Epiphany 351: August 14 Update
Tests. Probes. Soundings. Pits. Additional tests. Additional pits. Our future home is getting a top to bottom physical. It could appear to some that we are overdoing it, but in reality, everything we learn about the building now will make the renovations, restorations, and remodeling that much easier. No architect, contractor, or building owner wants to get into a project and suddenly discover that what they want to do will cost three times as much because they didn’t know some critical piece of information – which on a side note is what always aggravated me about home improvement shows. It seemed there was always at least one big drama moment when it was discovered the foundation was cracked or a beam was improperly installed and had to be pulled out and a new one put in. It can happen, and may well happen to us, but it should be the exception, and not a litany of ongoing surprises.
So what have we discovered with all these tests? Not too much that we didn’t know or at least suspect. The historic stream that runs down the block under our current church to the East River still exists and also runs under our new home. That means digging the pits for the elevators just got a bit more complicated, and expensive. The roof, which we’re all looking forward to using the new Mullins Garden, doesn’t meet NYC Building Code to be used as a public meeting space. So, some extra work there to bring it up to code so we can use it will need to be done. And, some good news. The level of asbestos that was first thought to be in the building was revealed, with some additional testing, not to be as extensive as first thought.
Our architectural team, along with the entire construction team is pulling all of this information together and preparing to advise us on the best course of action ahead. The information gathering and evaluation stage may not be the most exciting phase, but it is nevertheless one of the most critical phases of the entire project. We have a world class team of experts to advise us and we have faith-filled and forward thinking Wardens and a Spirit-infused Vestry leading us. There will be some hard decisions ahead, and, as with any renovation project, not everyone will get everything they had hoped for – after all we still have to live within a construction budget. However, when we are finished there will be so much more than we’ve ever had that will provide not only the foundation but the resources, both material and spiritual, to do so much more than we can think of imagine by God’s power working within us and through us. (Ephesians 3:20. Which, by the way, is our guiding Scripture verse for Vacation Bible School this week.)