This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Jan. 3, 2013:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
As the Building Committee gathered on Wednesday morning we were quite aware that we had passed the one year anniversary of the Meeting House fire. On January 2, 2012 many of us had spent most of the day standing next to the destroyed building, sharing grief and hugs and determination that we would move forward and the church would be rebuilt. The large gathering in the Town Hall for our noontime prayer service was evidence that church members and the entire community were coming together to respond and to find strength and support in one another. We sang, with enthusiasm, “God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, we your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.” An unbelievable journey it has been!
Good progress is being made. The foundation is complete, the footings and forms have been set for the elevator tower and the front steps and pillars and those should be in place in the next few days. Even on these bitterly cold mornings, the crew is here before the sun comes up, moving ahead. You will notice that the waterproofing is being applied to the foundation as each section is done, and then the backfill is put in place.
The steel needed for construction is being fabricated now and will be on site in mid-February. Contracts are in place for most of the rest of the work to be done, with contractors ready to move into action as soon as possible. We are on schedule for a mid-fall 2013 completion date.
In addition to the steel fabrication, there is other work being done offsite in preparation for installation. Richard Fowkes & Company is crafting the pipes for the organ and the finishes for the organ cabinetry have been chosen. The organ is scheduled to be installed very late in the construction process so that it can be tuned and voiced without lots of dust, noise and distraction. The Verdin Company has worked the bell casting into their schedule so that it will be cast and arrive on site in time for installation in mid-July. If anyone is traveling to Cincinnati there is an opportunity to watch the casting. The Building Committee continues to review finishes and to make decisions about the details of audio visual equipment.
We are still waiting for the legal OK from the bank so we can dig across their driveway for the installation of needed electricity but this should happen within the next few days. The Avery Companies continues site work and installation of conduits and utilities that will be located below the foundation room floor.
During January, members of the Building Committee will be meeting with each committee and board of the church to share details about construction. The presentation at each meeting will be open to anyone from the church who would like to hear more, and there is an open presentation on January 15, following the Community Supper. Check the Sunday bulletin and January Highlights for the full list of meeting times.