A New Year – Update
It is a new year with new possibilities and new opportunities for ministry at St. Paul’s. So I find it interesting that I begin this new year with an update on the last 10 months on what has now become known as ‘the wind event’. Our new year finds us still in the process of restoration – but tremendous progress has been made and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If you were to walk into St. Paul’s sanctuary at this moment you would find all of the brick walls have been cleaned, tuck pointed, and cracks filled by mortar injection. The side walls have received new meshing, primer, two coats of plaster (making it as smooth as a newborn baby’s bottom), and two coats of paint. All of the stained glass window frames have been painted and caulked while the entire ceiling has been painted a soft white color reflecting the light from our new light fixtures. While looking up, you would discover the stunningly large Te Deum window spotlight has been replaced by six small spotlights located on the upper side walls – three on each side.
The new sanctuary wall has been stained to match the ‘old walls’; three new radiators have been installed to replace those which were damaged by the wall movement; a new limestone window sill has been inserted for the Te Deum window, and the hole where the window will go remains sealed with insulation and board awaiting arrival of the new framed and window panes.
The carpeting has been removed and the wooden floors are undergoing repairs – stress cuts are being made around pillars and in other places to relieve tension in the floor. Some areas where shifting has occurred in the flooring will be repaired from underneath – cutting and installing additional support to level the floor. The final step with the wood floors will be sanding, patching and sealing of the wood. Once all of that is completed, the new carpeting will be installed.
As I’ve reported before, ‘the wind event’ provided us with the opportunity to discover the other work necessary to restore St. Paul’s facilities for use by many generations to follow. This has included a new drainage system and re-landscaping of the Memorial Garden, front and side yards including new exterior hand railings for all three entrances to be installed this week. The roofs and gutters have been repaired where necessary and the chapel wall damaged by roof leaks has been repaired, re-plastered and re-painted.
Often during this restoration, just when we think we have discovered all that can be discovered, something new pops up. In the last two weeks, another small room adjacent to the undercroft has been discovered to be filled with mold and asbestos. We are awaiting a bid to conduct abatement in that area. And in early spring, we hope to begin the driveway and parking lot project – if you have been here recently, you will note the parking lot is sinking a bit.
As overwhelming as this has been at times, the folks of St. Paul’s and many of its friends, have stepped forward to provide the resources necessary to do this work. As part of our SP21 Restore Project, we have received $100,000 in grants to date; $41,046 in gifts and $560,050 in pledges – totaling $701,096. Incredible, right? This is all due to the generosity of many, many folks and the hard work of our SP21 Restore Project volunteers. We are not done but we have made great strides toward funding the numerous projects which will create the safe and beautiful space for ministry for another one hundred years.
I believe it is okay to start this new year with an update – as this update celebrates much that has been accomplished and all that will be done in the next few months. Oh, one last thing – the hope and plan is for the Te Deum window to return to its proper place sometime late April. We’ll let you know when we will have the grand celebration. My continued thanks to Laux Construction – our general contractor. God has been very good to us – we could not be in better hands. Blessings to all!