It seems we have hit the ‘dog days’ of August in early June! My heart goes out to our incredible masons who stand on the ‘tower’ and lay brick after brick on the exterior sanctuary wall. If you have driven by lately, you will note that they have bricked to a point even with the peak of the Te Deum window frame and will tomorrow, insert the limestone trefoil. Watching them hoist the 750 lb. limestone will be a sight not to miss. Looking at the wall from the exterior, you will see joints in a few places that were not there before. These are deliberate insertions of special construction so that if, and when, the wall moves again, only a section of it will move and not the entire wall. Yeah!
The exterior brick does look lighter in color than the other walls — not to worry! After the wall is completed, the masons will wash the mortar dust off of it and a special company will stain the brick to match. The interior brick work will begin in early July once the bricks arrive on-site.
Today we started the asbestos abatement underneath the sanctuary — the remaining asbestos on the steam pipes will be pulled down and then concrete will be used to encapsulate the asbestos that is ground into the dirt floor. Happening almost at the same time, new framing of the sanctuary floor will begin. Two new steel beams will be inserted to provide additional floor structural integrity; four broken joists will be replaced; and five deteriorating brick piers will be removed, concrete fittings poured and new steel extensions will be inserted to provide support. Support with 2x4s will be built around each concrete pillar to again, provide more support to the floor. We will end up having the strongest floor and south wall in town!
There is a bit of news that is sad — it is taking much longer than originally thought to repair the TeDeum window. If you remember, originally it was in a wooden frame. The stained glass company is having a new aluminum and steel frame built as a replacement but that construction has not yet begun and will take anywhere from 14 weeks or more. This means we will not be able to move back into the space until late Fall, my hope is we will have a wonderful celebration at Christmas as it will be our return to our worship space.
Again, and each time I write to you, I give thanks for the construction workers, masons, and all those involved in the work in this hot weather. I give thanks for all who continue to hold us in our prayers. I give thanks for those in the Capitol building who look out their windows each day to watch the progress, and hold us in their thoughts and prayers.
I’ll write soon when we have more updates. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and enjoy your summer.
Blessings to you and yours,