This information was published in the Somers Congregational Church restoration news center on Jan. 30, 2013:
Rev. Dr. Barry Cass
The cold and rainy weather have slowed us down just a little bit this week, making it impossible for the concrete work to move ahead as quickly as we had hoped. The delay will not affect the long term time schedule, however. Work has continued on backfilling around the foundation. By the end of this week or early next week concrete will be poured for the front steps and for the dining room floor.
Conduit was run in the office wing last week. This will be used for the wiring that will connect the entire facility to the power at the transformer on the lawn. We are still waiting to get an official easement from the owners of the Bank of America property so that the power can be run from the pole to the church site. While this is not holding up progress on the project, the sooner this work can be done the better it will be overall.
The Building Committee discussed upcoming benchmarks. The arrival of the steel and the beginning of the framing in mid-February will be the next, followed by the “topping off” ceremony when the steel work is done. Steel workers traditionally place an evergreen tree at the top of a structure when the steel work is completed without injury. The top of the steeple will be seventy-eight feet from the sidewalk at the front of the Meeting House. In the summer we will make note of the day the bell arrives and is hoisted into the steeple, and in early fall the organ will be brought and put in place. The cornerstones will be put in place at an appropriate time, perhaps in conjunction with Homecoming Sunday in September. Finally, when the building is complete there will be a gala dedication of the Meeting House, a dedication of the organ and an Open House for the community. We hope to have the Church Council appoint a “Celebration Committee” to coordinate these benchmarks celebrations with one another and with other events and activities of the church.
The Value Engineering has been nearly completed, with only three items left from the list of possible savings to be considered. The Building Committee has discussed these items with the architect, the construction manager and among themselves at length in order to make the best decisions for the project. While some savings is identified we will not know the effect of the changes on the cost of the Meeting House until the end of the project. There are many variables that come into play over the course of construction.
Decisions have been made about the design of furniture in Pilgrim Hall, the meeting room and sanctuary. Careful consideration was given to style, cost and durability. The Building Committee is very aware that what is put in place in the new Meeting House will need to serve generations of church goers over an extended amount of time. They have taken into account the many comments received form members of the church since the beginning of the project.
Next week the Committee plans to teleconference with Dan Clayton, our acoustician and to make some decisions about audio visual components to be used in the sanctuary, dining room and other areas of the building.
We have word that work on the organ is progressing nicely and we have a sample pipe.