Happy New Year to all of you! This is our 2022 “year in review” of our building project – a milestone, to be sure. Steel structure is underway, letting us see the shape of the building. The weather, illness and the holidays are making work difficult. We hope 2023 will bring better conditions to make the workers’ jobs easier.
It has been an exciting year. While the previous years of the project accomplished a lot, not much was visible. It was so fulfilling to see physical changes to our site and new construction appear. Long before we had construction machinery at work, we accomplished some necessary preconstruction tasks. We began the year by removing the trees that were in the new footprint. These trees are either being replaced on-site, or we have arranged to have new trees planted in other nearby locations. The gas line serving the RE building was relocated, and we have a new larger capacity electric transformer outside the lower parking lot. During the summer, asbestos abatement took place, with a little follow-up work done this fall. We held our long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony in May.
We received our building permit on July 7, allowing us to begin actual construction. The first stage was demolition. The breezeway was taken down, and the west wall of the social hall and the connection points of the RE building were demolished. After that, a variety of subcontractors began executing their parts of the plan. Pinkard Construction handles the logistics and scheduling of all the various sub-contractors that have taken care of all the tasks, from digging the big hole to the current erection of steel beams.
The BET continues to meet weekly with the contractor and architect to discuss any concerns that arise. We also have a design and finishes team made up of congregants that have been discussing colors and materials with Ewers Architecture. We have selected chairs for the new sanctuary and are finalizing paint colors, countertop materials, carpeting, and more. We are aiming to create a beautiful, inspiring, and serene space to serve our congregation into the future.
In partnership and with excitement,
The Building Expansion Team
Chris Bettlach, Jerry Hanley, Peg MacMorris, and Margaret Cottam