Talking to myself about summer construction plans:
Question: In your last email you mentioned a “comprehensive master plan.” What does that mean?
Answer: One of the benefits of the construction process has been the ability to create an integrated campus that has a sense of space and flow to both the architecture and landscaping. To help us create buildings that fit well with the look of the Old Church – and Old Village – we’ve worked with two local architect firms and one national firm. We’ve also contracted a local landscape architect to design and install new landscaping with the purpose of tying the campus together. We (the Vestry, Land Trust and staff) have been impressed and pleased with what we’ve seen. You can see a rendering of the new Ministry Center in my previous post, or posted at the corner of Whilden and Venning.
Question: What’s next?
Answer: Summer is going to be a very busy time for the portion of the campus that survived the fire. We scheduled this work for the summer to ensure minimal impact on ministries and weekend worship services. Here are a few highlights:
- A mobile office is currently being assembled in the parking lot and next week the clergy and administrative staff currently housed in Catlin Annex will relocate to the mobile office.
The choir office, vesting and rehearsal room, currently housed in Catlin, will relocate to the Library (the new Library/Reading Room will be in the new three-story educational wing being built on the east end of our property).
- By Mid-June asbestos abatement will begin on Catlin Annex in preparation for its demolition (the back portion of Catlin will come down. The current access hallway to the Sacristy and Flower Room will remain though it will be abated and remodeled). The rendering of the Ministry Center shows a new courtyard (click above link) this courtyard will be where Catlin Annex currently stands.
- Concurrent with the removal of Catlin, work will begin on the Venning Street side of the Old Church and continue across the Whilden Street side, finally ending with the Whilden Street courtyard.
Question: What will the changes look like around the Old Church?
Answer: The artist’s rendering above shows the view of the Old Church from the southwest corner of Whilden and Venning. (Click on the above image to see a larger version.) You will notice several elements: First, a sidewalk along the side of Old Church from the corner of Whilden and Venning will be installed. This sidewalk will eventually run the entire length of our property line on Venning.
Second, you see some decking under the Live Oak trees. This decking will have some built-in seating and will serve a gathering space for folks entering and leaving the Old Church. We needed to create this space to preserve and protect the root system of the Live Oak trees that stand alongside Venning.
Third, you see that the actual street corner of Whilden and Venning has been re-aligned. Currently, the retaining wall on Venning falls away and creates an awkward interchange with Whilden. The unusual configuration also creates a safety hazard as the steps dump pedestrians immediately into the street. The new configuration will be a brick pad on which a re-configured stairway will give folks safer entrance and egress to the Old Church.
Fourth, and not as clear in the rendering, an elevated walkway will be built around the currently existing raised hardscape that will connect the handicapped accessible entrance in the Whilden Street courtyard to the new sidewalk along Venning.
Fifth, though you can not see it in the rendering above, an enclosed walkway will be constructed joining Sams Hall and the Sacristy. This new walkway will make it possible for folks to use the elevator in the Ministry Center to gain access to the Old Church rather than relying solely on the handicapped ramp.
Lastly, the Whilden Street courtyard outside of Sams Hall will be re-graded, making it level and easier to navigate for those with mobility challenges. A columbarium will be constructed on the north side of the courtyard abutting the Masonic Lodge. A new irrigation system and lighting will also be a part of this newly re-configured/landscaped courtyard.
Question: That’s a lot of work. When will this phase of the construction be completed?
Answer: We expect completion in time for the start of our New Ministry year that kicks off in early September.
Question: One last question, how will I enter/exit the Old Church with all of this construction taking place?
Answer: Very good question! Both the main entrance to the Old Church and the handicapped entrances will be accessible throughout the construction process. Also, once construction is completed, a new rear entrance to the Old Church will available.
In the family,
Steve & Jacqui