The People Powered Voice for a Better Community
Schuylkill River Park Community Garden CCRA Green Committee
Replacing the Roof: In the next month or so, we will begin phase two: replacing the roof. This project will include replacing all the roofing surfaces on all buildings, including a new glass skylight above the dome. This replacement has been urgent for many years. The Vestry, under the direction from our investment advisors, set aside funds in short term investments or cash from the investments for this project in 2020. This was excellent planning and foresight by the financial leaders of this community and allows us to complete the project without having to withdraw investments during a downturn in the stock market. The project will cost $1.2 million to complete, and will ensure the safety of our beautiful space, the integrity of our soon-to-be installed organ, and the beauty of our sanctuary.
Plans for the Future: The future stages will address the historic brownstone envelope (exterior walls) of our building, continuing the removal of the cementitious material and restoring the brownstone and intricate detailing to its original glory.
Inside the church, we have restored the original lock on the front doors of the Sanctuary and repaired the locks to the glass doors to make our entrance more secure. We will be refinishing the floors in the Parish House and hallways, to restore them to their original beauty, and updating the Narthex area to better welcome all.
The Organ: Construction on our long-awaited organ will begin this week and we expect installation to begin in early 2023. This is a restored organ from First Baptist Church and one of the showpieces of the Möller Organ Company. We can’t wait for it to finally find its home in our space!
On the Walnut Street entrance of the church, we have already begun restoring and repairing the entrances to the Parish House. The lower entrance (originally the Rectory staff entrance) was damaged during a break-in last year. The gates and stonework will be repaired and restored. The upper entrance to the Church Office and Parish House main floor will also be restored and repaired. Once the Laurel is completed across the street, our trees and sidewalks will be repaired and replaced to make this part of Walnut street beautiful again.
Technology & Infrastructure Updates: While we are restoring the magnificent space, we also know that we need to lay the foundation within the church and infrastructure for the future. This week we will be upgrading our internet systems and switching to VOIP (voice over IP) for our phone lines. These upgrades will help us to have a more consistent online presence and for people to more easily connect with the staff, even when working remotely. Our Media and Tech specialist has applied for and received grants from the diocese for $5000 to upgrade the camera and sound systems. This includes new cameras and livestream/recording equipment, new microphones and equipment for clergy/officiants, choir, and congregation (great assets for our online services and rental groups).
We are excited to share all this with you, and encourage you to remember your pledge this year to support the whole of the community. If you would like to make a donation in support of our rebuilding and restoring, please let us know! Or click the button below to give online.
The Property Committee
Fatimah Lane, Director of Operations
Jennifer Flanagan, Sally Griffith, Simson Hui, Susan Leidy, Emily Stromberg, The Rev. Rachel Wenner Gardner
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Questions? Email Travis Oliver, Managing Director
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