I know it has been weeks since you have heard from me about any updates for the Calvary Restoration but things at the church have come to a pause, this time not caused by the pandemic! We have arrived at the point in time where decisions need to be made about the actual restoration of Fellowship Hall. These decisions include the possible floor plan changes, upgrades to the HVAC and many other concerns that will effect the future use of the building. Because we are working with the insurance company and the code requirements of Newburgh and the State of New York, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. The fire committee continues to look out of the best interests of the Calvary family and are not letting anything go without complete consideration and research. The committee is a very tenacious and intelligent group that works well together and it is a joy to be part of. So even if you don’t hear from me please know that work continues even if it is not the physical building of walls.
I also can report that the handbells have been returned to the Schulmerich Handbell Company and are in the process of being cleaned and refurbished. The choir chimes have gone to Malmark and the refurb on them has been completed. They have been shipped to Norman Brothers (Roy P) for storage with the other items from Calvary. Upon completion the handbells will also be shipped there. I so miss returning to bell choir rehearsals again but socially distancing would be very difficult for the choir! I know the entire bell choir is feeling the same way.
Hope you are all staying healthy and safe. I will send another update as things progress but they will probably not be weekly until reconstruction starts up again.
The scaffolding is down and the cleaning crew is now working on cleaning the lower area of the sanctuary. When I was there yesterday they were meticulously washing every nook and cranny in the pews. Lamb Stained Glass Company will be returning to complete the washing of the stained glass windows in the next weeks. The electrical work is completed, the church is being lighting using our newly refurbished chandeliers and spot lights and the Haiko fans are circulating the air (though it was hot in there to work!). You can see by the photos attached how beautiful the sanctuary looks.
Also completed this week – the handbells and chimes have been sent to their manufacturers for a complete cleaning and refurbishment. I have not told you much about the journey the bells and chimes have been through because of the fire. I plan on writing up the story in the next week or so as I believe you might enjoy it. Lord knows I didn’t because there was a lot of work involved to make sure these instruments were protected from damage and theft after the fire. So more to come on that…
So since we last “spoke” the work at Calvary has continued. American Eagle Electricians have been diligent working to get their work completed before the scaffolding is removed and it appears they have succeeded. The chandeliers have been cleaned, rewired with LED lights and reinstalled. And because the new service has been completed and not only these lights, but all lighting is on in the sanctuary. They were completing the installation of the fans at the top of the sanctuary. I have include a picture of one of them and as you can see they blend quite well with the wood of the ceiling. These will defiantly make the sanctuary more comfortable through out the year as well as help keep the air flowing in the room to help avoid moisture problems that have in the past caused paint damage. The side lights have also been upgraded to use LED lighting, so with all of these changes our utility bill should be reduced, Also the LEDs last a lot longer than the bulbs we were using, are more available and need changing less often. All positive benefits.
The sanctuary is also completely cleaned, scraped and repainted. The scaffolding was to be removed this week. I have not been there since last week but will try to get there this weekend for some update pics.
Peter S has taken the lead and has begun installing a new sound system for the sanctuary. He has installed 3 tiny but effective microphones, and new speakers and a control panel will be installed. So those of us that like the back seats and have compromised hearing should be able to hear everything – thank you Peter.
Also being completed before the scaffolding removal is the installation of the new alarm system in the sanctuary. A sensor system has been installed along the ceiling of the room that will detect any smoke and temperature changes. Charlie of CDR Alarm systems continued to add other modules required throughout the weekend.
Planning for the rebuilding of fellowship hall continues not only for the layout but the design of the finished look. The fire committee again met with Geoff from Belfor to discuss options after our original plans were presented to the building department of Newburgh. Tough decisions need to be made because we have a fantastic insurance policy but mo matter how you cut it there will be expenses above and beyond that which is covered, We are planning on putting together a list of projects that need sponsors and will be sending that to our friends list in the near future and well as getting it to anyone that might be interested in helping.
Sorry – I missed sending an update last week. The weekend passed so quickly and here we are Thursday already! But work continues at Calvary. The painters have taken over the scaffolding and have been scraping, speckling and painting during the past two weeks.
The electricians are close to completing the wiring upgrades, lighting conversions and cleaning and reinstall of the chandeliers. This has been a big project and will defiantly help us to see better the wonderful paint job that is being done! The large fans that were added to the to do list are scheduled to be delivered by July 9th and installed, the wiring has been readied for their delivery. These fans will help keep the sanctuary much more comfortable both in winter and summer.
The fire committee had a meeting (masks and socially distanced) last week and included those that showed an interest in helping formulate the plans for the new fellowship hall. At this meeting the revised mail floor plans were discussed and these plans have now been revised by the architect. Geoff from Belfor will not meet with the building inspector to see if our requests can be completed within the scope of our budget. Also at this meeting the Fellowship Hall Design Committee was formed from this meeting and includes Diane M., Noa S., Kate C. and Bobbie B. They have begun checking with potential community users to gather input for how the future use of the space might be reimagined.
Another item under discussion is a list of sponsorship opportunities. Once this is completed, based on our wish list and what the insurance will cover, it will be sent to all and posted on our website, giving supporters the opportunity to financially help with the restoration of the church.
The fire committee will continue to work diligently to get this job done making the best use of the funding available.
I hope you all have a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend.
The week at Calvary was a continuation of the previous week’s work. American Eagle Electric and CDR Electronics continue to update our electrical service and our alarm system in the hopes of completing the major tasks before the scaffolding is removed later this month.
The new work that was started is the painting of the sanctuary walls. When I was there on Wednesday one of the workers was scraping the pealing walls near the organ loft on the north wall. All of the area accessible from the scaffold has been cleaned so once the area is painted the upper areas of the structure will be completely cleaned and free of the smoke damage.
The fire committee continues to meet with contractors to discuss possible installations of sound systems in both the sanctuary and fellowship hall.
It is a beautiful spring day at Calvary Presbyterian church. The flowers out front are in full bloom.
Once again, the previous week at Calvary was quite busy because of the relaxing of the rules by New York State. Belfor continued working in the sanctuary and in fact completed all of their cleaning work that required the scaffolding. The painters will soon take the “platform” and completely paint all painted surfaces of the walls over the next couple of weeks. The plans are that the scaffolding will be taken down at the end of June, this is a full month before it was scheduled.
Because the scaffolding will be removed earlier than we plan, the fire committee had to take some quick actions to be sure the other contractors that need to use it were contacted and able to complete their jobs. To keep the scaffolding for an additional month would cost us $10,000 so we had to act fast! We were able to sign the contract with CDR Electronics, our alarm company in time for them to order the necessary special equipment for the smoke and heat detection to be installed in the peak of the sanctuary. It can take up to 3 weeks to obtain these items. Charlie of CDR will be running the necessary wiring and plans on having the installation completed by the time the scaffolding is removed. They have also been contracted to complete the update needed to the alarm system in fellowship hall, though the pressure is not on for that portion of the work.
We were also able to get Lamb Stained Glass Studios to come last week and complete the cleaning of the windows accessible from the scaffolding. They also constructed their own scaffolding to clean the rose window and the window in the organ loft. They were really responsive. I contacted them on Friday and they were there Monday to start working. They will clean the lower windows after the scaffolding is removed and the cleanup and painting is completed by Belfor. Check out how dirty the cloth is in this picture – not sure all of that is smoke, but I am sure some of it is!
American Eagle Electric continues to work diligently on the lighting that needs to be completed from the scaffolding also. They have a lot of work to do!
As you already know, the fire committee met with Geoff of Belfor the previous week to obtain the plans provided by the architect of the existing layout of fellowship hall. During this past week Jim F and John C worked hard to sketch out possible solutions to make our fellowship hall a more user-friendly place for not only us but the use of the community in the future. The fire committee met again to discuss these plans. On Friday we had a zoom meeting with the session and trustees on Friday to discuss all of the happenings at the buildings as well as the possible layouts for the hall. The session approved the work and now the suggested plans will be given to Geoff for the architect to consider and draw up.
All of this work is exciting to see move forward and I can’t wait until this is all complete and we can step back into our new buildings!
Have a safe and wonderful week!
Work continues this week at Calvary with Belfor back and working hard to wash and clean the sanctuary ceiling and walls. We have sent a deposit to Lamb Stained Glass Studios and they will be onsite on Monday to start cleaning the stained glass winnows.
American Eagle Electric Co.continues to work on the service upgrade at the church and has started removing the chandeliers for cleaning and updating.
The committee met with Geoff of Belfor early in the week to discuss future plans for the reimagining of fellowship hall. Discussion included possible layout changes for the building and HVAC upgrades Also at the meeting was Charlie of CDR alarm systems. Because we had an alarm system that was monitored by a central station, the insurance company will cover the replacement and upgrade of our alarm system in fellowship hall to bring it up to code. This is a major upgrade. The existing system has been in place for almost 30 years and is really out of date.
The discussion about the organ continues and we are getting closer to a decision by the insurance company so the organ restoration can start.
The fire committed met with Jeff of HVAV (Hudson Valley Audio Visual) and discussed possible sound system solutions for both fellowship hall and the sanctuary. They will be providing a proposal. Other audio companies have been contacted and we are waiting for an appointment with them to compare suggestions.
Now that the restrictions from NYS PAUSE has been relaxed, much more work will continue to progress over teh next weeks so we can move forward to getting back into our buildings.
Hope everyone is safe and healthy.
Hi everyone. Because we have entered Phase 1 of the “return to normal” Belfor has been able to return to Calvary and resume the work they were prepared to start when the NYS PAUSE took effect. I visited the church on Friday and the crew was hard at work on the dance floor, beginning the long process of cleaning every surface in the sanctuary. (Hope they come to my house when they get done!)
The fire committee had our first face to face, mask to mask, meeting at Calvary on Friday with Geoff of Belfor to start discussion on how to we will recreate Fellowship hall. He presented the plans that were complete by the architect that reflects how the building was before the fire. Now discussion will proceed as to how we want to reimagine it for our future based on not only our history but how we envision our future. Much more on this in the future.
Also during the week American Eagle our electricians continued the work to rewire the old fuse box to the new circuit breaker box as well as work on the lighting in the ceiling, including starting to remove the chandeliers for cleaning and rewiring to include new LED fixtures.
I have not before included any comments on the things going on in the country in these updates but I have to say something about the recent murder of George Floyd and the protests that have been a result of this atrocious act. The actions of the police officers in this were deplorable and they deserve the most severe punishment available. I send out prayers for all of his family and friends who have to relive this horrible event every day, seeing it over and over in the media, and will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.
I totally understand the need for people to release their anger, to make a statement and be heard and I completely support peaceful demonstrations if done is a safe way. But will someone explain to me why looting and destruction is seen as an answer in anyway to this. And this is taking place all over the country. Yesterday there was a peaceful march that when down Liberty Street in front of my building and it brought tears to my eyes, seeing the support for Mr, Floyd and our black brothers and sisters and, I feel, encouraging the justice system to be just that just. Now I have heard rumors that protestors are being bused to Newburgh. This scares me. Our local folks showed their concern and respect but I am really concerned that those bused in will not have the same intent.
Please pray with me for the family of George Floyd, for the justice system, for any that were and are affected by the looting and destruction and for our City of Newburgh that we are not dragged into the violence by those not from our area.
Now I will step down from my soap box and wish everyone a safe and healthy week.
Hello from the fire committee, the session and trustees!
This is a screenshot of our join meeting via zoom this past Saturday. It is amazing that in spite of the fire and virus quarantine, Calvary continues to move forward. This is the second joint meeting of the entire group and the fire committee has had many zoom meeting over the weeks since we have been hold up at home. Though these are difficult times the technology available allows us to keep in touch and continue to work. Once again I suggest you use it to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. There are many choices, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom … please don’t let the quarantine keep you alone and lonely.
The fire committee continues its work to get the insurance company on board with the necessary restoration of the Skinner Organ. Through the excellent communication skills of Luke P and Peter S we were able to get the company to send out a new appraiser and organ expert, Stephen J Russell of the Russell Organ Co of Chester, VT. On Thursday, Peter, Luke and I had a good, long and thorough visit with Stephen. He had an opinion much closer to our expectations than the original submitted by Art Conservation/Odell. He poked into the console, looked at the pipes as much as he could and had the extra benefit of being able to look down on the pipes from the scaffolding. We also visited the blower bellows which he indicated the leather in them would need to be replaced. This is something that no one else has mentioned. He was completely in agreement with what we believe needs to be done to get our instrument back to pre-fire condition. (Odell also stated this when he was at the church but then changed his statements completely when he reported to the insurance company. I was smart this time and recorded our conversations with Stephen! We have no reason to believe Stephen will change like Odell did but at least this time we have proof of his statements.) His report will be sent to the insurance company and with any luck we will be able to get Foley Baker (our organ company) started on the dismantling of the instrument for transfer to their facility for the complete cleaning and restoration. Peter has covered the organ console in plastic sheeting in the meanwhile to help protect it from further dust collection. Here are some photo taken during the visit.
A deposit has been sent and received by Schulmerich Handbell company and we are now on the waiting list for our bells to be cleaned and restored from any smoke damage. It is unclear when the bells will be completed, but we can’t have rehearsals for some time at this point, based on the condition of the sanctuary and the restrictions the Covid virus has caused. (It would be a bit difficulty to keep the choir together with 6 feet between the ringers. There are 9 of us – that would mean we would be taking up 54 feet of space!). I will be contacting Malmark Company next week to arrange for the cleaning of our choir chimes and let you know how that goes.
Keep our Facebook Live Sunday Service at 9 am on Sunday with Zoom fellowship to follow. Meanwhile our special music for the Memorial Day Weekend is the Calvary Ringers playing the National Anthem. This was recorded at a Renegades Baseball game last year. On YouTube here, or on the website here.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend,
While NYS PAUSE keeps Belfor Restoration from returning to work in the building, American Eagle has been working hard to make sense of the current rats nest that was our electrical service. The pictures below were taken in the stair well that goes to the basement of the sanctuary. The first pictures show the wires that were in the old set up that still used fuses. The following pictures show the new circuit breaker boxes, the larger one is what was installed earlier this year when some of the system was upgraded. The smaller box will be where the wires from the rats nest will be installed. This is the first step in a number of electrical service upgrades that will be completed in the weeks to come.
Other work still continues as the fire committee works with the insurance company to get a fair and correct settlement on the claim for the organ restoration. We have 2 estimates for the work that are significanlty more than the insurance company’s appraiser’s evaluation, so the company has hired another organ expert to meet with us to provide more information. Being the “tenacious christians” that we are, the fire committee will continue to work (i.e. fight) to get a settlement that is correct. Once again, we want to thank Luke P for his expertise and ability to well express the true value of the instrument and the need to get it back to the condition it was before the fire.
As you know, I brought the handbells and chimes to my home on the day of the fire. Belfor has returned the cases after treating them for the smoke damage and I have contacted Schulmerich Handbells to see about scheduling the clean up that is necessary for the bells. They are closed for the quarantine but we will be sending them a deposit of half so we will be on their waiting list for when they return to work. I will be contacting Malmakr this week to schedule cleaning up of the chimes.