This information was published in the restoration news center on Aug. 17, 2012 and Aug. 23, 2012:
The Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
There has been a lot of activity around the church this week. The Green Construction crew is finishing the firewall on the southern side of the remaining structure. The work included putting in new footings, building the wall, extending and re-shingling the roof and replacing siding that had been damaged and removed. While that work was being done work began on insulating the walls of the Office wing. Both the firewall and the insulation are scheduled to be completed this week. The installation of a temporary heating system for the Office wing also began this week. The temporary system is being installed in the Office lobby and will be in use until the new system is up and running in the new Meeting House.
With those two major pieces of the work done and inspected, work will begin on sheet rocking ceilings and walls in the Office wing. Because all the walls were stripped of sheet rock to a height of about four feet and all of ceilings were stripped, this will be pretty involved and time consuming work. An experienced crew will be making sure all the joints are taped and the plaster properly installed. The suspended ceiling on the first floor will be replaced, which means a new grid must be installed before the tiles can be placed. This work should get underway next week.
Once the new sheet rock is completely installed, taped and finished, work will begin on painting. The tile that is being installed in each of the four lavatories in the Office wing will also be done. Doors will be hung, necessary window glass replaced, counters and cabinets installed and carpet will be laid. As with any construction project, each step along the way can only begin when the previous step is completed. Work is currently moving along and each day brings changes that hold out the promise of being able to re-occupy the Office wing by mid-October.
The Insurance and Building Committees are continuing to work together with the staffs of both CHK and Petra to prepare for upcoming meetings and negotiations with the insurance company. Inventory lists have been completed and reviewed so that we have an accurate tally of what contents were lost in the fire and how much it will cost to replace them. We have carefully compiled an overview of the building destroyed in the fire to be sure our settlement will be as fair as possible. It is not yet clear how much the final settlement will be or when it will be reached, but we are steadily moving in that direction.
The Church Council receives reports from the Insurance, Building, Restoration and Artifacts Committees each month so they are kept abreast with progress and issues in our fire recovery activities. This week, at the August Council meeting, there was discussion about the need for a Capital Campaign to secure funds for the completion of the rebuild. Although the discussion was very preliminary, there is a growing understanding that some additional funds will be necessary. The Council was clear that members of the church will be fully informed of any need that arises and of plans made to address the need.
Plans are progressing for the Ground Breaking on September 23 at 4 P.M. We will be sending invitations to several dignitaries and notices to all the donors, and we want to be sure everyone knows that EVERYONE is invited to be there to share in this celebration. As we have always tried to be a vital part of the Somers community, and we have been the recipients of much support in the past eight months, we hope to show appreciation by having a great crowd at the Ground Breaking. Members of the church will be asked to be part of the Ground Breaking in a variety of ways during preparation and during the Celebration.
Update - August 17, 2012
Anne Kirkpatrick, Moderator
On Tuesday we received the signed organ contract from Richards, Fowkes & Company for our new pipe organ that is being built in Tennessee. So, the building of our new custom organ has begun!
Work continued this week on the wall of the church office building. Framing was put up on the first floor and then the second floor wall was carefully removed and new framing was installed on that wall. Tyvek paper was put up on both floors on the exterior. Next Monday the final area of the attic will be removed and replaced with the new framing. The blue tarp on the roof and the damaged shingles will be removed and replaced with new shingles on a large portion of the roof.
The ducts from the previous heating system were removed from the office area, but the insulation of the walls in the building will not be started until the south wall has been completed.
We had hoped that the fire alarm system would be completed by August 15 but additional parts had to be ordered so several work days were lost. The scheduled inspection by the fire marshal could not be done this week.
On Thursday, the parents transferred the furniture and equipment from the back to the Bugbee Center. They are now preparing for the required inspections by the health department and someone from the state before they get their official certificate to re-open in September.
The temporary propane heating system work will begin this week. We hope insulation of all of the walls on both floors can also be done. Once that is completed, we should be able to get a better idea of when the building will be ready for occupancy again.
We had another successful community supper this week (thank you Urbons and Kellys). Starting in September the community suppers will continue, but suppers will be across the hall in the Bugbee Center in Room 116.
As mentioned previously, if you have suggestions, thoughts, concerns or questions, you can still send an e-mail to the Building Committee at email@example.com.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Ground Breaking Ceremony on Sunday, September 23 at 4:00 P.M.
Barry will return on Monday from his vacation. We look forward to having him back.