Under Construction in Order to Welcome

20 Jul Under Construction in Order to Welcome

Dear Friends,

At the May 22 Town Hall meeting, three significant areas of necessary, imminent building repairs were highlighted.  In reality, four areas have been addressed over the past two months, and it’s time for an update.  Here is where we stand:

  1.  The concrete work was completed on time and on budget.  The rebuilt handicap ramp is crumble-free and should last for decades, the rebuilt sidewalk is ensuring that water drains away from the building, and the new sidewalk not only looks great but is actually doing what it was designed to do—giving our neighbors a place to walk that is not the front lawn!  Our General Contractor liberally seeded the area when their work was complete, and a group of women teamed up to keep it watered until—wait for it—GRASS has started to grow.  Despite a few stubborn bald spots, the results of this project are everything we hoped for—vastly improved safety, passing muster with our insurance company, eliminating water damage to the building’s foundation, and enhancing our curb appeal.  
  1.  Electrical:  Though not originally on our radar screen as an immediate concern, two electrical issues were discovered as other work was occurring inside and outside the building.  As a result, the electrical panel in the Fellowship Hall was replaced, upgrading the breakers to meet current code and correcting a dangerously overloaded circuit that posed a fire hazard.  
  1. Plumbing:  The plumbing project has been broken into three phases.  Phase 1 is complete and included replacing seven toilets on the main level and the basement; replacing all bathroom sink stoppers with code-appropriate drains; replacing the actively-leaking faucets on all three custodian’s sinks (one each level); replacing the faucet and under-sink pipe in the parlor kitchenette; replacing valves for any fixture (toilet or urinal) not already upgraded; addressing any 2nd floor fixture at risk of imminent failure; and installing a dehumidifier in the “black scary room” that drains directly into the fellowship hall custodian’s sink (thus avoiding the need to be manually emptied.) 

Phase 2 will be to convert the toddler bathroom into an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant family bathroom.  This single-fixture bathroom will serve two purposes:  first, it will meet ADA requirements for a wheelchair-accessible restroom, and second, a diaper-changing station will be installed, eliminating the current locations in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.  

Phase 3 will include all second-floor fixtures not already addressed in Phase 1. 

As of this writing, we are awaiting detailed specs and a cost estimate for Phase 2 with the hope that this work can be completed in 2022.  There is no immediate timetable for Phase 3.

  1.  Front Door:  In the past month, the front door has moved from a state of “failing” to “failed.”  We are awaiting a cost estimate.

I want to say a huge “thank you” to the Session for the many hours of thoughtful, prayerful conversation they have shared to make numerous decisions for the benefit of our faith family.  They have taken their responsibilities seriously, and these conversations have never been limited to maintaining an aging building.  Rather, the focus has stayed squarely on how these improvements and repairs allow us to be an engaging community, sharing the love and grace of God with those already here and those who are coming.  I was especially impressed by the discussion around whether to pursue an ADA-compliant bathroom.  As one person noted, it is incongruous that we have a handicap ramp outside to welcome people with disabilities, but we have no way to accommodate their bathroom needs once inside the building.  Because our desire to be welcoming to all people is genuine and not just lip-service, it was a rather straightforward decision from there to commit ourselves to this type of conversion.

It truly is a beautiful day in the neighborhood—even more beautiful with faucets that aren’t constantly dripping!

Grateful for you and for the God we serve together,


  • Bonnie Jewett
    Posted at 13:49h, 23 July Reply

    I’m so happy for Calvary!! If we’re ever in Virginia again, I’m definitely stopping to take a look!!❤️
    Love to everyone ?

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