Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowed in, iced over and movin' slow

This wasn't a week that generated a lot of news from the church construction project. Here's a little slide show from Saturday afternoon, Dec. 20.

Monday, December 15, 2008

N-n-not muuuch n-n-new today

Frozen hoses, frozen pumps and getting them working again occupied Warren much of the day. The concrete contractor showed up mid-afternoon and will start work forming up the foundation walls tomorrow. Even if that gets done by the end of the week, it will likely be too cold to pour concrete.

Still, the work on footings under the Bruce Hall and sanctuary floors will go on. Comfort on the job depends on wearing proper clothing, Warren assures us. And keep on the lookout for that landscaping tractor mentioned below. Click on the link in the item below to see what one looks like. Likewise the concrete saw.

Please, click on COMMENTS below this item to let Warren know if and when you'll be able to help. He'll check to see whom to expect and when.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Walls, footings and a little tractor

Our contractor will be building the forms for the new classroom, office and fellowship area foundation walls this week. If the weather stays relatively dry, they ought to be ready for another concrete pour by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Warren and volunteers need to build two more footings -- one under the new wall for the hallway to the classrooms wing and one under the new wall in the sanctuary.

The classroom wing footing involves digging a 40-foot trench under the floor of what was Bruce Hall. The ceiling is a bit low but there is lots of sunlight under there now. And no snow or rain.

The sanctuary footing involves using a concrete saw (like a chain saw with a diamond-tipped blade) to cut two 3-foot-by-3-foot holes in the concrete "rat slab" on the ground under the sanctuary. Then, the holes have to be dug out, framed in and concrete poured in them when the walls are poured. Warren's figuring this noisy, dusty duty will fall to him.

A little tractor
Warren is searching for a little landscaping tractor with a backhoe and with a bucket/scoop on the front that is sitting idle. He is thinking you may know a landscaper who is through working for the season and may be willing to loan or rent his to the church for a very reasonable fee. These tractors can be rented, of course, but the fees aren't as "reasonable" as we're hoping for.

The tractor will be used for another large but delicate job: digging and filling footing drains. That means going around the outside of the whole new construction area plus the existing sanctuary, digging drain trenches, putting perforated pipe, landscape fabric and 100 cubic yards of drain gravel in them and then backfilling a lot of the dirt now piled up in Mound Emmanuel. If we can find the tractor, work can begin immediately around the sanctuary.

Please, click on COMMENT below this item to let us know if you'll be able to help and when. Warren will be checking to see whom to expect.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A note from Warren

Warren sent this note late Thursday:

I wanted to thank everyone who came out today. The work they did was not glamorous, but was necessary, and they did it well. Like their faith, our church now has a solid foundation. Thanks again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Answering the call

Men, women, large children and small ones, too, turned out Thursday at the church to brush rebar, and muck out forms, says a reliable source, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of embarassment in the blog, but who is close to Warren.

Way to go, Emmanuel!

The big turnout allowed Warren and his contractors to finish the initial concrete pour for the footings, the source said.

The source said one crew used wire brushes to knock dried clumps of mud off the rebar in the forms and another crew scooped mud and water out of the forms before the concrete was poured in.

If any of you who were there have photos, please email them to me at and I'll add them to the blog.

Please, click on COMMENT below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. Warren will be checking to see who to expect and when.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Urgent need for men, women, large children

Your help is really needed Thursday at the church. Here's what Warren says:
I need 'bodies' wielding hoes to help clean out the concrete forms. I also need people to help brush off the rebar. We're scheduled to pour the concrete at noon. Wear your Wellingtons -- old or new -- on Thursday. This isn't just a male endeavor -- women are welcome as well. Not a lot of strength is needed, just time and patience.
No joking around here. If we are to get this project done on time -- before the preschool starts up again next fall -- and within our budget, we need help from the congregation. You don't need to commit to the whole day, but please try to come by and help for an hour or two if you can.

Please, click on COMMENTS below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. Warren will be checking to see who to expect and when.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A request for help

I'll quote this exactly so as not to be accused of any insensitivity my own self.

Warren says he "needs some highly skilled operators to run the 'Norwegian Backhoe.' ... There's some sloppy digging to be done."

Here are some photos of the site a bit after noon on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. You'll see what he means.

Please, click on COMMENT below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. Warren will be checking to see who to expect and when.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What a weekend!

At noon Sunday, Emmanuel held a formal groundbreaking ceremony on our property.

Several relatively new slideshows are included below, as far back as last Friday's Moles and Mountains entry.

After our first worship service in our new temporary home at St. Brendan's church -- marking Bob's 90th birthday, commissioning the Neah Bay mission workers, blessing of the stewardship pledges, communion -- we trudged or drove up the hill in the rain. Crowding into the narthex, we heard inspirational words from Warren, Steve, Sydney, Presbyter Corey and Pastor Steve. We went back outside as the rain stopped and several of us took a turn breaking ground.

Just as we ended the ceremony, a truck loaded with forms for pouring concrete pulled up. The crew will begin building those on Monday; concrete should start flowing mid-week. Steve noted at one point: Warren cautions that the new building will go up more slowly that the old ones came down. But there'll be more joy in watching the progress.

Steel rebar was delivered Saturday, and Warren had gotten Mound Emmanuel covered with plastic sheeting just before it had started raining Saturday night.

Saturday night actually was our first function at St. Brendan's with a wonderful potluck dinner, testimonies from Steve and Susan and a musing on the nature of faith by our old friend, Mark Rieke. The choir introduced us to our new electronic piano with the singing of Christmas carols. We practiced our setting up and taking down arts in this new place.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Moles and mountains

The excavators have not only dug quite a precise hole where the pre-school building used to be, they've also built a rather impressive mountain of dirt on the grass south of where Bruce Hall used to be. It's even more impressive with a huge piece of machinery sitting on top of it. Here's a video of it and, below that, a slideshow.

Work goes on all weekend. Warren expects the steel rebar for the concrete to be delivered Saturday and for the forms for the foundation pour to begin being built. Don't forget: Stewardship dinner at St. Brendan's gym Saturday night at 6 p.m., and our first morning worship there on Sunday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can you dig it?

Excavation began early Thursday morning in the fog and the chill. Here are some photos as work got started.

Here's a video of the crew at work removing the last of the old broken up concrete.

Please, click on COMMENTS below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. Warren will be checking to see who to expect and when.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Unbelievably romantic"

That's the way Warren describes the opportunity he has for you to help.

He needs to get old pipes, wires, wood and other debris out from under the Bruce Hall floor before concrete pouring begins, probably Monday. There's a lot more light under the floor now, he says, since the north wall has been removed below floor level.

(Warren is such a kidder.)

On Wednesday, all the concrete was ripped up and hauled away. As was the stump between the pre-school building and Bruce Hall.

Thursday, excavation begins. Among other things, they'll be digging a 4-foot deep trench in front of the church and the main door to the sanctuary building. If you want in, bring your ladder. Or go around to the door on the east side.

Both the concrete contractor and a city inspector will look things over on Friday. Prayers are in order, as always.

Click on COMMENTS below to let Warren know if and when you'll be able to help - or if you just have something to say.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Demolition complete

Bruce Hall is now only a memory. Well, a memory and a floor, actually. Warren and Steve will be building the new classroom building at least partly on top of the Bruce Hall floor. There should be a slideshow playing below that shows debris removal around Bruce Hall, three two-picture sequences of the demolition of the back wall of the kitchen, a look at the truck that carries all the debris away, and finally the truck that moved the grand piano and the organ to storage. I added some more photos from Larry from the beginning and the end of the day.

Larry and Paul put up an orange plastic fence to discourage Maywood Hills students from exploring the demolition site, and a black fabric fence to corral any silt that might try to escape the property.

Tomorrow, excavation.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The walls come tumblin' down

Well, we had selective demolition last week, finishing up Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning general demolition started with the pre-school building. By noon only the women's restroom and the chimney were left standing.

Here's a new slideshow of photos. Click on the arrow to get it started. Larry contributed several photos at the beginning and end, since he was there all day and I just stopped in for a while in the morning.

Demolition of Bruce Hall should be complete by the end of Tuesday. After that, excavation begins.

Warren needs some help putting up plastic safety fences around the construction site.

Remember, please click on COMMENTS below this item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. The construction manager will be checking the comments to see who to expect and when.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Work off that Thanksgiving Dinner!

Warren would like to get a crew on Friday and Saturday to remove the carpet and linoleum from the Bruce Hall slab before the building is demolished next week. The new building will be built on top of the existing concrete slab. The demolition crew will dispose of the carpet and linoleum only if they have been ripped off the slab.

If the carpet is still on the slab during demolition, we'll have to remove it later, and pay extra to dispose of it. We don't want that cost.

Selective demolition continued Tuesday and Wednesday, with much of the tile floor removed in the pre-school building -- and some still to go. If you are there on Friday or Saturday, you could help with that, too.

The walkway roof connecting the pre-school to the narthex was removed Wednesday, and the gas was shut off in the pre-school building and Bruce Hall.

Know anyone who could use a 5-year-old gas furnace? Emmanuel now has one that we can't use anymore. We'd like to find a good home for it.

Remember, comment on this blog item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. The construction manager will be checking the comments to see who to expect and when.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crew needed to tear out tile

Warren needs help Tuesday and Wednesday tearing out the tile in the pre-school/Sunday school building. Since the tile contains a bit of asbestos, it must be disposed of separately from other demolition debris. However, it doesn't contain enough asbestos to qualify as an "asbestos project" under air quality rules. So, volunteers can handle the job. Work starts at 7:30 a.m.

"We'll wet the floors down with hot water and then start tearing the tiles out," Warren says.

On Monday, a crew of four spent four hours tearing out the old carpet, which had been cemented to the aforementioned tiles in the preschool building. They also removed cabinets and doors. These will be re-used in the new building, donated or sold for salvage.

Also, the cover on the walkway between the pre-school building and the narthex needs to be torn down.

Warren has scheduled an excavator to start demolition of the two buildings next Monday, but the work detailed above needs to be done first. If all goes well, excavation could be done by Thursday, when concrete pouring for the new foundation could start.

Comment below to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. Warren will be checking the comments to see who to expect and when.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Selective demolition begins; help needed

This is really exciting. The time we have been waiting for and hoping for all these months is finally here. Now, the work begins.

So, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24, the construction manager can use a crew at the church to begin selective demolition. That means removing salvageable and reusable items such as shelves, cabinets, light fixtures, doors and the like from Bruce Hall and the pre-school/Sunday school building.

There are a few other jobs, also, including moving the last few things into storage. Most are light, such as chairs, but a few are, well, refrigerator-sized.

Right now would be a good time to add to your favorites or bookmarks. If you are reading this as an email, open your Web browser, go to that site and make that page one of your favorites. Then, check in each evening for updates on what's coming up in the next few days. And what has been happening the past few days.

Remember, post a comment on this blog item to let us know if and when you'll be able to help. The construction manager will be checking the comments to see who to expect and when.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A look at those portables

We've set up two portables in the parking lot for the duration of the construction. The one closest to the building is for the pre-school. The old pre-school building, which you can see in the background, will be demolished below ground level.

The portable closest to the street will house the pastor's office, a meeting room and the administrative assistant's office during construction.

Looking toward the church:

Looking toward the street:

We need help with setting up for worship

As we prepare to hold our worship services elsewhere during construction, the Worship Committee has a list of tasks that need to be assigned to have our worship services operate smoothly from week to week.

Two important tasks for which we need volunteers are:

1. Setup and take-down of folding chairs
This will require a team of two or three to arrive about a half-hour before worship to set up chairs for the worship service. When the service is over, the chairs will need to be folded and stored.

2. Hymnals, Register Books, and Offering Plates
We need someone to be responsible for bringing the hymnals, the register books, and the offering plates to the worship service every week and storing them during the week. We will help you find a suitable way to store and transport the hymnals. The more volunteers we have, the more the work can be distributed. If you are interested in serving the congregation in this way, please let anyone on the Worship Committee know as soon as possible so we can be ready when the time comes.

Here's an architect's rendering of what the front of our remodeled building will look like.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is just the end of the beginning

Now the visible work on the new construction is about to begin.

We've made the preparations. The portables are on site. We've submitted the paperwork ... again and again and again.

And when we get the final OK on the financials, Emmanuel will roll out a work party to move into storage the final furniture from Bruce Hall and the Sunday School building. Then, there will be a congregational celebration/farewell for the old structures that have served so well for so long.

After that, there will be lots of work that our members can do to help us conserve our precious building budget. The best way to find out what needs to be done and how you can help will be to check in regularly on this blog.

Warren Weber, our construction manager, has asked me to keep this updated daily so that you know what he needs. And he knows what sort of help to expect.

To that end, once we get started, please "comment" below telling him if you will be available for the particular job posted, when and for how long. Let him know if you have tools that will help. He'll check the site every day as he is planning his next day's work.
That's all for now. More later.