
This is the week of the “big pour” with sixteen trucks scheduled to deliver the concrete to the site and into the foundation forms on Thursday, December 13. As part of the process, a pump will be placed near the northeast corner of the foundation; concrete will be delivered there and distributed all around. There will be a curing period of several weeks following the pour during which work will continue on the site. The work will include the location of conduit under the slab and preparation for the electrical installation. All of that will be followed by the beginning of steel work around the first of the year.
The Building Committee spent time this week working on three distinct areas. First they reviewed and accepted the recommendation of the “Finishes” Committee that included carpeting and other flooring, counters, cabinets and wall coverings. The Finishes Committee worked hard to choose materials and colors that are suitable for the new building and in keeping with the commitment to create a new sanctuary that has the same feel as the old one. The final choices about wall color – which will be white – will not be made until samples can be seen in the space with windows and other parts of the structure in place. The Building Committee reviewed all the suggestions with an eye toward aesthetics, but toward economy, making sure to choose items that are durable and of a high quality without overspending.
Attention was also given to the sound and audio visual systems for the new Meeting House and the committee was able to teleconference with acoustician Dan Clayton to clear up question we had and to be sure we understood what his proposal includes. Here, the committee is trying to provide for both current and future needs of the church in the most cost effective way possible. The techniques and materials being used in the new building, especially in the sanctuary, are designed to make listening to music and to the spoken word easy and enjoyable. Various systems for amplification will be integrated in a way that makes operation of the equipment straightforward.
A teleconference was also held with Bruce Fowkes, a partner in the firm that is building our organ. We reviewed options for finishes on the pipes and on the case that will hold them and the console that holds the keyboards. We also talked about the process of installing the new organ once the building is built. Timing of installation is critical because the organ will be a sensitive instrument. Various ways of securing the instrument were also discussed. In the near future we should be able to share pictures of the organ design.
One of the wonderful changes the new building is making possible is a more welcoming hallway from the lobby to the dining room on the first floor. From the offices, one will walk through a wide hallway that will have windows to the outside on the east side and through double doors into the dining room. The width of the hallway will make access easier, and the windows will add to the warmth of the welcome we extend to members and guests alike. There will be direct access from the hallway to the kitchen and easy access from the parking lot to the kitchen through the accessible stairway tower on the east side of the building. A similar hallway will be located on the second floor leading from the lobby into the sanctuary. Width and windows will produce an open and welcoming feeling. A meeting room and a parlor (Pilgrim Hall) will be located on the west side of the hallway.
We await the next communication from our Insurance Company in response to information given to them by our construction manager so that we can move ahead with the settlement.
The reports we have indicate construction is on schedule and we are moving forward at a steady pace.