Property Committee

As some may be aware, the Property Committee has recently been busy dealing with the unanticipated discovery that the Sanctuary needed additional structural support measures. It was first noticed last October, when during a memorial service an audible cracking sound was heard. Immediate measures were then taken to address the problem, thanks to Charlie Stewart of Forrest Builders, who set up a number of temporary jack posts under the main girder beams in the Sanctuary basement. It was determined at that time that there were several noticeable cracks in the two main support beams, and that a dozen or more floor joists had deteriorated, as well. All the beams and joists appear to be original to the 126-year-old building, so perhaps the audible noise heard that October day was a warning message sent from “guardian angels” looking after ARC!

After contacting a couple of contractors for their proposals on how to repair the damage, the Property Committee, in close consultation with Consistory, decided that it would be in ARC’s best interest to hire a professional structural engineer for further guidance. Sage Engineering made three visits to our site over the course of a month or so, and made the immediate determination that the extent of the structural damage was not as severe as first thought. The temporary jack posts in place were sufficient to make it safe to continue using the building for church services, and in fact the main girder beams did not need to be fully replaced, but could be stabilized by adding additional upright post columns. Also, the damaged cross joists could
be repaired by “sistering” an additional board to them.

After much discussion and review of the engineer’s recommendations, the committee recommended that Consistory hire Forrest Builders, who had done previous work for ARC, including rebuilding the church steeple. The Property Committee decided to delay several other planned projects, and shifted $7,000 from the current 2015 Building Fund Budget in order to partially underwrite the unexpected expenses for the structural repairs. Charlie Stewart and his crew replaced all the existing upright steel posts with fifteen new ones, added several stud walls under the main beams for additional support, and repaired more than
a dozen of the joists that were in the worst shape. The job was completed on January 26.

There is no doubt that this major project that needed our immediate attention was taken care of in such a way that future generations will be able to enjoy continued, safe use of our beautiful Sanctuary for many decades to come.

Greg Goutos, Property Committee chair