Building Committee Update

Building Committee Update

Renewing Our Building

What started in the spring with removing asbestos flooring, blossomed this summer into a major renovation project. Working with architect Sam Fitzgerald at BD Design and the team at BD Remodeling and Restoration, Union Chapel’s Building Committee planned a Phase One focused on urgent priorities and a Phase Two on making the building more welcoming and better able to serve the community.

After we removed the floor tile to eliminate asbestos, we could see in some of the classrooms that the concrete slab beneath was sinking. When BD drilled exploratory holes through the slab, they found a problem straight out of the Bible. The good news was that the sanctuary and fellowship hall were built on rock (i.e. the slab was poured on gravel), but in the classroom wing the slab was poured on sand, which had eroded enough to leave a significant gap beneath the concrete. In August, BD drilled holes in the concrete and injected “flowable fill” to close the gap and shore up the classroom wing.

The final steps of Phase One were to level the floor, put down new, environmentally friendly “Marmoleum” tile, and paint the sanctuary. Our goal is to be back in the sanctuary right after Labor Day and BD has us on track to do just that.

To date we have been able to fund Phase One from our operating reserves. For Phase Two, we will need to rely on the generosity of the Island community to achieve our goals for the building. This will include:

  • creating a welcoming entrance vestibule with glass doors that make the Ferguson window visible from the courtyard
  • installing a new kitchen
  • adding windows to the fellowship hall
  • and upgrading both our HVAC and audio/visual systems

Union Chapel is both a place of worship and a very accessible community gathering place and the Phase Two work intends to enhance both functions.

For more information about the project and to offer suggestions or support, please contact any member of the Building Committee: Louise Burnham Packard (Chair), Anita Fritze, Susie Brinckerhoff, David Burnham and Tim Patterson.