JULY 30, 2012 MONDAY
55 days until September 23…
I hope you liked the Town Hall meeting yesterday as much as I did. About 75 people attended. I cannot really summarize it as the before and after pictures, the pictures of work and workers, and the personal testimonials were such an important part. What I took away was that we have made an amazing almost unbelievable transformation of this building thanks to almost unbelievable inputs of effort, sweat, money, and so on. We have logged more than 14,000 volunteer hours and we have raised more than $2,000,000. I understand we need another $75,000 to $85,000 to get to the final occupancy permit. Isn’t that incredible! We are more than 95% of the way to formal occupancy! There was some discussion of what it will take to finish the building; that number is necessarily much less precise because many decisions haven’t been made yet. We just have to keep focused on getting to formal occupancy and remember that we will still be working thereafter to finish the building and grounds.
You will receive a letter from the Capital Campaign in a few days. That should give us all a good sense of where we are and what we still need to accomplish.
Other very important news: Both Ed and Mark are “retiring” from our project on September 23. Neither of them took a lifetime vow to work on this building and they have decided that, since they have to stop sometime, the equinox will be that time. We, the rest of us, need to be ready to take over the building, both finishing it and running all the systems in it, by September 23. I expect that this will be a major focus in the next 55 days.
Lots of finishing details are starting to come together. Clouds are forming on the frames in the sanctuary. Last week, this week, and next week, lots of people are working on clouds. We have been working through the learning curve as we set up assembly processes; systems are taking shape. The frames that will have sheetrock are being prepared for that with additional blocking. Cove molding (baseboard) continues to be installed along the kick space at the bottom of cabinets. Doors are being hung. We expect to see progress toward installation of the range hood, three-compartment sink, and dishwasher by the end of the week.
Considerable work has been done on the landscaping. Some serious weeding has occurred on the east side of the 13th Street berm and in the swales. The crimson clover is coming up, and cover crop has been reseeded where it is spotty. Our volunteer landscape crew is trying to establish a harmonious balance between the plants we like and the tenacious reproductive drive of the others: thistles, dandelions, and the yellow flowered things.
Dinner on Friday at Yi Shen Vietnamese Restaurant (and grocery). 1915 W. 11th Ave. Just around the corner from the church on 11th, across the street from St. Vincent de Paul.
The cloud factory
Cutting the edge bits
Three men apply glue and stick on the board, very quickly. The glue dries fast.
Photo right: the glue line.
Make holes for brackets
A cloud rises!
Still using recycled lumber from the SR Temple
JULY 27, 2012 FRIDAY
37 days to Labor Day
Important reminders at the bottom of this note, especially about the TOWN HALL MEETING. Don’t stop reading before the bottom, or just scroll down now.
About a dozen volunteers signed in yesterday.
I was excited to see rigid insulation on the ceiling: the clouds are gathering! When you see them Sunday, know that they are still a work in progress, not the finished product. The panels will eventually be covered in fabric. The installation of the sonic clouds involves gluing little strips of plywood around the edges (after cutting said little strips), drilling, fabricating, and attaching sixteen little brackets, then elevating the piece to the ceiling and attaching it. Repeat several dozen times. Volunteers are doing most of the fabrication.
We called one of our favorite contract carpenters back to install doors, after our Doorman volunteer sanded and finished them, and the carpenter is swinging his hammer (or nail gun). The offices are getting doors. The doors are swinging! The ceiling is singing! Or something like that. (Sometimes I get a little giddy about this.)
The Boadicea of Baseboards keeps finding spots to install more cove molding; she was working around the cabinets in the office yesterday. Wonderful volunteers continue to weed and water and weed-whack. Work has started toward leveling the floor in the storage room (old boiler room). I saw paint remover there, soaking black goo preparatory to scraping, and I headed the other direction. I know some volunteer braver than I will tackle that floor.
Other volunteer tasks will be set up in the near future, including sanding and refinishing the metal cabinets, stripping and sanding the beams outside the east entrance, and other things. Stay tuned and stay available! Drop by or call and ask how you can help. The unending jobs of providing food and cleaning up after food, sweeping around the construction area, and cleanup and recycling, as well as weeding and grass cutting, are always appreciated. Those jobs may not seem glamorous but are essential and, like so many chores, they need to be done anew every day. We appreciate the stalwarts who keep showing up and getting it done, without ado or public praise.
Important reminders: No Friday dinner this evening. We will meet for dinner next week at Yi Shen, a Vietnamese restaurant on W. 11th around the corner from our church. More information next week about Friday dinners.
TOWN HALL MEETING on Sunday after the service. The Transition Task Force will fill you in about work done, work remaining to get the final occupancy permit, and work to get to building completion. The best and latest financial news will be available, including best cost estimates (or the actual amounts when we actually have a bid or a bill) to get that occupancy permit. The Sunday service is at 10:00 and the meeting starts immediately after the service. The meeting will end by 12:15. Childcare will be available. If you need a snack, please bring it, as extra food will not be provided. You won’t want to miss this Town Hall Meeting! Good updated information will be presented.
Quote of the Day: Determined after crunching numbers for the work required for final occupancy permit: “The heliport on the roof is not going to fly.”
JULY 26, 2012 THURSDAY
38 days to Labor Day
Gretchen writes, “just when I thought it was safe to come back….more black goo.”
“In a Gadda da Vida…… Doors!”
There are clouds forming in the Sanctuary!
JULY 25, 2012 WEDNESDAY
39 days to Labor Day
Cabinets in classrooms rooms are nearly done
JULY 23, 2012 MONDAY
41 days to Labor Day
It is getting exciting at the building! I was out of town for a while and as it was “vacation” time for our Pillars, I didn’t think much would happen. I was wrong, of course.
I think the most exciting developments are in finance, but I’ll save that for a minute. Wonderful gleaming kitchen equipment was delivered while I wasn’t looking. The back hall contains a huge three compartment stainless steel sink. An even larger range hood with fire suppression system is on the back porch and in the hall. And a great commercial dishwasher is in the hall near the chapel. Wow! I understand that research and discussions have taken place to make sure that we get equipment that will be compatible with making ours a full commercial kitchen, without backtracking or remodeling again.
Work continued even in the absence (or partial absence, really) of the Pillars last week. Cove molding (aka baseboards) was installed along many walls. Only rooms 5 and 6 left to go. Both those rooms still have so much (wonderful clinic-donated) stuff in them no one really wants to clear the edges yet. Some of our terrific gardening volunteers weeded, watered, and worked on the landscaping. The sign was installed on the corner and one of our vigorous volunteers removed the words “future home of.” We wanted visibility, and believe me–visible R us.
During the holiday week, financing work continued at an accelerated pace. Generous donors continue to step up to keep this project moving. Thanks to them, which means thanks to YOU, we are moving full speed ahead to finish the acoustic panels (the clouds), the kitchen, the doors, and a few other smaller but still important items. The building is looking so much more finished every day, and as I watch the acoustic clouds, doors, cabinets, and kitchen coming together, I get excited. We are sooooo close.
People have been estimating, getting bids, reviewing invoices, and scouring the spreadsheets to come up with the best possible figures for the work required to get to final occupancy. Be sure to come to the Town Hall meeting next Sunday for an update about the work done and work still required, with cost estimates (or actual costs when known). I predict the information will be stunning, in a good way.
Remember: No Friday dinner this week. Do you want to have Friday dinner together in August? If so, where?
And Be Sure to Remember: Town Hall meeting after the service next Sunday. You won’t want to miss it.
JULY 14, 2012 SATURDAY
50 days to Labor Day
Happy 14th of July. Cue the Marseillaise.
I am out of town and know very little but I am happy to share it.
It was eerie to come into the building late Thursday afternoon and find no one there except Matt, who was finishing setting up for today’s memorial service, and our construction consultant quietly on his computer. No work was occurring. I realized this is sort of what it will be like once we have the occupancy permit (except I hope the building will mostly be busy with activities), but it was definitely odd to encounter at this point. Our volunteer coordinator is out of town for a week, and the construction consultant is taking time off, so there are no regular work parties for the next week.
Baseboard (cove molding) installation is continuing. Watering, weeding, weed eating and mowing are all continuing. The doors are being finished, and we can use people to clean up, take the recycling, to restack and organize and cover the wood on the west end of the building, and other similar chores. A list of tasks is posted next to the sign up sheet in the kitchen, near the pantry door. Many of them are outside jobs, but some are inside work. Take a look at that list if you want to work next week, or you can call or email me and I’ll try to fill you in.
Wonderful people are responding to our need for enough money to finish the building. Several people have come forward with additional donations. I know it is frustrating to be so close and not quite there, but it really is not a surprise for such an enormous remodeling project. People are stepping up with additional contributions, and I know that some people are past the point of giving “extra” money and are now reaching deeply into savings and retirement funds. Not that anyone is pauperized, but some people are giving enough to notice that home projects or trips or other personal choices will be postponed. I don’t have words to say how deeply I am touched by the generosity of this congregation. Large gifts and small, people are reaching to get to the final occupancy permit, and the spirit of generosity, the spirit of plenty, is moving. We are a generous, gentle, giving people. It is an honor to be associated with you.
Charley and Ed working on the irrigation
JULY 11, 2012 WEDNESDAY, and the next ten days
53 days to Labor Day
The skylights are (nearly) in! They are the most amazing pieces of equipment! They are very adjustable, letting in a lot of light or a little. Once set they auto-adjust to track the path of the sun. I say “nearly in” because there are a few small bits left to do, but the vast majority of the work is done and they look great. It is exciting to have skylights!
Cove molding/baseboard installation continues. Cloud work continues. Once again I can say we are closing in on getting the frames finished around all the clouds.
However, from now until Monday July 23 everything is completely different. Except the parts that stay the same.
Our two main guys, our construction consultant and volunteer coordinator, are taking a week to ten days off; they plan to be back on the job on July 23. There will be no organized work parties until then. If you come during the hours the church is open you can come in or if you have a key you can let yourself in. If you know what your job is and if we have the materials on hand or if you are willing to provide them, you can work.
If you want to know what tasks you can do, check with one of our hometown experts:
- We have a team captain for baseboards, and if you want to help with that she will get you organized. Talk to Judy Sawyer.
- We have a team captain for swales and landscaping. If you want information and orientation talk to Sarah Hendrickson. Many of you can weed eat, mow, and weed without additional instruction, and that is always and forever needed and appreciated. She has other projects involving moving dirt, moving compost, seeding, watering, and so on. Just ask her.
- We have a team captain for doors, Eric Swegel, who may need sanding and finishing assistance.
- Ed has left a list of possible tasks next to the sign-in sheet in the kitchen and Chuck Wagar is familiar with that list. Most of these tasks involve cleaning up and organizing the outside–clean up, organize, recycle or throw away things in just about every corner of the property. You can work on the west side (the future playground)–there is a substantial amount of weeding, trimming, organizing and covering of wood to be done there.
By having our main men take a week off, we get an additional week to get our finances in order. Part of the reason for this break is that we don’t want to hire people when we don’t have money to pay them.
We need approximately $160,000 to get to final occupancy.
That will not finish the building, but it will make us legal. Then we can work on all the other things we want to do, such as the playground (and finish treatments inside, and more interior doors, and interior windows, and lots of other little things). At this time, the best information I have been able to obtain is that we do not have enough money to get final occupancy. We have bills to pay (such as for the skylights, and the electrician, and the glass company) and we still need to put in the new stove hood and dishwasher and finish the clouds. We need to hire some people to get these jobs done and we need to pay them. Several of the remaining jobs require skilled labor. We regularly have about ten volunteers, and although we think we are pretty darned good, we aren’t skilled carpenters, sheet metal workers, etc. We need some significant money now and in the immediate future. That’s the simple truth as I understand it.
Remember: No Friday dinners for the rest of July. I am still receptive to ideas and comments, but I am thinking we will resume in August at a different restaurant, maybe trying more than one.
Getting ready to install the Sanctuary skylights!
Also, work continues on the irrigation system today……
and the Boadicea of Baseboards and acolyte…
JULY 10, 2012 TUESDAY
54 days to Labor Day
“I think that I will never see….. this tree again….”
Notice also the speakers installed…. not hooked up yet, but getting there.
JULY 9, 2012 MONDAY
55 days to Labor Day
Today’s journal is below the photos
10:30AM Hot Off the Press:
Truck delivery of the skylights! Craning the parts up to the roof…..
Assembling the parts…..
The chapel is open to the sky again
but we think not for long. Social Hall, “before”
and throughout the day…..
Skylights have lots of small parts to assemble, first. Here, a sill must be measured, cut, shaped and fitted around the edges of the openings.
Assembling the louvered skylights (in the Chapel)….. almost done……
The last section of skylights goes in….. The Chapel is done!
Meanwhile on other fronts…. Either someone said something Really funny, or
Norma is just having lots of fun installing baseboard!
NINE people signed in today. Please read on: two important news items follow the daily report.
The big news is the skylight: the chapel skylight is (nearly) in. We have learned in the course of this project that any project is the sum of many smaller tasks. So it is with the skylight. “Skylight installation” is not a thing, it is a process. It involves, to offer just a partial list, removing the temporary cover and disposing of it (that in itself is many smaller tasks), adding a two-by sill around the edge of the skylight well (which involves repeated measuring, ripping, cutting, shaping boards), adjusting the roofing and flashing to the new sill (which involves removal and reinstallation of staples, roofing material, and probably flashing), installing the skylight flashing (more of the same), installing the skylight frame (which was being assembled on the ground while those on the roof were doing these other things), and finally installing the panes. There seemed to be more installation to do on Tuesday before they could move on to the social hall. I believe the electrician will have to connect the louvers to complete the installation, and he probably won’t come until all the skylights are in place. But the process is well on its way!
Work continues on the clouds: they are closing in on the installation of the big heavy long LVL boards which make the outside framework.
Work continues on the baseboards: they are attaching molding to the hallway walls in the southwest hall, making each area look more finished as they go.
And work continues on the landscaping: they are tilling, weeding, moving dirt and compost, watering, and planting cover crop. Crimson clover and grass seed were planted in several newly tilled bare areas on the berm. The berms and the swales can now be watered with the automatic system. While it is hot and dry, we continue to provide additional water to the trees and larger shrubs by bucket and hose.
Important news items:
1. I am seriously thinking of cancelling Friday night dinners for the rest of July. I personally will be unavailable those nights. I have not heard an upswelling of demand for the Friday night dinners just now. I am considering trying Jade Island, a Chinese restaurant on 7th near Blair, when we resume. What do you think of all those ideas?
2. There may be no work parties next week. That is the current idea. This is not exactly a building closure, as the church will be open during usual office hours. However, work will be done only by those who have a job and want to keep doing it and their helpers. The closure is due in part to a scheduled “vacation” (also known as “another project”) for one of our consultants, and also due to the shortage of money.
We started this project without enough money in hand to finish it and the capital campaign committee has magnificently encouraged, cajoled, and induced the giving of enough to keep us going. It is not surprising that the end of the project would be when the lack of money really shows up. (If you think about it, that is how it would work.) Due to the incredible generosity of just about all of us, we have gotten so far, farther than some ever thought possible All of that is by way of saying we are about out of money. We need perhaps another $160,000 to get to the occupancy permit. What a small percentage that is of the terrific amounts we have raised so far! One more hurdle, one more hill. We can do it! Si se puede!
So, to save some money and to focus our and their efforts, our consultants are (I think) going to take next week off. And maybe part of this week. You know how fast things can change, so keep checking back and I will try to supply you with the best and most current the information I have.
JULY 6, FRIDAY
58 days to Labor Day
FRIDAY earlier in the day…..
I don’t know much, but I am pretty sure today is Friday, so that means dinner at Izzy’s. Off West 11th, sharing a parking lot with Fred Meyer, on Seneca across from Goodwill. Izzy’s has various buffet options. We gather at 5:30.
I know that people have been working on clouds, watering, doing baseboard, and floor polishing. I know, I know, we’re all done with floors! Except the room that housed the project office. Our indefatigable floor show host is now finishing that floor.
With some luck I’ll find out more today and fill you in this evening. (Photo right: braced)
Yesterday 13 people signed in. Today we had 9 volunteers. There were two or three visitors, maybe more.
Four of us enjoyed dinner at Izzy’s. Were the rest of you at the Bach Festival, or Art and the Vineyard, or somewhere else? You missed a jolly time with a jovial if small group. I will be out of town or unavailable at least the next two Fridays, maybe three. Do you want to continue the Friday dinner tradition in July?
(Photo right: Christmas morning….)
I saw clear evidence of good weeding and mowing/weed whacking work, so thanks to several people who did this outside work in the past few days. Trees and smaller plants have been watered, cover crop and grass seed planted, and the landscaping seems to be doing well. There is always more weeding to do and always more dirt and compost to move. The Sultana can give you guidance if you don’t know where to start. The watering system is in and working for most of the plants. The four street trees must be watered once a week by hand, and the drip irrigation system is not yet complete on the west side so some hand watering is required there. The swales, the area around the swales on the east side, and the berms all have working irrigation.
In the last couple of days, people moved the project office and our floor show host did all (is it four?) levels of polish, so that floor is also done. I can again say the floors are done, and I mean it. (Until we start working on the old boiler room.) Other volunteers moved furniture, provided and cleaned up food, and installed baseboard. Baseboard is in place in the sanctuary, many hallways, and a lot of rooms. It certainly gives each area a more finished look. Look for it next time you are in the building.
Work continued on the clouds. The focus was on the LVL (layered veneer lumber) boards which edge the frames. Each board is planed on three of its four sides, then sanded, then measured, cut and installed. The team installed the boards on the large frames that meet in the middle, at the ends of the sanctuary, so a precise angle cut is needed. And of course the installation is way overhead and the boards are long and heavy. It is an intricate process. (Photo right: Angels could
dance on the heads of these
Frames for flying clouds
The volunteer who has been doing food on Wednesdays cannot be available that day. Would someone be able to take over? The job is: show up around 11:30 and put food out, and then around 1:30 or so put it back away and clean up the kitchen. The valuable side benefit of this, in addition to eating lunch, is to visit with the Wednesday crew and see the progress for yourself.
Quote of the day:
When does a building actually become a built? Le Corbusier
(I don’t know, but maybe I’ll know it when I see it. Not yet.)
Measured, cut, glued and ready
Visitors really lift our spirits!
JULY 4, 2012 WEDNESDAY INDEPENDENCE DAY
60 days to Labor Day
July 4 was celebrated by five volunteers and three visitors at the church.
Visitors oohed and aahed and generally behaved satisfactorily.
The usual crew is expected to be back at work tomorrow. Possible work, depending on one’s interests and skill level, might include:
• cutting plywood and installing on clouds • painting urethane on edges of cloud frames
• installing base boards
• organizing attic and shelving
• weeding swales, mowing berms, parking strip and grassy areas, and
• moving dirt and rocks.
If you would like guidance on landscaping work, please email the Sultana at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my cell phone (number below) and I will try to connect you with her.
Hope you are enjoying a lovely holiday and appreciating your independence.
Religious freedom is precious and precarious.
Bandito Makita —>
Quote of the day:
Fortune cookie: “An interesting sports opportunity is in your near future.”
That probably means BUUB yoga, BUUB calisthenics, BUUB weightlifting, and BUUB aerobics.
Gretchen Miller, interim blogster
No formal work party on July 4. Our long-suffering regulars need a break. If you have a key and know your job, the building plans to be there.
JULY 3, 2012 TUESDAY
61 days to Labor Day
Half of the information in the last post was wrong. The really important correction is that David Gilmartin’s Memorial Service/Celebration of Life is a week from this coming Saturday, July 14. The rest of the information about it is still true: His family will be here from Boston and we hope many of you will be in town and will be able to attend.
I was incorrect about which rooms needed cleaning but that sort of thing changes so fast that my correction will also be wrong, so I won’t even try. Room 4 has now been cleaned. Cabinets are being installed in rooms 3 and 7, and when the cabinets are in those rooms should be ready to clean. No estimate as to cabinet installation date. That depends on who is available to work on them and what else comes up.
In the last few days, landscape work has been done. Weed eating has been worked on and so has weeding. There is still plenty of both to do; we need to work on the weedeater, reloading line and making sure it is working. We will try to get to that in the next couple of days.
If you heard the sermon Sunday you may be concerned about the effect of rentals on our tax exempt status. Our team looked into that early on as part of the preparation for rentals. Oregon law is quite different from the California law described by Rev. Bell. The numbers have been crunched and estimated and fiddled with, and it is hard to imagine a scenario in which we would have enough rental income to jeopardize our tax exemption. In other words, this is not a problem for us.
Today, volunteers reported they cut wood, weeded, worked on boxes and clouds, provided food, worked on baseboards, worked on church computers, cleaned the kitchen, installed baseboards, and “did stuff.” Our Boadicea of Baseboards worked solo on sanctuary baseboards. She is trying to get them in before the risers are delivered. Delivery has been promised for this week. Others worked largely on the clouds. Some installed blocking. A team cut the painted plywood into narrow strips and installed those onto the cloud frames. The painted plywood will be under each seam between the sheets of insulation and a narrow strip of it will show between the cloth-covered clouds. If you find this hard to visualize you have lots of company. Others worked on applying two coats of spar varnish to the inside edges of the cloud frames, which will remain exposed.
Dreamily painting spar varnish on clouds, I started thinking about the Flying Cloud. In 1853 (Gold Rush days) she set the record for a New York to San Francisco run of 89 days and 8 hours. The record stood until 1989. It is also notable that her navigator was a woman, Eleanor Creesey. I am sure there are parallels to our flying clouds, but it is probably best not to push the metaphor.
Long quote of the day:
“NEVER GIVE UP
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up”
― Dalai Lama XIV
JULY 1, SUNDAY
63 days to Labor Day
July already! We are moving into the home stretch here. Can you stretch a little more for two more months?
We need some cleaners. Rooms 4 and 7 are ready to move into as soon as they get a good cleaning and some organizing. (Correction: room 5 is Not ready yet). Each of them has had work done so they both need sweeping, dusting, and general cleaning. The skylights probably need attention. Room 7 doesn’t have so much excess furniture in it anymore, but Room 5 still has rows of shelves that need to be reunited with their cabinets or otherwise disposed of. Won’t it be great to have two more rooms for meetings, groups and events?
The outside landscaping could use several helpers, also. We could use someone to run the weedeater or a lawnmower (the former is available on site) around the weed patch that some might call the lawn, particularly the parking strip along Chambers, but also along the berm and elsewhere. The strip along Chambers is a sea of Spotted Catsear (aka false dandelion), which makes a yellow nodding display totally unlike daffodils and, to my mind, not nearly as nice. It makes our place look neglected, I think. Bindweed, or wild morning glory, is also coming up in the berm and some places in the swale. If you join me in a pure and strong dislike of this weed, let’s dig it out sooner rather than later.
Anyone is welcome to come and help weed the swales, now or any time. The weather has been favorable for the plants we put in and also for the ones we didn’t. I think it is easy to tell the difference between what we planted and weeds in the swales, but if you have any questions the Sultana will meet you at the building for in person guidance. She could use some help to scatter seeds for cover crops as we try to cover the bare ground this summer, and there are always opportunities to shovel and move dirt and compost. She is best communicated with by email to email@example.com or you could call my cell phone, listed below.
Work continues on the clouds. An IT volunteer was putting speakers into the speaker boxes today, with the expectation that the boxes will be ready to mount on the cloud frames this week. Carpenters continue to build the frames that will hold the insulation and many have been completed, as I am sure you noticed this morning during the service.
Construction of the speaker boxes consists
A completed speaker box. of many smaller details.
CORRECTION: the Celebration of Life for David Gilmartin Saturday July 14 at 4:00. Please don’t try to work on the building at this time. David’s family is coming from Boston for the service and we hope that many members of his and our church family will be present as a sign of respect for their loss, and to participate in the memorial service. Contact Jeanne-Marie Moore if you have questions.
Let’s see how much we can get done on the building between now and next Saturday afternoon.
Gretchen Miller, the sometime blogster.
Quotes of the Day:
Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
My personal philosophy is not to undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. –Edwin Land (Polaroid camera inventor)