Initial Discussions

We should have started this blog much earlier. So, this post and parts of the others will be from memory and provide an abbreviated summary of events.

Two years ago, more or less, Peter McCracken approached Paul Womer, senior warden, about the need to have the stained glass windows in St. Paul’s nave cleaned. He was not incorrect about the need. Years of using oil-fueled candles and normal dust had left a coat of film on everything. Added to the problem was the poor condition of the plexiglass protectors on the outside of each window. Sun had turned them opaque, blocking the light. One window in the west transept was cleaned and repaired about six years; the difference is noticeable – light beams through.

Peter had questions about who had cleaned the one window (above) and cost. I suggested he speak to the church administrator (Susan Tyler). Whether he did remains unknown. As the wardens discussed this issue with the Rev. Carolyn Eklund (rector), we came to the consensus that we would need to raise money, but cleaning the windows was too small of  a job for a capital campaign. If we were going to make an effort to raise and spend money, and disrupt the use of the nave, we needed to think bigger.

The small project grew into a larger and more complex project. Painting became a critical part of the project. The exterior walls, especially the south facing wall along Union St., were in dire need of painting. The interior nave had sections of paint separating and hanging by a whisper. $30,000 worth of boiler repairs over the past several years raised awareness of the need to consider a replacement. Lighting in the nave consisted of some LED tubes and mostly old fluorescent bulbs. Another less critical item was the condition of carpet in the nave under the pews. Carpet elsewhere in the nave was relatively new. Also in the mix was insulation of the nave and an engineering assessment.

In late 2017 St. Paul’s formed a renovation committee chaired by Peter and including Hugh Savage, Dana Baer, Brent Dudley (a late comer because of recent retirement and later critically important regarding heating) and Paul Womer. Our initial task was to collect estimates of costs, savings, and create a time line. Brent’s expertise in dealing with a new heating system helped us move smartly on that front.  We had trouble getting contractors interested in painting. Only Moore Painting, with whom we have worked with in the past, showed any interest. We already had basic info on lighting. Carpeting costs depended on whether we had to move the pews – another side project. Insulation in the nave will be upgraded where possible.

Above issues will be discussed in separate posts.