Buildings and Grounds Committee Annual Report '07-'08
Mary Kirkpatrick (chair and board liason), Jo Carcich (co-chair), James Skaley, John Barradas, Dick
Ecklund, Norman Culver, Don Barber, John Feavearyear, Jessica Evans, Amanda Auerrell, Susan Begg,
Mike Roenke, Fred Kardon, Marie McRae, Christian Nielsen, Mark Pedersen (church administrator
and ex officio liason to committee), Sandy Soule (church sexton and ex officio liason to committee.) This
list includes a core group of 6-8 who regularly attend meetings, plus others who contribute or advise
occasionally or as needed. New members are welcome; meetings are the fourth Tuesday of the month at
7:00, or as needed. Website information is currently ready for updating, and a members' guide to policy
and procedures is well under way.
Parish House Painting
In the spring of '07 Mary Kirkpatrick offered to lead the painting of the parish house as a volunteer project,
beginning in July. Thanks go to a few volunteers who each came once to help speed things along: Monty
Berman, Micheline Contigulia, Jessica Evans, Rima Turner, Beth Howard, and Liz Einstein; also to Dick
Ecklund who helped more than once and helped erect scaffolding, and to Chris McConkey who helped take
it down. It soon became clear that it was a matter of taking care of some of the most badly needed prep
work and repairs. A search and bidding process resulted in a contract with Bumblebee Painters to finish the
job in the spring for $9,500, and their work is well under way.
Roofing and Associated Repairs
J.D. Ferro Roofing have been asked to repair broken and missing slates on the parish house. Small sections
of the shingled roof have been repaired as a volunteer project (Mary K.) with roofing cement, on the peak
west of the sanctuary, and on the area adjacent to the dormer window on the south side, where leaks had
been causing plaster damage in the Buffalo Street entrance. (Plaster repair can be a volunteer summer
project.) Multiple layers of flashing were slid and glued under shingles where the gutter and downspout
had eroded them, and the stucco wall of the dormer was tarred as well to cover any cracks. The dormer
window and the clerestory windows above the sanctuary are badly eroded in the frames and sills, and will
be repaired with epoxy, "Tuff-Kote", new glazing, etc.. Bumblebee Painters, since they have a lift, have
been requested to do the repair on the clerestory windows on a time and materials basis. Two leaks in the
parish house gutters were also discovered and repaired with "Tuff-Kote" (MK); inspection and repair will
continue as needed. Sunnybrook Builders repaired two areas of water damage to the siding, on the south
and east sides.
Dampness in the parish house basement has been an ongoing concern, causing crumbling and mold in the
outer walls. Water seems not to be draining properly on the north side, and the B&G Committee is
currently considering different solutions for correcting the drainage. Another parish house issue has been
dry rot in the joists under the front porch. A large pile of rocks and dirt under the porch made access
difficult, and this was tackled as a volunteer project by John Barradas, who removed most of the pile and
closed the opening neatly with rocks.
For some background, several years ago B&G members installing insulation in the steeple found some of
the truss tie rods loose and some members out of line. R. Silman Associates, a NYC firm, was hired to
make a Structural Conditions Survey which they completed in October of '04 for $2400 based on a visit the
previous August. This was followed in Feb.'05 by a contract with the same firm to do a structural analysis
of the steeple trusses, for $17,500. It would deal specifically with the steeple trusses, as a comprehensive
analysis was not in the budget. Time passed, inquiries were made; finally Silman sent a draft of their
analysis in mid-July of '07. The final report was presented by their principle engineer, Ed Meade, in a
meeting at the church in October, with members of Buildings and Grounds, Finance, and the Board present.
Ed Meade also presented their proposal for designing a repair to the trusses ($10,700) and for associated
construction services ($7,200).
A second opinion was sought from a recognized expert in traditional American timber framing, Jan
Lewandoski. He visited at the end of December, inspected the steeple (and looked at the whole church
structure as well) and met with members of the Committe including local architect John Barradas. His
designs for repairs, submitted shortly after, were included in his fee of $1000. We engaged local engineer
Peter Novelli to make construction documents based on Lewandoski's design, which he has done for $2400.
Novelli had already made preliminary investigations and was familiar with the steeple and sanctuary. He
approved Lewandoski's design and included some additional measures of security against high wind and
earthquakes (yes, we have them here!) The repair construction will be done by an individual contractor,
Don Ruff, in late September, for an estmated $4000.
Other Engineering Concerns
The outward lean of the columns in the sanctuary, and cracks in the plaster, have raised some questions. A
variety of engineers have looked at the sanctuary; as the structure above the columns is entirely of timber,
some movement and settling (and routine maintenance) is to be expected. The columns are being
monitored for movement with plumb bobs (MK). There seems so far a maximum of 1/16" movement since
October of the NW column, the one with the greatest lean. This small amount might be attributable to
seasonal movement; tests will continue. The NW column is of principle concern not only because of its
greater lean than the others (which may date from the time of construction as far as we know) but also
because the structure for the upstairs classrooms was tied into it during the '92 renovation. A proposal by
Peter Novelli to investigate the connections at the top and bottom of the NW column with a couple of
probes, together with an engineering analysis of the forces on the column, for $2400, is currently being
presented to the Board. This proposal by Novelli is part of a larger proposal (total $4800) encompassing
design for stabilizing repairs to the sanctuary, as best determined by preliminary investigations, which may
include tie rods across the arches as a possible solution. Once the structural stability has been addressed,
we can look into the maintenance issue of plaster repair.
Heating and Air Conditioning
Earl Rose finished replacing the faulty radiator valves over the summer. Finger Lakes Fabricating will
make and install stainless steel brackets for the two new air conditioners for the Annex hall (total $850)
both for safety and to allow the units to be permanent, with insulating covers made for the winter, as they
are too heavy to be installed and removed seasonally.
Greening Our Energy Use
The fluorescent "Exit" signs have been replaced with LED ones by Pleasant Valley Electric. The garage
door in the Annex was insulated pro bono by Sunnybrook Builders, thanks to Don Barber.
Trees and Bricks
Work was resumed on the middle section of bricks on Aurora Street (other sections had been relaid in
summer of '05) partly in order to straighten the new maple tree. Thanks to Carol Lawrence, Niels Shulz,
Jack Roscoe, Chris McConkey, and especially to Dick Ecklund, who helped for extensive periods on this
project. The tree has been well tamped underneath with a mixture of topsoil and structural soil, filling air
pockets which had caused settling. A request has been made to the City Forester to prune the honey locust
tree next to it, which causes the new tree to reach to the north.
New bushes (box and euonymous) were planted in fall of '07 (Jo, MK) and donations of other perennials
are being considered.
Future capital-expense outlays:
* Reshingle the main church roof, including steeple
* Structural stabilization of sanctuary as required
* Replace carpet (?)