Some more news from the Calvary Restoration!
In two updates ago I told you the story of the restoration of our handbells and the wonderful response to my request for donations to “rescue” them. Well the good news is that the refurbishment has been completed by Schulmerich Handbell Company and they have been returned to Newburgh. They are being stored safely at Norman Brothers Moving and Storage until our bell choir can, once again, prepare music for our worship services and attend the Hudson Valley Handbell Festival. (Though as we know that could be a while as we battle Covid)
Also in that update I told you that we have the go-ahead from the insurance company to proceed with the restoration of our Skinner Organ. This picture, provided by Peter S, is from November 4 when Foley Baker Company came to check out the organ to plan the start the disassembly and moving of the pipes to their workshop.
As a follow up to the update on October 29, I stopped in at the church today and found that the carpenters have done a lot of work on framing in fellowship hall. Here is how it looked today.
The framing for the new bathrooms with Pastor J’s office in the background:
The framing for the new kitchen area:
Framing for the storage area to the right side of the stage:
The music closet and stage area:
So we continue to move forward and rebuild our church. My prayer is that our country can start to move forward and rebuild also. Hoping and praying you are all safe and well.
As I mentioned in my previous update, the carpenters have started the framing work in Fellowship Hall. When I stopped by today the men were hard at work in Pastor J’s and Helen’s offices and in one of the upstairs rooms. Here are a few photos.
A short update but some fantastic musical news:
Though the determination and tenacity of Luke P and the fire committee, an agreement has been reached with the insurance company to allow Foley Baker Organ company to complete the clean up and restoration of our wonderful Skinner Organ with the cost being covered completely by insurance. This is a long process but we have the go ahead for Foley Baker to soon start the process by disassembling the instrument and transporting it to their location. They will then soon start working on it (I believe that will be in March of 2021). Thank you to Luke, the fire committee, the insurance company and Foley Baker for the continued work to come to this agreement.
And continuing good news, I asked a few weeks ago for assistance in paying for the additional costs incurred in the refurbishment of our handbells. I want to let you know that we have received enough to cover the extra costs plus $900 additional that will remain in the budget for the bell choir for use once we are able to continue our musical ministry. Thanks goes out to our donors: “anonymous”, Mary Ellen W., Karin and John W., Susan N., Pat V. and John and Dawn S.
Other news briefs: We have our building permit to for the work in Fellowship Hall. We have agreement of the floor plans for the hall to move the handicapped bathrooms to the south side of the building and add a kitchen area to the north side, where the handicapped bathrooms used to be. Pastor J’s office will remain where it was but what was Helen’s office will become a conference room and Helen’s office will now be across the hall from Pastor J’s office. . Framing of the new layout should be started soon. Discussion has been continuing about the best choices for HVAC and flooring
I have really enjoyed working on the fire committee. Everyone in the group brings their live experiences and knowledge to every discussion. This mix seems to uncover every angle of any situation and the resulting decisions are very well thought out. We don’t accept any thing without a full understanding. I believe the fire committee really has the church’s “back”!
And one more thing – VOTE!
I finally have something to report! Seems like a long time since much has happened at the church but this week Belfor came back and removed all of the debris in the sanctuary and also removed the carpeting. The original tile is now exposed. Here are some pictures provided by Glenn and Jennie H.
Also progress has been made toward the restoration of fellowship hall with the formal decision that a sprinkler system is not required. Since was confirmed, plans for a new floor layout are being drawn up by the architect and Belfor is working on finding out exactly what the insurance will cover. We have our building permit for the rehab and hopefully the plans will be finalized soon and work can start to get our fellowship hall back on its road to “recovery”. You will be hearing more about the plans in the week or so.
Now about news our bells and chimes: As you all know, the day of the fire, with the help of Peter S., I removed the handbells and chimes from the church to keep them safe. Here is the story of their journey from that day until now:
I live on the 3rd floor of my building and installed a hoist to bring items (in particular wood pellets for our stove) upstairs, rather than have to lug them up the 2 flights of stairs. This came in really handy for getting the chime and bell cases to my home. Here’s a video of our hoisting one of the larger cases up.
So with Kris’ help, I got all of the smokey cases with the bells and chimes in them on my 3rd floor porch. The cases were permeated with smoke so they had to stay outdoors for a bit, but were protected by the porch roof and tarps. Once arrangements had been made with Befor to, as I call it, de-smoke-a-fie the cases, we moved all of the bells and chines (almost 100) to my 2nd floor for storage on the floor of a spare room and all cases were taken by Belfor. Meanwhile approval for cleaning of both chimes and bells were received from the insurance company and I arranged to get them both scheduled for the work. About a month ago both Malmark (chimes) and Schulmerich (bells) contact me to arrange for the instruments to be shipped to them for the cleaning. So Belfor brought the cases back and the instruments packed up and picked up by UPS.
Neither the bells nor the chimes have had any work done on them for almost 20 years and you know our bell choir uses (or did before Covid) for rehearsals every week for an hour and a half, preformed using them in church about 20 times a year and also used them to attend the Hudson Valley Handbell Festival, and all day event held annually. So in short they have been well used. As you would expect there has been wear and tear on the instruments and this damage is not covered by insurance.
The chimes refurbishment has been completed and the additional cost above what the insurance covered was about $275, a cost that was covered by a special donation. The chimes have been returned and are in storage at Normal Brothers (thanks to Roy and Peg P).
The handbells on the other hand are still at Schulmerich and we have received the quote for additional parts not covered by insurance because they are wear and tear. This additional cost is about $2000. I have been told that the money is not available from the church’s treasury to complete this project. So I am turning to you to help out. The total value of these bells is over $50,000, the insurance company is covering about $3000 of cleaning work on the bells so now it is up to you to help out, If you can make a special donation to help the bell choir “bail out” their beloved bells, please make your check payable to “Calvary Presbyterian Church” and send it to Calvary Presbyterian Church, 120 South Street, Newburgh NY 12550. If you prefer to use a credit card or PayPal you can do this through our website Be sure to note that the donation is for the bell choir so they get credit for the income and it goes to the correct expense. Thank you ahead for your help.
As always this update comes with prayers and wishes for everyone that they are in good health and that life is good for you all.
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!