Two weeks ago, we held a Town Hall meeting in the church to provide an update on the flooring study and present the proposed recommendation before obtaining Fr Joe’s approval. Approximately 30 people attended the meeting. The following is a summary of our discussion:
In developing the proposed recommendation, our goal was to restore and maintain the historical heritage of our beautiful church.
A picture of the Sanctuary area around 1920 which we used to guide our thoughts.
We evaluated a short list of 3 options – restore the original flooring, install new carpet, and install commercial grade vinyl planking. These options were evaluated for cost, historical “fit”, safety, practical use, maintenance, and longevity. At the request of Fr Joe, we considered removing the curved platform in front of communion rail. We reviewed the options with a Jeff Weatherford (our historical consultant) and David Siler (the architect who helped us with the original capital campaign projects), then discussed general contracting with Krieghoff Construction in Adrian who specializes in renovating churches. Because this project affects the worship space and Sanctuary of the church, it will need Bishop Boyea’s approval of the final plans and specifications. So, we had a meeting with a representative from his staff who handles these things for initial input and find out how the approval process works. After doing all that, the committee developed a proposed recommendation for the flooring.
The proposed recommendation is to replace the carpeting in the nave (the pew seating area) with new carpeting. The curved platform would be removed, and the original communion rail doors reinstalled (currently they are stored in the back of the sacristy). For the Sanctuary (the Altar area), we would remove the wood decking and carpet installed in the early 1980s and restore the original flooring. Initial investigation indicates this flooring is either a mosaic marble or terrazzo. For the narthex (the front entry), the old and worn carpeting would be replaced with a commercial grade vinyl planking that has the appearance of wood. The original hardwood flooring would be restored in the sacristies. If our budget does not allow for this work to happen at the same time, it would be performed in the following phases as funding becomes available: Phase 1 – Nave and Narthex, Phase 2 – Sanctuary, Phase 3 – Sacristies.
Other work that must be considered during this project include painting the sacristy, replacing the cornice lighting along the ceiling with and an LED strip, replacing the main Altar used for Mass with one which is a good historical fit and coordinates with the High Altar, and renovating the narthex itself. Currently, the cornice lights are a mixture of about 300 CFL and incandescent bulbs which are difficult to access for replacement (many are burned out). Additional considerations, as budget allows, are renovating the parking lot entrance into the parish hall and installing ADA auto-opening doors, and replacing the carpeting in the stairwells.
After a general discussion of the options and recommendations, a show of hands vote was taken. All except a few people voted to proceed with the proposed recommendation. The next steps for the project are to complete the assessment of the existing floors (including asbestos testing), finalize the recommendation and review it with the diocese, obtain budget estimates, develop conceptual drawings and construction plan, and request Fr Joe’s approval. Looking ahead, over the next 5 months we will be finalizing the details and soliciting contractor bids to award contracts for construction to be completed next summer. We also need to figure out how and where to hold Masses when the church is not available during construction. We identified some options for this, but nothing has been determined at this time.
As always, please feel free to contact any committee member with your questions or concerns. The members are Steve Kope, Jim Friedrich, Cathy Hartley, Bill Beal, Jim Cuthbertson, and myself. We will hold another Town Hall meeting to update you in late January or early February. In the meantime, please watch the bulletin for further developments. Thank you for your time and support of this project! Deacon John