DAY #592

10 Volunteers
4 Visitors
4 Contract Floor Finishers
1 Construction Consultant

Husband Ed and I went to the BUUB to grab the sign in sheet about 7 PM, so this report is based on information on the sign-in sheet and hearsay. I hope it resembles what actually happened. It appears there was a collective 24 volunteer hours worked. The jobs included cleaning, sorting, sweeping, running errands, working on door locks, visiting, and taking a tour. The floor finishers were using the grinder, but I am not sure which rooms. My guess is that it was the sanctuary. All attempts to call someone who might give me a clue were met with voicemail…..

I can report that the IT team has been busy this week. I didn’t know what IT was for sure, but I think it means “information technology.” I got a very comprehensive report from the team leader yesterday and they are plugging away. Here are some of the highlights:


Almost all of the IT/Phone items we ordered for Phase 1 of the project, especially the major components, have shipped from all suppliers, the bulk of which should arrive over the course of next week.

Telecom Contracts

No update yet on signing the telecom contracts.

Construction (This did not show up on the sign in sheet.)

I’ll be at the BUUB most of the day on Saturday to finish pushing, gluing and bracing conduits together for pulling cable through the soffits along the administrative wing. If I get done, I’ll also put a conduit in the attic above the non-walkable corridor.

I’ll also be checking in on the progress of bolting and bracing of the racks, installation of cable trays, installing electrical circuits to the racks, and other things.


As soon as the refurbished server arrives next week, it will be checked out, configured and loaded up with the necessary software (for our IP-PBX).

We’re still looking at April 14th through the 21st for the bulk of the work (cables, wall-plates, ports, rackmount the gear, configure the network, WIFI, etc.).

Assuming the telecom contracts are signed by then, we’re still looking to fire up our new phone system by the 20th for configuration and testing.

Phone Placement Determination

We purchased a total of ten phones. Five of the phones are pre-designated for the administrative offices. The other five are intended to be spread around the BUUB for non-administrative and general access.


There are two security components that the IT team will be engaged with and for, both now and in the future. Electronic security and building security.

The above is only a portion of a much longer and more detailed report. I just wanted to let you know what the team is working on right now.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To get a vision of what the design is with the grooving and patchcrete pattern in the Sanctuary and Social Hall, imagine you are flying over Nebraska and you see the Platt River snaking along, then you pass over I-80. You see two small circles, almost islands, and realize that is where the UUs are meeting…….”

DAY #591

15 Volunteers
1 Contract Carpenter
3 Contract Plumbers
4 Contract Floor/Door Finishers
1 Contract Fire Suppression Tech
1 Fire Suppression Supervisor
2 Contract Electricians
1 Contract Door Woodworker
2 UUCE Office Staff
1 Construction Consultant
12 for Chinese Dinner
1 Visitor in Wheelchair

Door casings and doors were installed, the wide slot in the floor between the social hall and west corridor was filled with Patchcrete, the administrative office and copy room floors had stain and sealer applied and look great. There was a mammoth amount of paperwork resulting in the plotting for the move (to be outlined later in this blog) and one volunteer spent hours in the attic wrapping pipes and other sharp edges or protuberances with foam to avoid injury.

The visitor in the wheelchair had difficulty negotiating wet streets and was concerned about making it home in time for a pit stop, so stopped at the BUUB to see if he could use our restroom. Absolutely – and happily ours is fully accessible! It has been a week of unusual visitors – one person stopped by and needed two bricks for his fireplace. So we handed him two bricks and he handed us $5! A good exchange.

2apr last tile-t
Charley putting in the last tile which was hard to find

PPPTile was installed in the unisex restroom, food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. A teen dis-assembled the rolling door carts and got a tutorial on tiling from Charlie Eckerson. There was floor grinding in Rooms 4 and 5. We received a permit for the South entrance today and we are fully legal for modifications.


WE NEED HELP! Next week we will get a preliminary inspection for OCCUPANCY! In order to turn our construction site into a building that looks like it is ready for occupancy, we have a tremendous amount of cleanup to do – this isn’t just sweeping, this is rounding up tools and moving as much as we can out of sight. If you have loaned any tools at all to this project, we need you to come pick them up before Tuesday. We will not be fabricating cabinets, so we don’t need the woodworking tools. Please come get your tools!

2apr grooving ne add-on-t
Of course the good news about needing to get your tools is that every day we get closer and closer to occupancy. The tiling is just about done, all the toilets, urinals, and sinks in restrooms (except the unisex restroom) are installed, the floor grind is about done, the grooving and laying of loop wire is done everywhere but Room 3, staining and sealing of floors is proceeding, lights and doors are being installed. It is definitely show time! So, the next three days is a big push and we need gobs of volunteers! 9 AM tomorrow (Mark is the task master)

(Photo right: grooving in the NE addition)


Everyone keeps asking about how the schedule for the move will proceed. Here is the latest schedule:

April 20 Rental Open House
April 21/22 Middle School Marathon Work Parties
April 28 High School Marathon Work Party
April 29 Celebration Sunday at the BUUB
May 6 Our first wedding work party
May 13 11 AM Service at 40th & Donald – then start packing
May 15 Furniture Sort Out
May 15/16 Pianos Moved
May 16/17 Move Music Office
Move RE Office
May 17 Clean
May 19/20 No Sunday Service – Wagon Train to Move Remaining Furnishings/Kitchen, etc
May 21-26 Unpack and Get Settled
May 27 11 AM Service

QUOTES OF THE DAY: By a couple showing up for Chinese: “We didn’t make a reservation!”

“When are we going to get a window in the kitchen?” “Within two weeks.”

“What will we do with that doctor’s scale we got at the Clinic?” “You can stop at the BUUB on your way to the airport to see how much your luggage weighs to be sure you don’t exceed the bag limit.”

“At some point the 400 Days blog and catering by the Break Room Dancers has got to stop.”

(At Chinese dinner, the impromptu “parole board” voted to an early release of the Break Room Dancers on May 25, and agreed to hear an appeal from the author of 400 Days related to an early release.)

Tonight’s Fortune Cookies:

“Tomorrow is a good day to try something new.” (Cleaning the BUUB?)
“Need some adventure and enjoyment? Take a vacation!” (Not until September)
“You will enjoy doing something different this weekend.” (Cleaning at the BUUB)

DAY #590

9 BUUB Volunteers
26 Three-peat Salvage/Cleanup Volunteers
1 Contract Carpenter
2 Contract Plumbers
1 Fire Suppression Installer
4 Contract Movers
1 Construction Consultant

I heard on good authority that the salvage and cleanup crew had an exceedingly exciting and productive day. It began with the fact that the main contact for Peace Health was on vacation, the second in command was out sick, and when our crew arrived, the doors were locked. Happily an alternative phone number was produced and 20 minutes later we had entry. Only problem was, when all the sinks were taken out three weeks ago, one left behind had a valve slightly open —- resulting in an inch of water on floor and carpeting in the western half of the annex building. Plumbers were called and the water was shut off, and our great crew ripped out all the damaged, sopping wet carpet and then swept and vacuumed the area. All the carpet was hauled to the BUUB to the dumpster.

I haven’t seen the entire inventory, but we have grab bars, deeper cabinets for Rooms 1 and 2, all the doors and jambs we need, pneumatic door closers, scuff plates, light fixtures, vertical blinds, the pivot pans for the major glass doors, and some smaller glass exit doors. The pivot pans required a 40 pound jackhammer. Everyone remained safe. After all the tools and materials were removed and the doors to both buildings were about to be locked, the Veneta Groovers were missing! They were somewhere in the deep recesses of the building salvaging door hardware —thank goodness for cell phones….

A tasty lunch of pizza and salad was consumed in short order about noon, when the Clinic notified us we had to be gone by 1 PM – so everyone gulped down their food and hopped to the job at hand and were all done by 12:50…. Snack time included coffee and bagels with cream cheese.

Thanks to everyone who helped, especially hauling, doing inventory, and cleaning up carpet and sheetrock. Our volunteers are the best in town.

Meanwhile, back at the BUUB there was some floor grinding, tiling was begun in the unisex restroom, 3 urinals, sinks and a toilet were installed in the men’s east restroom, and things were set up to install the toilets and sinks in the women’s east restroom. Believe it or not, there is some lovely wire to be stripped.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. The respirators were cleaned. There is an urgent request – please do not take the small vacuum from the kitchen. It was specifically purchased to clean the respirator filters. Also the hose and attachments are missing. There is always the possibility that the teens (who do not read this blog) borrowed it this week to clean the attic, but just in case you are the person who borrowed it, please make sure it is in the kitchen next to the filing cabinet.

Reminder – there will be Chinese dinner tomorrow at the Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th Avenue at 5:30 PM.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “We got everything and more.”

“We are going to have our own reality show…..we are competing with Hoarders.”

“BUUB is a verb…..we have been BUUBed….”

DAY #589

22 Volunteers
1 Contract Carpenter
1 Contract Electrician
1 Fire Suppression Installer
2 Electrical Engineers
1 Electric Company Owner
1 Landscape Architect
2 Contract Floor Stainers
3 Contract Floor Finishers
1 Construction Consultant

The last glulam beam is up in the South Entrance! The project office was swept and organized. The tilers applied the second coat of silicone sealer in the East restrooms. They also cut and ground the edges of tile for the floor of the unisex restroom. Check out the Quotes of the Day on this subject.

One crew jackhammered out the doorsill for the sliding doors between the social hall and the west corridor and then filled it with new concrete to make for a smoother surface. Additional floor finishing was done in Room 7 and the stained floor in the office and copy room were tweaked to get a better colored surface.

Teens worked at cleaning the attic. There was even some wire stripping! Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. Telephone system components arrived, windows are built and all window glass is cut to size and will be installed soon.

The Landscaping Task Force met with the landscape architect to discuss the parameters of developing the swales. Grades were “shot” for the swale and south landscape with a transit level and very little digging is needed. There will be no further bulldozing work required. We do need people to pick out rocks. (This could be a fun job.) Come for an hour or as long as your back holds up!

NEEDED: More large three ring binders. We thought we had enough, but they have all been filled. We also need additional people to clean the inside of the building.

The volunteer crew was thrilled to see the latest bag of “soft rags” which turned out to be gently used sweatshirts. They feel the clothing is more valuable as warm clothes than as rags — there are many days when volunteers get wet and cold, and having spare clothes on hand is very much appreciated.

This evening, the Aesthetics and Logistics Task Force met to plan out our move. I did not attend the meeting, so am not able to report.

Tools and materials were rounded up for tomorrow’s Three-peat at the Peace Health Clinic. A volunteer electrical engineer came to pick up the electrical plans. He has designed labels for our electrical boxes indicating their rating and the level of danger working on them and the type of safety gear needed. Several people indicated they did “floor filling and grout,” and the black goo was used on the unisex floor – hopefully the last of it.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “How did I get all this concrete in my hat?” (While it was on his head!)

“Did you ever come straight to the BUUB after a dental appointment and find several jackhammers breaking up concrete?”

While we were painting sealer on the grout yesterday, I told my co-workers
about two Pennsylvania German women. One says to the other

“Vat does your huspand do?”
“Ach, he’s a painter.”
“Oh, he paints houses?”
“Ach no, he paints men and women.”
“Ach, he’s a portrait painter!”
“Ach no, he paints Men on one door and Women on the other door.”

And from a tile cutting volunteer: “You know what’s wonderful? The water’s so much warmer than it was a month ago.” In case someone isn’t familiar with the tile saw, the cutting is done in copious (in grates of course) circulating water.

DAY #588

24 Volunteers
2 Contract Electricians
2 Contract Plumbers
4 Contract Floor Finishers
2 Fire Suppression Technicians
2 Floor Scrubber Sales Reps
1 Construction Consultant

The stain in the office and copy room dried with the help of heaters and fans and was declared too dark, so they will get another coat of stain. The contractor grade heater was doing a powerful job thank goodness. The Veneta Groovers installed wire in the NE room with an unknown future. IT lines are also being strung, and Phase I of IT and phone equipment was being ordered.

The plumbers installed the two water fountains and they were dispensing clear, cold water, much to the delight of everyone working in a dusty environment.

2apr stainless gold-t(Photo right: they look like gold but are really stainless)


On Thursday, all the fixtures will go in the east restrooms. The restroom partitions were shipped from CA and will be here soon. Three teenagers, off school for spring break, were working in the attic, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. There are three companies competing for our business in the hope of selling us a floor scrubber, and we have the use of the equipment for trials.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed. Respirators were cleaned and a large bag of soft rags was donated. The tilers were happy to get them. They cleaned and sealed the tile with silicone in the east restrooms. And for about the 15th time, the working toilet was installed back in the unisex restroom so that grout could be added to the patched sections around the door of the women’s west restroom. Then by day’s end, the working toilet was removed from the unisex restroom so the floor could be treated with goop overnight to remove mastic. After the floor is cleaned, tiling of that room can begin. So, for those of you keeping track, the working toilet is in the women’s west restroom!

Fire extinguishers were moved around. The parking lot was swept and the dumpster was restacked for efficiency of space. There was floor prepping and more grinding, grinding, grinding. A Sultana of Swales was appointed.

Speaking of cleaning – we could use more people to help clean on Thursday at the Peace Health Clinic – 8 AM to 1 PM. The specialized salvage team is set, along with food, inventory, and transportation.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “It sucks when the vacuums don’t.”

“Sultana of Swale sounds better than Dutchess of Ditches.”

A Salem UU made a special trip to clean and seal tile, and said: “I’ve been waiting for weeks to do this.”

DAY #587

18 Volunteers
1 Contract Carpenter
1 Contract Electrician
3 Contract Floor Finishers
1 Construction Consultant

The tile crew cleaned the women’s and men’s east restrooms and they are ready to apply the silicone sealer tomorrow. They also did touch up around the doors in both the women’s and men’s west restrooms. The working toilet was moved to the women’s west restroom and the unisex accessible restroom was stripped out and is ready for tile. The tiling is 90-95% complete.

The last gluelam was cut and sized for the brackets to be installed in the south entrance at 10 AM tomorrow. The carpenter worked on final framing for the windows in the minister’s office, music office, and east entrance. The windows will arrive anytime soon.

The Veneta Groovers led a team that included groovers, a spooler, applier, pusher, and grout baggers. They have it down to a fine science. One of their “helpers” sat on a 4-wheeled dolly, scooting along on the floor with a vacuum cleaning the grooves. What a team! The social hall is done. Then for “dessert” after lunch they decided to groove the floor in the new room just created in the Northeast addition so it would be ready for a future office or conference or crying room. For the latest on the loop system, check out the National Geographic article at

A 17,000 BTU heater was brought in to help dry the stain on the floors of the office and copy room. It is being stubborn. The office is still in Room 3, but will be moved to Room 7 as soon as the floor finishers are done in that room.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed.

THURSDAY – NEEDED – In addition to the demolition team which is being hand picked for specific skills, we need many helping hands to do cleaning following demolition at the Peace Health Clinic. We will be allowed back in the buildings between 8 AM and 1 PM only. There will not be that much to move, but we still have the left hand doors and light fixtures, plus a stainless steel sink to take out. The big need is cleaners, cleaners, cleaners – no tools needed – they will be provided. There will be a truck, food, and a jackhammer! The jackhammer is necessary to remove the pivots that go with the glass doors salvaged earlier. Show up at 8 AM if you can help.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “She was an island of calm before she joined our terrorist training camp at the BUUB.”

“I tried out the new restroom — it is very spiffy.”

DAY #586

1 Volunteer known

El Viejo reported walking throughout the entire building this today after church and it was watertight! Always a good thing. He said “Holy Moly” the building is beautiful. The Sanctuary floor grooving is done and the Patchcrete covering the loop wires shows up, making the pattern more well defined. It is going to be spectacular when it is stained and polished.

Speaking of stain – it is going to be a struggle because the building is cold and it takes the stain a long time to dry. Extra heaters and fans have been brought in to help it along.

A note to volunteers – there is no specific sequence from here until occupancy. It all depends on the timing and that will dictate what has to happen “today” or “tomorrow.” It may seem chaotic, but priorities will be set daily, and could change mid-day. Here are a few things needing attention and available to do this week:

Replace some insulation in the attic where it got knocked loose;
Grab a vacuum and clean the attic – miles to go;
Put up red “CAUTION” tape to mark pipes, wires, and sharp corners in the attic;
Help move stuff out of the building;
Clean all areas of the main floor.

The project office will be moved out of Room 3 since it is the only floor left for early grinds and grooving. Everything else is ready for final grind and staining. Progress!

Remember our key word is FLEXIBILITY….the original timeframe is still looking good, but it will take the last big push and lots of volunteer help.

We hope congregants will also be available to help this summer and devote some vacation time doing things some have been chomping at the bit to do – painting, varnishing, landscaping, and creation of the playground.

What kind of manifestation do we need?

A paving contractor to redo the parking lot;
Surplus playground equipment from the Federal Government;
An exterior sign company willing to donate signs;
A large, silent drop-down screen and long-range projector for the Sanctuary;
Examples of things we have already gotten that were totally unexpected;
The use of a fork lift for two years;
Energy Efficient Lighting;

Yesterday, I failed to report a volunteer who came to install low voltage wiring. And I apologize if there were additional volunteers today – I just didn’t know about you.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There is nothing left to demolish…..we already did three buildings!” (Scottish Rite Temple, Peace Health Clinic, Peace Health Annex)

DAY #585

11 Volunteers
2 Contract Floor Finishers
2 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Construction Consultant
3 Visitors

*Be sure to read the special letter at the end from Mary Otten, President of the Board of Trustees.*

A crew came in to clean the new grout in the east restrooms — what a dedicated team! The Veneta Groovers worked on the floor in the social hall and finished laying the loop wire in the Sanctuary. I think they really must be sleeping in the attic. After the wire was in, the channels were filled with grout (in this case I think it was Patchcrete being used).

A second coat of stain was painted on the floors in the administrative office and copy room. Everyone is asking about the stain – when wet it is dark, but it is likely to lighten up. Fans and heaters were put into action to dry it out – today it was warmer outside than inside. A couple of teens worked in the attic dusting and vacuuming. I wonder if they found the boomerang? Perhaps they don’t read this rag and didn’t know there was one to be found. The sheetrockers continued patching and tweaking and the floor finishers were grinding away.

Our recycling guru was loading up various items into the trunk of her car so she could take them to their rightful homes. No scheduled work tomorrow – Sunday.

WORD OF THE DAY: “Wabi” – good way to describe our new church building – it honors things that are imperfect, as a pot with a crack, etc. Our new home has cracks in the floor, sort of like folks my age have wrinkles. They add character. The reader who sent this word included the following: ” The idea is that a work’s flaw — its wabi, if you will — is what gives it unity and humanity. Without wabi, a thing is incomplete, imperfect — in the end, deeply flawed.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I wasn’t able to fill the toilet paper dispenser yesterday because the key to the dispenser was in the safe….and with the wet stain on the floor in the rooms that give access to the safe, it was like having a moat…..that small key is probably the most valuable item in the safe. Thank goodness the toilet paper is kept in the pantry….”

The following letter was written by the Board President and is endorsed by the UUCE Board.

Dear Members and Friends of UUCE,

Many of us were present at last Sunday’s town hall meeting, where we heard about the state of the building project and plans for the move to our new home. Near the close of that meeting, Ed Zack called on all of us to be flexible in the weeks and months ahead, because this building project will not be finished on the day we move in, and it is possible, even likely, that things will not go exactly according to plan.

The very title of the building project blog, 400 days, and the fact that by the time we do move in we will be well over day 600 demonstrates that we have indeed been extremely flexible and understanding of the unexpected twists and turns that have accompanied us along the path to our new home. This flexibility and our generosity have been further demonstrated by our giving many hundreds of thousands of dollars more than a professional consultant thought we could expect to raise, and by our continued enthusiastic support of the project, despite the significant changes to the amount of money and effort we thought would be required when we began.

I appeal to each of us to extend that same spirit of generosity and flexibility to other areas of church life. I have heard from those who are upset about the experimental 10:00 service or about the way that the request for a quieter sanctuary was made. I understand that there are people who are upset at what they perceive as a top down or autocratic direction of our church.

When Rev. Forsey was hired, it was with the understanding that she would be serving her second year with us in our new home, where there would be just one service, and where she would be able to really do the necessary work of interim ministry, which would be extremely difficult to focus on while the church’s energies were concentrated on a huge building project. Everyone, including our Minister, understood that things might come up that would cause us to miss the goal of being in the new building by the start of her second year with us. When it became clear that this was the case, Rev. Forsey was flexible and continued with the 2 service schedule. When it became obvious that the move would be seriously delayed, she demonstrated flexibility and worked with staff to try something different that would appeal to younger people and those with kids, or those who specifically wanted a multi-generational service. This change also made it possible to try some small group forums for adults who wanted to engage in discussion of specific spiritual topics.

The Minister was trying to make the best of a less than ideal situation and was demonstrating flexibility and generosity of spirit with these actions. The services were discussed in two newsletter columns. The forums were talked about in the newsletter and e-bulletin. When feedback from congregants indicated that the wording of her initial request for quiet in the sanctuary was not understood as she had intended, Rev. Forsey made it clear that she was not asking for absolute silence prior to the start of the worship service.

These are not the actions of an autocrat. They are the actions of a caring and generous Minister.

Let us remember our mission: Empowered by love, we transform ourselves and serve our world.” And let us extend the spirit of understanding, flexibility and generosity to all aspects of church life.

Thank you.


Mary Otten, President, UUCE Board of Trustees

DAY #584

20 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician
4 Contract Floor Finishers
1 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Glass Technician
1 Floor Polisher Sales Rep
6 Visitors
1 UPS Delivery of Lighting pieces
1 Glu Lam delivery
12 for Chinese Dinner

As it turned out, all the toilets, urinals and sinks were installed yesterday except for the unisex accessible restroom. The tiling crew grouted all of the men’s east restroom. The carpenters finished tweaking around doors and windows on the east entrance. The Veneta Groovers worked on the social hall floor and all the wiring is done in the Sanctuary loop system. That large rectangular ditch down the middle of the Sanctuary was patched.

FREE TO A GOOD HOME – or several good homes – 8 large wood spools that used to contain all the cable for the underground electric service. They had made their way to the dumpster, but were hauled out. If you would like one for a backyard table, come by and pick it up. After a short period, they will be offered to the public for free.

FOR SALE: To the first person to make an offer – the aluminum boat and trailer parked in the east parking lot. It does not require a title if you use oars or a small motor. All proceeds go to the Capital Campaign. It’s a great little boat that was donated by Carpenter Steve.

SATURDAY – TOMORROW is a work day – we can use help cleaning the attic – dusting, vacuuming, and general cleaning. Crawling in the attic is a “higher purpose.” Come on down…. A special, authentic Australian boomerang key ring, with images of koala, crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo and other animals is going to be hidden in the attic tomorrow. There will be a special prize to the person who can find it. The idea is to lure a few extra volunteers up there to work cleaning while trying to find it. Oh, and did I mention that it is about 2-1/2 inches or 80 centimeters in length.

There was grinding in the Chapel, floor imperfections were patched, and the IT Team began stringing the low voltage wires for phone and internet. There was a small wager on Sunday about how long it would take for the urinals to disappear – the bet was paid off today with a very large container of Ninkasi.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. A half gallon jar of homemade cookies was dropped off, but when the lid came off they evaporated….Volunteers helped throw stuff out, do recycling, and found tools in the storage room that had been lost for months!

At dinner tonight there was a discussion about the many kinds of “mud” we had used during the past 584 days. Enough to put a one inch layer in an olympic sized swimming pool? At least that much. One of our favorite 400 Days readers sent me a “word of the day” — pug. It is both a verb and a noun – The verb best describes things at the BUUB – “To knead clay with water; to fill with clay or mortar; to make soundproof by packing with clay, sawdust, or mortar; and to track by following footprints.”

Next Thursday, there will be a three-peat salvage run to the Peace Health Clinic, with an invitation only crew. Specific skills will be needed, plus a transportation crew. You can apply to participate.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “You are looking awfully clean…..That’s because I wasn’t here today.”

“I saw my first igloo since January 25, 1969 near the BUUB – it had a clerestory and was temperature controlled with CO2 sensors.”

“You have no idea how many times I have swept the floors. It reminds me of the boards I moved so many times months ago that I started to recognize them and gave them names. I haven’t given any of the dirt names yet.”

DAY #583

14 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Electrician, 1 Owner
2 Floor Polisher Sales Reps
2 Contract Sheetrockers
4 Contract Floor Finishers
3 Contract Plumbers
1 Glass Company Rep
1 Construction Consultant
1 Floor Stain Painter

23mar_urinals_installed-tOh joy – 1 toilet, 2 urinals, and 2 ceramic sinks were installed in the men’s northwest restroom (see photo right). Because we are using those beautiful free ceramic sinks which are super heavy, holes had to be cut in the wall of Room 3 to install anchors behind the new tile wall. Thank you Susanne Giordano for photographing what is in all the walls – the holes could be cut with confidence! (Susanne says: Mark’s idea!!)

The tilers got all the grout in the floor and walls of the women’s east restroom – and there is definitely a wow factor going on there. I still don’t know how that crew can spend hours and hours on their knees. The crew chief swears he has no calluses on his knees.

There was major cleanup going on. The “dog house” (temporary plywood room) on the northside near the kitchen door was cleaned out. Spare tools and materials were removed — and if you have loaned tools to the BUUB, now is the time to start taking them home. Some are stored just inside the kitchen north door. A sidewalk giveaway was established, with some of the old gently used furniture from the Scottish Rite, and most had disappeared (just like the urinals) soon after they were moved out to the curb.

NEEDED: People who can help with cleaning. It helps if you can climb up the pull down stairs and spend an hour or all day with a vacuum in the attic. We are putting up some donated shelving and will be moving long term storage items up there but it has to be cleaned first.

We are almost done with the floor grinding, which means the level of dust and grit and grime will be greatly reduced, and when we get areas cleaned they will stay pretty clean. The first two floors were stained – in the administrative office and copy room. Check them out. Fans were running this afternoon to help them dry out – as you can imagine, getting things dry in a cold damp building is no easy task. A great amount of stuff was moved today – and the rolling carts holding tools were moved into the hallway east of the old boiler room. You will be hearing a lot about cleaning – day after day.

The Veneta Groovers have finished the Sanctuary floor and are working on the Social Hall! Several “intersections” are being refined prior to installing the loop wire. The Patchcrete arrived. We still need two more bags of grout for the restrooms and El Viejo is determined to find more #185 in the Eugene/Springfield area. Hall closets have door jambs and sheetrock trim is in place.

Folks – “it is show time!”  The glass company representative was making measurement refinements for the clear story on the south entrance and the frames for the vestibule for the east entrance. Our construction consultant was at the BUUB last night at 8 PM draining the clogged roof drains. The roof is so well insulated, that the snow and ice chunks didn’t melt and the water backed up. What a guy!

To all those who wrote to tell me I was full of prunes regarding my report about historic snow levels in Eugene, I got the message. I guess I should be flattered that you read everything so closely, but keep in mind I have only lived in Eugene six years, and I was reporting what I heard on the evening news. Don’t take anything you read here as gospel. It is not intended to be the great American novel. Encouragement rather than criticism is usually more helpful.

Tomorrow: Chinese Dinner at 5:30 PM at the Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th Avenue.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “I believe I am sorting the socket sets at the seashore.” (Say that fast three times….) The sockets were USA system, Imperial system, and metric; some were blue, some brown, and some had their numbers painted over, so it was a big challenge.

“I hope we get a better grade of toilet paper when we convert to the new dispensers.” (That will be an Imperial system for sure….)

DAY #582

4 Volunteers (as of Noon)
1 Contract Carpenter

Thanks to Myles Knebel and Jake Walsh for going up on the roof and making sure the skylights at the BUUB were secure, despite 6-7 inches of snow overnight! I worried about those skylights from the minute I woke up, but was afraid to call to find out if they withstood the snow – for fear they had all caved in and the floors were covered with snow. I heard on the news that a large tree was down at 12th and Chambers causing a power outage – but everything was under control when I had an update at noon.

(Photo right: “Take me to your leader”)22mar_myles_drill-t


One person I talked to had a vehicle with 450 pounds of #185 grout, and as a result got high centered on snow and took a little side trip into a ditch, so rather than showing at the BUUB by the normal 8 AM, did not make it until after noon. The company that was due to deliver the patch concrete called to say they had no power and no workers, so would not be delivering anything today.

One of our carpenters had a tree land on his house and he was not able to get in today. Our construction consultant lives on a steep hill and was also not there at last report. Here at home we had two good sized trees fall over – one across our fence and the other resting on the side of the house, but not doing any damage. Our electrical service is all underground, so no flickering lights. Sanipac never did make it to our neighborhood today.

Food service was canceled at the BUUB – but guess what? The Veneta Groovers were on the job, grooving away in the Sanctuary. I think they must have slept there overnight!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Anyone clever enough to get to the buub today should also be sufficiently smart to feed him/herself from whatever can be found there. I’ve told today’s Dancer to stay home. Hope you are snugly ensconced in your respective rugs..”

As reported on the local news, this is the most snow Eugene has had since 1951. The Aesthetics and Logistics Task Force did not meet tonight due to the weather.

DAY #581

15 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
2 Contract Floor Finishers
3 Contract Sheetrockers
2 Contract Electricians
1 Construction Consultant

Congratulations to the tile crew (Photo right) – the last tile was laid in the women’s east restroom, and that means the only tiling left to do is the accessible restroom. The east restrooms are ready for grout – and wouldn’t you know there is a shortage in Eugene of Grout #185, so our Chief Quartermaster was on the hunt after the BUUB closed for the day. There have been questions about the new toilets – they are called “pressure assisted” or “air assisted.” They have a compressed air chamber that does not require electricity, but the general idea is that the air helps force the water through the system, means fewer clogged toilets, and less water use. (Of course I might be full of baloney, so each reader should do their own research if they have questions.)22mar_tilework-t

Ideal Tile Cutting Environment

















Remember the story from Sunday about the disappearing urinals? I said they were gone after 45 minutes. Turns out one of our church members wanted them to use as “yard shrines.” She went by the BUUB just 15 minutes after they were put on the curb — and they were already gone!

The floor in the Chapel received a grind and tape created a barricade to keep foot traffic out. The Veneta Groovers were working on the intersections for the loop wire system in the Sanctuary and a photo was taken of a gizmo that is a yellow mouse to help locate wire. Modern technology, no doubt. (Photos right & below: Bob with the mouse)








Tomorrow we will get a shipment of “Patch-Crete,” which means we can continue patching floor cracks, etc. The sheetrockers continued refinements around the doorways.

Volunteers were vacuuming the grooves in the tile prior to installing grout. Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. I just realized I forgot to mention what happened on Monday as well. It happens every day! Those Break Room Dancers are great – they practically compete to sign up to supply lunch, snacks or beverages. And, just think, they too have been at it for 581 days.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: Overheard while collecting my daily report. These are the rules we are operating under:

Rule #1 – We have six weeks left before we move. Time is precious. Sanity is precious.

Rule #2 – Lack of focus on the big picture of this project will mean a loss of time and encourage insanity. We have all got to see the big picture.

Rule #3 – Finding a reason why something cannot be done is not acceptable. Get it done!

Rule #4 – This is not the time to be looking for perfect solutions. Very good solutions are in play. Don’t be paralyzed by details – Get it done! We will be changing things after we move in and refine the building. It is not a finished product.

Rule #5 – Everyone is excited. Everyone is tired. We have been slogging along for a very long time. Everyone needs to take the attitude of The Doorman, Eric Swegles. After working almost daily for over a year refinishing doors, sanding, puttying, sanding, painting, etc., all the old doors from the Scottish Rite, he was called into the Project Office and told we would not be using all those doors because we were getting newer doors, complete with hardware, from Peace Health. Eric gallantly accepted this fate, even cheerfully. He showed that little inconveniences and issues don’t amount to a hill of beans. He was able to focus on the big picture — which is Get it done!

Additional Quotes of the Day: “Hurry Up…Take Your Time….Get ‘er Done!”

DAY #580

17 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
2 Contract Electricians
3 EWEB Electricians
2 Contract Floor Finishers
3 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Contract Fire Suppression Installer
1 Construction Consultant
1 Electrical Inspector
9 Attend BPOC Meeting

I wonder how on earth there was enough food to feed such a gang of workers? And can you believe we are at day 580? Not many people filled in the blanks about what they were doing, except there was “move stuff” and “sweep”.

The sheetrockers were making adjustments to the doorways and some kind soul put a real door with a real handle and lock on the restroom! No more wire closure and peek-a-boo through the hole in the door. All but two of Rooms 1-7 have had the final grind. Rooms 1 and 2 will have a portion of the floor carpeted for babies and toddlers.

WE HAVE FULL ELECTRIC POWER — We have been inspected — we passed — we are juiced up! You could feel the improved mood by everyone, happy to have full lights and plenty of power for every power tool they wanted to use. We were able to experiment with the on-loan new floor sweeper.

The trim went up in the women’s east restroom – they must be about done. Speaking of restrooms – the toilets have been ordered and the plumbers will be installing them this week – perhaps beginning as early as tomorrow afternoon. They are “air charged” — I won’t go into an explanation, but you can google them to get the details. State of the art. Sinks will go in this week as well.

marking for trim tile

The Veneta Groovers continued their work in the Sanctuary. By the time they are done with the loop system for the entire building, they will have strung over a mile of wire….. Jane Ganter sent a nice New York Times article explaining the loop system that you might be interested in reading:


Casseroles and tootsie rolls and jelly rolls, oh my.
There’s goulash too (that’s posh it’s true) and maybe pigeon pie.
Gummy bears and sugared pears and Oreos galore…
You can’t begin to guess the goodies that you’ll score.
Lucky diners find cuisine
from down-home to exotic,
so the combinations often seem
deliciously quixotic.
With hearty bean soup and homemade bread
you’ll feel healthy and well-fed.
Then top it off with cafe au lait
and chocolate biscotti.
Now that’s a dessert you’ll surely say
is fit for the glitterati.
Fancy nuts and chips and dip
And all manner of drinks to sip–
apple juice, nectar, sangria and mead;
just what a thirsty BUUBer might need.
Well, maybe I’m getting fantastical here,
but I want you to sit up and notice and cheer.
Hurrah for Marina and her bevy of cooks
who are faithful and generous and tops in our books!

— by The Doyenne of Doggerel.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “Don’t ask questions….just keep clapping.”

“The only time UUs get on their knees is to fix something.”

DAY #579

114 Attend Town Hall Meeting
5 BPOC Members
4 Aesthetic and Logistics Task Force Members
1 Construction Consultant

There was no activity at the BUUB as far as I know, but there was a one hour Town Hall meeting following the Sunday service at 40th & Donald. Before I forget, I had a correction sent related to my post yesterday about HVAC Controls. I said it was c2o…..Thanks to Bob Kaeser for supplying the right information: “It’s CO2. C is the chemical symbol for Carbon and O is the chemical symbol for Oxygen and the molecule of carbon dioxide is made of one carbon and two oxygens.”

Here are my notes from today’s Town Hall.

Dave DeCou, chair of the Building Project Oversight Committee (BPOC) gave a general overview -How is the project going? Like the Energizer Bunny….It’s going! After move in, BPOC will continue, but our role will change. There is a list of priorities and, working with the Board of Trustees, we will determine what to do first. BPOC is now under the control of the congregation, but that will change so BPOC will be under the Board. All construction projects require some juggling and this project is no exception – for instance, we never planned to strip the Peace Health clinic of wonderful furnishings. But the opportunity came and we took advantage of it.

As of last Thursday, the amount of money needed to get to occupancy was $55,679.69. Compared to the $1,756,395 already received from our generous congregation, we hope the additional money will come in prior to April 15. All of the donated goodies are wonderful – most are not needed for occupancy, but most were on our “post occupancy” list, and having them allows us to be ahead of the curve rather than having to sort of “camp out.” We expect to get the temporary occupancy permit within the next two months and then we have to get everything else finished to get the Certificate of Occupancy within 180 days.

We plan to move after May 13 – with the plan to have the farewell service May 13 and take the next two weeks to move into the BUUB and completely out of 40th & Donald. Then we will be ready to have the first service in our new church home on May 27. The staff planned the farewell service on May 27. Stay tuned.

Jake Walsh, as Project Liaison, spoke to “What does occupancy mean?” He thinks of it as the “Miracle on 13th Street.” Just like when a woman is pregnant – there is a gestation period. We are still there, waiting for the baby. The primary focus for occupancy relates to fire, health, and public safety. All of our preliminary inspections have gone well. All inspectors take their job seriously, so we never know for sure that permits will be issued or if some small adjustment will have to be made. Jake commented on how he had called Mark Doonan the Tasmanian Devil, but the way Mark is overseeing this job makes the Tasmanian Devil look slow by comparison. The permit does not require comfort.

Jake commented on the swirling events over the past two weeks at the Clinic, involving 61 volunteers one day and 40 a second day with arrangements for people, trucks, VooDoo donuts, coffee, pizza and storage units. The whole project involves sequencing and with close to 20,000 square feet of floors to finish with five grinds and polishing you can imagine the amount of dust generated. It is like we are practicing archeology, and there will be no hidden floors or beams when we are done.

We will have the glass for the north and east entrances soon, and the south a little later. The skylights are being fabricated. We expect the small ones within the next three weeks and the big ones a little later. Before we can put up the acoustical material on the ceilings of sanctuary and social hall and before we can turn on the HVAC system, we will have extensive cleaning to do. The kitchen will be a serving kitchen rather than a cooking kitchen. We will get a new hood for the stove to meet code for fire suppression and ventilation.

A major milestone is the installation of the new electrical service which will be switched from overhead wires to being buried underground. EWEB will flip the switch tomorrow. When we move in, the baby will be born, but it will still require a lot of care. The temporary occupancy makes it legal for us to move, but the City has to see that things work and that we agree to do everything for the Certificate or “final” permit. Things that must be done for temporary: HVAC able to run; all restrooms and plumbing working, electricity and lighting, and fire suppression.

Wanda Kuenzli, as Chair of the Aesthetics and Logistics Task Force commented: “in two months we are moving” (applause, applause). She introduced the members of the Task Force: Barbara Greenley, Elaine Erwin, Linda Meyer, Betty Hosokowa, and Audrey Maslin. Ed Zack and Judie Hansen attend all meetings. She thanked Audrey Maslin for writing the protocol that will be used for the move itself. All members of the task force have needed creative thinking, persistence, and a tolerance for ambiguity. It has been hard on everyone in the congregation because of the uncertainty of when we will actually move. Soon we will begin packing, so we will pack, move, unpack, sort, put away and store. For the short term, things left over will go in the Chapel. Ed Zack will oversee the actual move. Program areas of our organization will pack their own stuff. The move will be sequenced – administrative offices first, then everything else. Some will be sold in a garage sale, some will be rubbish. And when we are out of 40th & Donald we will need a crew of volunteers to help make it clean and tidy for the Buddhists.

The Task Force has talked to Rev.Forsey on “what is sacred space?” We all know that we are crowded in our present location, but when we move we have more room and it will be our new spiritual home. The plan is to leave it clean and bare until we have been there for a while. We have been working with an interior designer and talked of the possibilities. Our style is sort of “Northwest Scandinavian Soft.” Our main challenge will be working to scale – we have miles of hallways, so putting up one painting, etc., would get lost. We have many creative and gifted members who will be given an opportunity to offer suggestions to the A&L Task Force. Wanda’s contact information is in the directory and she wants to hear from you.

QUESTIONS ASKED: Is there any thought for a screen to project images? Yes, there is a camera connection and plans for a screen, but they are not an immediate priority.

Celebration Sunday is planned for April 29, will it still be at the BUUB? Yes

When will the children’s playground be ready? Not one of the first things, but as soon as outside construction is done, it will begin. It will be mostly a volunteer effort.

Is there a list of all the things that need to be done to “finish” after occupancy? Original list amounted to $350,000, but it is much smaller since we got approximately $100,000 in furnishings from the Clinic.

The Board elections are scheduled for May 20, but DeCou’s schedule shows no service that day, when will they be held? Mary Otten stated the elections will have to be moved. Everything is a moving target.

What kind of image does the Sanctuary look like with the temporary occupancy permit?

One feature wall – perhaps a different color

Chairs arranged as they are likely to stay

Office up and operational

Meeting rooms set up

Religious Education operational

Social Hall set up for after services, etc.

We will not be in an empty building. It will feel like home.

Ed Zack spoke in no official position. Wanted everyone to know there is no finality in the process. By September we will have an almost done church. Everyone has to be flexible. This is an enormous job and we have taken on a scale of job larger than any UU congregation. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to get the Clinic furnishings. The building is what it is – there will be cracks in the floors, but we have a state of the art loop system for hearing assistance. Everyone will have to help get the job done. Our present space is too crowded, but the new space will make many more things happen.

One person was concerned about only having a serving kitchen. Judy Sawyer, the Volunteer Rental Administrator commented that First Church in Portland has only a serving kitchen. Most caterers use only serving kitchens, even for large events. The codes are very strict for a cooking kitchen, and would require a large outpouring of money to meet code. We have already been approached by people wanting to rent the space.

The meeting adjourned at 1:30 PM.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Mark said, “get rid of those urinals.” — “We tried selling them on Craig’s list, we offered them to congregants as yard art with no luck. Yesterday I put them in my car and hauled them to BRING – they wouldn’t take them. So today I put them on the curb at the BUUB with a sign that said free. Then I went to lunch with friends, who made wagers on how long it would take for someone to haul them away. I went back 45 minutes later — urinals, sign saying free, and my rope to hold the sign were gone!”



DAY #578

7 Volunteers
46 Attend Open House


It helps for even someone like me who is at the BUUB every day to go along and listen while a tour of the building is going on. I learn all kinds of new things. For instance, I hadn’t noticed that many of the doors we got from the Peace Health Clinic already have nice kick plates along the bottom and they came complete with all the hardware, and the ones being used in Rooms 1-7 also have a glass panel. The modification to the doorways was necessary because when we planned to use the old doors that were so carefully restored, we were going to use traditional wood door jambs. But the new doors have clamshell style metal jambs. If you visit the BUUB in the near future, you will notice the patching in the sheetrock around the doors.

All of the building will be on zoned heat and cool. There are three major zones, but then Rooms 1-7 and the offices have individual zones with some of the rooms paired. And the controls are so darned smart they know how to keep a consistent and basic temperature. The controls can read the amount of c2o in each space — so if there are ten people in a room the control knows how much fresh air or heat is needed and then if another 2-3 or 20 people come into the room, the controls respond to what is needed to maintain the proper ventilation, etc. Isn’t that cool? (no pun intended)

Everyone was impressed to see how nice all the floors look already with only three grinds. A kind volunteer sprayed water on the sanctuary floor to show what it will look like when polished – and all the aggregate in the concrete is visible. A WOW factor to be sure. The Veneta Groovers were working in the sanctuary using generator power this afternoon. Volunteers from a SGM were crawling around in the attic over the NE storage rooms, did a tremendous amount of cleaning (including the one working restroom), and put emergency flagging around the excavations.

Visitors were shown the recess where we will have two accessible stainless steel drinking fountains in the south hall. We were able to get three units from the Clinic. The third unit will be handy to use for spare parts in the future if something breaks down. To buy new, each unit would be $1500. You remember about a year ago we got a quote on buying additional chairs for the sanctuary at $80.00 each? Well, we won’t have to do that because we were able to get at least 200 chairs from the Clinic. Not only are they very comfortable, they are a little wider than what we have now, and they have arms. A savings of at least $16,000.

I’m sure you have noticed all the shrink wrapped bricks stacked near the south entrance driveway (that is closed off). Those will be used in various ways – one of which is planned for a pathway from the east entrance and across the parking lot to the outdoor wedding garden. During the tour, the glass door we got free from the Clinic for the interior of the south entrance was discussed. It is the exact size needed. About a week before we found it, we had priced a door for that entrance….$6,700!

We have two new machines in the building – two different companies are competing to sell us a high tech floor cleaner — and the machines are on loan as we try them out. They range in price from $2,500 to $4,500. They are sort of a glorified combination wet mop and dry vacuum, and will allow us to clean all the floors in the building in three hours. You can recognize them if you look quick. They are the only things in the building not covered with dirt and grit!

TOMORROW: 12:30 PM – Town Hall Meeting for an update on the new building, etc., etc., etc., held at 40th & Donald.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “The HVAC controls are simple high tech that border on magic.”

“It will be easier to isolate noise in this building.”

“Wow – I can’t believe how big this place is. This is really something.”

“I haven’t been here for a few weeks and it looks so different with doors on the rooms.”

“The way all of the salvaged materials are working out so perfectly – the numbers are beyond coincidence.”

DAY #577

19 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
5 Contract Electricians
2 Contract Sheetrockers
4 Contract Door Installers
2 HVAC Technicians
1 Glass Company Technician
1 Construction Consultant
1 BPOC Chair
1 Electrical Inspector
14 for Chinese Dinner

About half of the interior doors were hung, and 70% of the doorways have been modified. The main focus was to get the door jambs installed, then as necessary for floor finishing, the doors will be temporarily removed. Sure looks terrific having all those doors up! Rooms 1 through 7, plus copy room, and the little tots’ restroom entrances have doors.

The floor grooving in the Sanctuary was being done with generator power. Only about ten feet of tile trim is left to install in the east women’s restroom. The tiling crew was on the job all day. The glass company representative was doing the final measurements for the south entrance and the carpenters framed in the supports for the glass with pressured treated lumber. Some of the wheeled door carts made for the move of materials from the Clinic last Monday were decommissioned. The last of the insulation was installed in the NE entrance to the Sanctuary.

The electrical inspector made a visit and approved the system except for one item to be rechecked on Monday. On Monday morning EWEB will turn on the new underground main line. There were two places where new controls for the HVAC had been covered with sheetrock, but as luck would have it, there were “hatches” in the restroom ceilings allowing adequate access for the inspector. And speaking of access, a trusty volunteer managed to feed thick cable to the audio visual room by crawling in a tight space to snake the cable through framing and ducting.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. One volunteer worked at reorganization and recycling most of the day. There was major cleanup throughout the building. Thanks to the fine work by the Cabinet Caravan yesterday, we are now down to five storage units instead of six.

Last night I had a request from a reader to say what BUUB stood for – It’s Beautiful Unitarian Universalist Building – and for those of you who have questions about terms of endearment used in this blog from time to time, there is a glossary of terms on the church website. They are listed below all of the monthly listings of 400 Days. I was reading the glossary last night to see what all was there, and realized that a lot of the things listed no longer exist. For instance, Walden Pond has disappeared now that the Sanctuary floor has had several grinds. We were joking at dinner that it just disappeared — probably due to climate change from global warming……

Tomorrow – Open House at the BUUB from 10 AM to 2 PM – Our construction consultant has advised that with the generator, we are able to turn on lights after all. Come on down and check things out so you can have a point of reference when we discuss the building on Sunday at the Town Hall meeting after church at 40th & Donald at 12:30 PM.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: Three people got the same fortune cookie: “The star of riches will shine on you next month!” — Good news. We hope this means the last $55,680 to finish work for occupancy will come rolling in.

Contact with the PNW Chalice Lighter coordinator indicates the latest call brought in approximately $20,000 for our building fund. Our grant application asked for $38,000 to fund a movable stage and accessible lift. Even though we will not get full funding, the coordinator said the average donation and amount raised was the highest since the recession began. We won’t get the check or have the final figure for at least another three weeks, as they have to be sure checks and charges clear, plus the district takes 1% for administrative costs. Thank you to all of you who have signed up as Chalice Lighters.

Another fortune cookie: “The wise thing to do is to prepare for the unexpected.” We have sure been doing that since day one….

“There is a wedding planned in May, and they would like to have it at the BUUB….perhaps we can combine it with a work party.”

“It’s a miracle, and it keeps on happening.”

DAY #576

14 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
5 Contract Electricians
5 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Construction Consultant

CLARIFICATION: The VooDoo donuts at the BUUB were not four days old! They had been brought in on Wednesday. I forgot to check today to see if there were any left. Since EWEB shut off the electricity, the kitchen was darker than the inside of a cow this morning. When I went back this afternoon, some temporary lighting had been added over the sink so dishes could be washed, and there was hot water (the hot water heater for the kitchen is gas). Unfortunately, there was no power to the coffee maker.

The generator was running this afternoon, but lights were flickering and that was distracting. The five electricians were busy all day getting everything hooked up, but they expect it to take two more days.

The big news of the day was seeing DOORS on Rooms 1 – 7, and the copy room. It gives a whole new appearance to the halls. Modifications are being made to the doorways so the side windows will line up with the top of the doorways. Then the sheetrock will be patched and taped. This morning almost all of the professional crew was installing doors. Last Monday, six of the new doors had to be left behind at the Clinic, so we will be going back to retrieve them.

The other big news of the day was the amazing crew that showed up with pickup trucks and a flat bed trailer and made five trips to the storage units to bring cabinets to the BUUB. In order to give a sufficient base to drive the trucks up to the west side storage area, a crew with shovels and wheelbarrows moved gravel to cover the mud and created the “West Beltline,” to accommodate the cabinet caravan. Thanks to everyone who helped with this project. In case you didn’t go outside or live in another state, there was torrential rain all afternoon. No leaks in the roof!

Food was delivered HOT, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. One volunteer did an inventory of lighting fixtures and measured the corridors to match up the design. Because there was no power to run the tile cutting saw, no additional work was done on the tile in the women’s east restroom.

REMINDER: There is Chinese dinner tomorrow at the Fortune Inn, 1775 West 6th Avenue at 5:30 PM.

Open House at the BUUB – Saturday – 10 AM to 2 PM – come see progress on the floors, the doors, grooving, and beautiful tile.

Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the Building Project Oversight Committee following the 11 AM service Sunday, March 18 – 12:30 PM at our 40th Avenue church. Learn how the BUUB remodel is progressing, what is still needed, how we will organize ourselves for the move, what to expect as we move in, our best guess as to the move in date, and of course questions!

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “You have to watch out for Steve – he will hit you with a door!”

“I’m so glad the water heater is working….washing dishes with cold water is really hard on my hands.”

DAY #575

15 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
2 Contract Electricians
2 HVAC Technicians
4 Contract Floor finishers
2 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Construction Consultant
1 Visitor

The first door was installed in Room 6, along with a side window. The door says “Staff Only” – don’t let that fool you. Those words will be removed! Thank goodness for rolled carts….all of our precious solid wood doors that were stored on the east Ponderosa porch, were wheeled inside out of harm’s way and wet weather. It was interesting to see the large doorway on the northeast corner opened up. It has been covered with plywood for security.

The sheetrockers worked further on taping the walls, etc., of the northeast addition storage rooms and it was the one corner of the building that felt warm. Every place else was breezy and cold. The floor finishing team worked in the south corridor and had assistance from volunteers who scrubbed, swept, and vacuumed right along with them.

The last of the trim on tile was being installed in the women’s east restroom, and all of the tiling is done in the men’s east restroom. When the trim is finished, it will be time for grout. In order to keep our heads on straight, and make it easier to tell what’s up, sinks were carried into the restrooms and are stored on the floor of the ones that have been grouted and sealed. Smashing a large toe has not slowed down one of our star tilers, but I will say she resembles a Martian with ear protectors over her knit hat. Very fetching.15mar_sarah-t
Notes from the Sign-In Sheet: Janitorial…..Recycling…..Food……Tile……

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. The Veneta Groovers began the cuts in the sanctuary floor. There was considerable financial paperwork in preparation for handing off to the bookkeeper tomorrow.

CABINET CARAVAN — Begins at 7:30 AM (not 7 AM) – Please meet at the BUUB – People and Trucks needed to move cabinets from Downtown Mini Storage to the BUUB. We have to go together because there is a locked gate. It may not be an added enticement, but there are four-day old VooDoo donuts in the kitchen…and there will be hot coffee. We can use people throughout the day, so we will welcome help all day up until 5 PM.

NEEDED: Just like the Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free….” In this case we need SOFT RAGS as we grout and seal tile and refinish doors, etc. Flannel sheets, towels, old tee shirts, etc., work great.

And we also need — not so tired and not worn out – tea towels for the kitchen. Of course if they are too worn out we will use them for rags!

A load of assorted metal was taken to Schnitzer yesterday and sold – we received $395.85 for the BUUB building fund. Also, we have made $45.00 for the sale of Ed Hansen watercolors. They are still on display in the Library at 40th & Donald – you set the price, and all money goes to the building fund.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: Written on the sign in sheet by the person who swept, scrubbed and vacuumed the south hallway: “If anyone walks in the front door with muddy feet, they will have to answer to me!”

When I told a groover there was no turning back now that the first cuts have been made in the sanctuary, the response was: “We could walk out and let someone else do it!”

The final inspirational, stirring, speech to the troops before the battle starts…








DAY #574

18 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
3 Contract Electricians
4 Contract Floor Finishers/Sheetrockers
2 HVAC Technicians
1 Construction Consultant

The floor finishing crew did the 3rd grind for the entire corridor around the chapel, and also did the chapel. Simultaneously, they taped all of the sheetrock that was installed last week in the northeast storage rooms. Perimeter grinding was done on hands and knees. While the grinding machines were running, some of our newly trained volunteers were sweeping and washing the floor. The cleanup team is very important.

Volunteers and crew climbed up on the roof to rescue a wood frame that blew off of the main skylight in the sanctuary. It’s amazing with the high wind that we didn’t lose more and that none of the plastic covers were ripped to shreds.

T H U R S D A Y — 7 AM to 5 PM – We need people and pickup trucks and/or trailers to help move all of the cabinetry from storage units #5 and #6 to the BUUB. Show up when you can and we will be able to use you.

Today a lot of wood scraps that were deemed too small or otherwise unusable for our project were moved to the firewood box. Then additional supports (some high off the floor) were built to store wood and make room on the floor to store cabinetry salvaged yesterday from the Clinic. Several runs were made to Downtown Storage to move cabinets today. Work was begun trimming some of the counters to see how they will work in Rooms 1 through 7 and the office. You will be hearing about cabinets daily.

13mar_injured_toe-tI failed to report an injury to one of our volunteers yesterday. A heavy object fell on the big toe of her right foot. Thankfully, there was a doctor in the building to administer first aid…..and the doctor was the person with the smashed toe. In addition to being written up on the accident report board, a very large photo of her foot was posted on a kitchen cupboard! It looked painful.
(Photo right: Sarah dropped a table on her toe. Another entry for the wall of wounded warriors?)
These are interesting days – I found this quote and it reminded me of what I found at the BUUB this afternoon: “Hennik doesn’t seem to be in awe of any opponent. If I know Hitch, they’ll be ready. It’s a good test for us. I hope they throw the kitchen sink at us and that we’re able to respond to it.” Yesterday, our professional and volunteer crew met the test and were able to respond to it! In addition to a kitchen sink, they salvaged 12 stainless steel sinks. Yesterday the sinks were stored on the floor of the sanctuary – today they are almost airborne – stored high (see photo below).


Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: Last night, after 13 hours of work, the construction consultant took some of the younger members of the crew who said they were starving, for a buffet dinner. The young guys ate three plates of food, and at 8:30 PM one of them announced: “I have to leave – I am playing soccer at 9 PM.” (Everyone else collapsed at home with their feet up by 6 PM.) Ah youth…..

       “Live long and prosper.”

Tired, cold, wet, about 3:30 in the afternoon and Ed tells the troops that Mark wants all the cabinets moved to the BUB
Tired, cold, wet, about 3:30 in the afternoon and Ed tells the troops that Mark wants all the cabinets moved to the BUB
















(photos left & above: what’s left behind as door frames are removed and waiting for loading)




(Photo below: wall cabinets dismantled and loaded)







The 7am pep talk, Ed tells it like it is…..


DAY #57312mar_loading-t

7 Volunteers at the BUUB
Everyone from here down worked at the Peace Health Clinic doing Salvage
40 Volunteers
4 Contract Laborers
2 Contract Carpenters
2 Contract Plumbers
2 Contract Electricians
1 Construction Consultant

12mar_cab_trailer-tThe salvage operation went non-stop for 13 hours! The last door came down on STORAGE UNITS #5 and #6 at 7 PM! Husband Ed and I stopped by the Clinic just before noon and what a scene! A large yellow truck with loading lift ramp was accepting one cupboard unit after another. Each had been shrink wrapped and slapped with a label with a number, and all items were being carefully inventoried by Susanne Giordano. How she kept up with the parade of hundreds of pieces of torn out sinks with faucets, doors, cupboards, countertops, shelves, bookcases, etc., I don’t know. The scene inside the building defied description. Because the building will ultimately be leveled with a wrecking ball and bulldozer, the salvage operation did not have to be kept neat and tidy. There was broken plaster covering the floor and shaggy edges of sheetrock hanging loose everywhere.

Objective: Fit as many cabinets in trailer as possible
The crew went right to work with a minimum of instruction, and everything was done in a safe way. The Break Room Dancers and support crew supplied VooDoo donuts, coffee, juice, pizza, salad, homemade desserts and moral support. Back at the BUUB, the kitchen was cleaned and dishes washed.

Inventorying before shrinkwrapping, in the loading area


Dismantling countertops







For a glimpse of the magnitude of this endeavor, just drive by the east side of the building and see the stash of doors neatly stacked.

Jake does some delicate remodeling....
Jake does some delicate remodeling….
and the aftermath is…….







One day either this week or next, we need a crew to go back to the Clinic to help do a rough cleanup of all the debris left behind from the salvage operation. Watch this blog for an announcement of what day that will be.

Tomorrow it is back to work at the BUUB. In the past ten days, we have received over $100,000 in free furnishings. There are built-ins that will be used in every room. And we can still go back again to get items we left in the building. They needed us to quit for the day at the Clinic at 4 PM.

Human Interest Story: The truck rental company was so impressed after seeing so many people working last week that the owner went to the church website and read all about our 400 Day Voyage. When we went back today, he gave us a special price on each truck. And the magic goes on and on and on and on.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and helped! I usually try to expand on the daily report to fill the page. Tonight I am so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the effort that I am at a loss for words. We have the best volunteers in town!

Moving a door frame to the cart
Moving a door frame to the cart
Doorframes stacked & ready to move
Doorframes stacked & ready to move






Cabinets in the storage unit


DAY #572

1 El Viejo
1 Construction Consultant

PLEASE NOTE: If you are part of the team working at the Clinic tomorrow, could you please bring a coffee or other beverage cup? That will help the person bringing drinks for workers.

Today all activity at the BUUB involved making final arrangements for the Monday salvage operation, rounding up power tools, tape, plastic wrapping materials, and equipment. It will be a full day removing counters, cabinets, doors, carts, chairs, and all manner of things. Full report tomorrow.15mar_sarah2-t


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Are we going to have baby changing tables in the men’s restroom?”

“And when did you say we will be able to move in?”

“Our office received an invitation to an open house at the BUUB as potential renters on April 20, will it be ready by then?”

DAY #571

8 Volunteers
1 Construction Consultant
5 Contract Sheetrockers
1 Student Volunteer
6 RE Committee Members

Thanks to the seven people who came for Floor Finishing 101 and then stayed to work at sweeping and grinding. Some stacked wood. The sheetrock crew installed the 33 bales of insulation and sheetrock to the 1300 square foot northeast addition. The Veneta Groovers continued with the design and layout for the loop system in the Sanctuary floor. It is a complicated pattern, but will be very pretty when complete.

El Viejo made a trip to Jerry’s, did paperwork, and helped our construction consultant build four wheeled carts for holding and moving all the door units that will arrive on Monday. There were some special short wood strips cut to keep the door jambs from rubbing together and scratching the beautiful surface of the wood doors, etc. The carts are stored by the north entrance and will be ready to accept the doors on Monday. The crew goes to work at 7 AM Monday!

For a Saturday, the amount of activity and number of people there to work was awesome.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Set your clocks forward one hour when you go to bed….don’t be late for church and other events of the day.

DAY #570

15 Volunteers
2 Contract Carpenters
5 Contract Floor Finishers
3 Contract Electricians
5 Salvage Scavengers
1 Construction Consultant

Wow, zowie, zingie, whoopie, hot diggity, …… there are no words to adequately describe the experience of going on another salvage exploration expedition at an additional Peace Health building. Four rolls of fluorescent pink duct tape were used to tag counters, cabinets, chairs, bulletin boards, drapes, and especially 36″ solid wood doors and hardware. It reminded one participant of the Steve Martin movie, The Jerk, where he goes from being a millionaire to a pauper and has to choose what to take from his palatial mansion, and ends up choosing an ash tray and dryer lint! The quote of the morning was, “I think I will just take an ash tray.” After we go back on Monday, I will give a more detailed report. Tomorrow wheeled carts are being built so we have a place to store all the doors and move them around the building without damaging the doors. There were some additional big ticket items that we tagged, and will find out Monday if they are available.

Meanwhile, the BUUB was buzzing with activity. The restroom was washed and a trip to Sanderson Safety Supply found filters for our favorite respirators. This is especially good since we had been told the filters could not be purchased separately. Additional paper supplies were purchased. The tiling team installed more top trim and then several volunteers sealed the grout. Rooms 4 and 5 were swept, mopped, and swept again in preparation for the third grind. (For a great comparison of grinds, run your fingers across the floor in the chapel and then check out the floor in Room 4. The cleaning crew also washed and sanitized the grinder and it looks brand new.

All of the cupboards and other furnishings on the promenade were covered with plastic to protect them from the weather and possible pilferage. All of the flooring design elements in the south entry corridor were filled with quick set cement, and the hole in the floor in the minister’s office was leveled. There was considerable paperwork completed, including the down payment on the skylights. We discovered this week that despite all of our drawings for the electrical system being submitted in November to the firm we pay to handle the permits, they had not filed the application until March 5! This was discovered when the electrician went to the City to pick up the permit for EWEB installing power from the new transformer and eliminating the heavy overhead cable. We hope the permit will be available by next Thursday. EWEB wants to begin the switchover on Thursday and power will be turned off for three days. During that time we will use generators for power.

This means: When we have the open house on Saturday, March 17, we will not be serving food and only a few lights will be turned on. We hope you will all want to come and see the progress on the floors and check out the entries, beautiful tile work, grooving, and the new furnishings. We will have a sample of the “new” chairs, etc.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed.

Reminder: Tomorrow – the Floor Finishing 101 Tutorial at 10 AM at the BUUB.

The Veneta Groovers were laying out the grid for the Sanctuary floor. I gave incorrect news last night – they did not start the grooving yesterday.

When El Viejo went to pay for renting the two trucks used last Friday, the owner said he was impressed with all our volunteer effort and there was no charge for one truck!

The Hero of the Year Award goes to Eric Swegles, who for over a year patiently and tenderly worked tirelessly to refinish and restore the old doors from the Scottish Rite building. Giving up a portion of a finger, working in an unheated room colder than a meat locker or hotter than a steam room, he managed to turn old doors from a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Well, this week he learned that we will be getting solid oak doors with hardware and jambs from the Peace Health building and will not be using the doors he worked on. When told this shocking news, he was momentarily surprised, but then said he understood what a great opportunity it is to get these beautiful doors. Thank you Eric! By the way, the doors Eric worked on will not be trashed – they will be recycled to Habitat for Humanity or Bring Recycling.


“I’ll have an ashtray.”

“Our floors are transformed from construction grade concrete to terrazzo.”

“We are worse than the hoarders….we have gone mad.”

From another employee at the truck rental company: “Oh, you are the people remodeling that building on 13th? It’s beautiful.”

“We recently figured out our new 1900 sq. ft. home we think is so huge would fit into 1/2 of the BUUB sanctuary! wow!!”

DAY #569

14 Volunteers
3 Visitors
3 Contract Electricians
2 Contract Carpenters
5 Contract Floor Finishers
1 HVAC Supervisor
1 Construction Consultant
1 Restroom Partition Salesman

The east entry was opened up for some fresh air as one of the BPOC members went after the floor with a jackhammer, cutting holes in the concrete and making new open panels that will be filled in to make a smooth surface. This process was used in many places throughout the entire building. For those of you who saw the building when freshly purchased, it was divided into many, many, many small rooms and where those walls were anchored we have had to dig out the foundation and remove studs, nails, and other metal scraps. As you might imagine, had we not done this, the metal would have played havoc with the grinders. It was interesting to stand in the entryway and look north along the extensive porch we call the Ponderosa!

The tile trim was added to most of the walls in the east restrooms, and the framework for “privacy” panels was constructed. These restrooms have a common entry that opens into the corridor (a heavy traffic area outside the sanctuary), so to provide more privacy for those inside the restrooms when the outer door to the corridor opens, a panel is added. And speaking of restrooms, each of them have light valances. The work the electricians are doing is so subtle that when I visit the BUUB every day I fail to notice it. Then days later I ask “when did that go up?” and find out it was a week ago.

Speaking of taking a look. Normally we have a BUUB open house on the second Sunday of each month – but this month it is different because of the town hall meeting and conflicting schedules. Here is the drill:

BUUB OPEN HOUSE – Saturday, March 17 – 10 AM to 1 PM

TOWN HALL MEETING – Sunday, March 18 – 12:30 PM – at 40th & Donald

We still have openings for the Floor Finishing 101 Tutorial on Saturday, March 10 at 10 AM at the BUUB.

Half of the Veneta Groovers made three trips to Jerry’s to pick up what we hope will be the last bundles of insulation. We have 1300 square feet in the northeast corner storage rooms (future office space) to insulate. When he finished running back and forth, he and his partner did additional grooving in the Sanctuary.

Floor finishing continued in the Chapel and to keep the surface clean, the room was marked off with red danger tape. Quick set concrete was used to fill in all of the old wall panel furrows in the south entry. It turns out we had 12 people for the Floor Finishing Tutorial last night…thanks everyone.

Food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. Favorite words of the day were: sweeping, archeology, doors, partitions, and clean corners.

The return visit to the Clinic next week has been named: “The Great UU Snipe Hunt.” As mentioned earlier, volunteers are being contacted for their special skills. Some have applied for work! We will let you know if there are additional openings. Today there was measuring done in the kitchen and offices to take along as we mine for counters and cabinets. Building maps will be printed for each floor so we have things we want to get on Monday identified with dots on the map for easy retrieval.


“I’m not in charge of baby changing tables, I am in charge of grout.”

“You should have seen Ed Peara on his hands and knees sealing floor grout in the women’s restroom.”

“A good word at the BUUB is ‘frust’….the line of dust throughout the building.” (This was said quickly, I may have not caught it all.)

“One vendor billed us for $791.65 and we felt it unfair, so after a discussion, they accepted $498.00.”

One of the visitors, overheard on the way out….”Very impressive.”

DAY #568

18 Volunteers
5 Contract Floor Finishers
2 Contract Carpenters
4 Contract Electricians and 1 Owner
1 Drywall Delivery Team (3)
1 Construction Consultant
10 Attend Floor Finishing 101 Tutorial

The roofers finished their work yesterday afternoon on the south entry, and I forgot to mention that our Church Mutual representative came for a tour of the BUUB.

Today those who signed in just gave one or two word accounts of what they did – so that part of this report will be sparse. The handwriting I could read: Wash floors, floor clean, good morning, kitchen, recycling, tile, tile, jackhammer, respirators, and cleaning. In addition, food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned, and dishes washed. I heard there was more reorganization in the storage area and someone made a trip to the paper products supplier.

The electricians installed lights, the carpenters worked on soffits for lights, the Veneta Groovers finished installing wire in the Chapel and have started grooving the Sanctuary floor. The trim tile is going up in the east restrooms, and some very patient and diligent volunteer painted all of the grout in the women’s west restroom with silicone sealer. This is tedious because the painter has to be very careful not to paint the tile and stay within the lines of the grouting.

One of the things that has offered some intrigue is the circle of dots etched in the floor of the Chapel and whether it might be incorporated into the floor design with a chalice added. Don’t take this statement as gospel — it is just an interesting subject of conversation with various people trying to guess why it is there….a remnant from the Scottish Rite or Moose Lodge.

Okay, that was what happened today. Now let me tell you the Breaking News.….El Viejo had an extensive meeting with the Peace Health Clinic representative about whether there is an opportunity to go back for more surplus materials. We didn’t get all of the parts for the restroom partitions and there were items on floors last Friday that were not quite ready. We have been invited back for a leisurely look… not only at the four story building where we salvaged materials last week, but also in the low building just to the east. We were told there are additional upholstered chairs (good news), and that because the building is to be razed in May, we can remove more built-ins. Sooooooooo, a small group will go to the two buildings on Friday to tag things, and then we will have an 8-hour day next week to remove what we want. Because the salvage work requires specific skills, we are using licensed contractors and any extra volunteers are by invitation only because of their area of expertise. We anticipate being able to get items needed for occupancy and beyond. All the plans are being finalized as this is being written.


All related second hand – but this is how our terrific volunteer crew impressed the Peace Health staff: “I am aware that your church received a Trashbusters Award and we are excited about so much of the materials being recycled into another building.” “I was very impressed that you shared your coffee and donuts with everyone.” “There was nobody just standing around. I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff your volunteers hauled out of the building. Everything was so well organized and inventoried. And everybody was laughing and having such a good time.” “We enjoyed working with your crew.”

DAY #567

11 Volunteers
3 Contract Roofers
4 Contract Floor Finishers
2 Contract Carpenters
2 Contract Electricians
1 Construction Consultant

All of the restrooms are textured and painted (except for the unisex restroom). The roofers were buttoning up the south entry area so it will no longer leak when it rains. Hopefully that means our crew won’t have to spend every rainy day up there stopping leaks! It’s always interesting to watch Oregonians in foul weather – working in shorts and rain slickers in the snow!

The Veneta Groovers were back at it grooving the floor of the chapel – nice to see the 12-foot guide in use and the saw operational. The contract floor finishers began with grind #3 in Room One. The floor is as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and when the remains were swept up from the grind, there was about a quart of fine sand. Sweep, sweep, sweep!

We are getting ready to fill those wide “ditches” in the south entry, and then that area will get its first grind. There was general maintenance, food was delivered, the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed.

Needed: A clarification on last night’s post – we need a crew to do some work at two of the storage units containing an assortment of furnishings (not chairs!). Everything was meticulously inventoried and sorted as it left the clinic on Friday, but by the end of the day with the natural light fading, things were hastily added to two of the units. We are trying to get an adjacent unit so we can pull things in the front out and reorganize two units. We have two people who volunteered to look for needles in haystacks so far, but it would be helpful for someone with a truck (to transport a stepladder or furniture dolly) to help this crew. Please see Mark Doonan if you can help.

creative spectacle repair with rubberbands

Several people signed in today and wrote down comments, but it was in such a scrawl I couldn’t read the writing, and now it is too late at night for me to call and ask what they did. Use your imagination!

The homeless woman who slept in the east entry under plywood last year returned overnight and was sleeping among the new cabinets from the clinic. She was told that with this being a construction site that was probably not a good location because we were concerned about her safety.
Needed: We still need more people to sign up for the Floor Finishing Tutorial 101 – four people are available on Saturday morning at 10, but only two tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4 PM. Mark Doonan will be giving instructions with the hope of having people sign up for specific times on the white board. Even people who have operated the grinders or helped as the support team in the past are encouraged to attend. Mark needs people with experience to demonstrate what is needed. The following was sent to me last night after I sent out the first notice of this tutorial: those who have been washers, sweepers, squeegee pushers, slush dumpers, etc., are urged to come. That’s because everyone needs to understand the best way to do the work, and that has not always occurred. Mark and others will do a hands-on demo! So there you have it!


Scribe to worker: “Who’s winning?” Worker bending over grinder on his knees: “The machine….I’m still begging it for mercy.”

“We are happy to get the roof done — it will be good to have no more water in the south entry.”

DAY #566

13 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
1 Contract Painter
4 Contract Roofers
4 Contract Floor Finishers
3 Contract Electricians
1 Construction Consultant
7 Attend BPOC Meeting

Remember all that stuff we were able to obtain last Friday? All 1055 items? Well, now comes the task of sorting everything stored at the BUUB and four storage units. As you might imagine, when it was all hauled out of the building, we didn’t have time to sort it on the sidewalk depending on the priority for being able to access it. Some of our most prized finds are in the very back of storage and cannot be accessed until everything in front is moved out of the way.

NEEDED: Volunteers who enjoy looking for needles in haystacks to locate items that will be needed first. It requires attention to detail and possibly some strength to move bulky or heavy items.

The floor finishers worked on the administrative office and west rooms.

NEEDED: Volunteers to attend a Floor Finishing 101 Tutorial on either Wednesday (March 7) at 4 PM or Saturday, March 10 at 10 AM. We need to have an idea of how many people will attend each session. This will be an overview of the various aspects of floor finishing led by Construction Consultant, Mark Doonan. The information covered includes the duties of: grinders, washers, sweepers, squeegee teams, cord movers, slush dumpers, and floor preppers. The more grinds we do, the more important it is to keep the entire work space clean so the next grind doesn’t scratch the surface. Please email if you can attend one of these training sessions. They will last approximately one half hour.

Finishing the floors is the highest priority because we can’t do most of the remaining work until the floors are done. REMEMBER the “target” date for being done enough for a temporary occupancy permit is different than a “move in” date. Our target date has always been April 15, but the move in date could be as much as a month later. Right now we cannot write a move in date in ink!

volunteer tilers

The west restroom walls were painted and got some touch up texturing. Some roof carpentry was done so the south entrance could be finished. The tiling is almost complete, and some of it was cleaned and sealed. The conduit for the new electrical service is in and EWEB will switch over the service after the electricians do additional work. We have an extra motor for the grooving saw in order to have a spare. The original motor is taking a rest. Once it is repaired, grooving will be completed in the Chapel and then proceed to the social hall and sanctuary.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: There will be a TOWN HALL meeting hosted by the Building Project Oversight Committee following the 11 AM service on Sunday, March 18 at our 40th & Donald church building. Come hear about plans for our move to the new building, the definition of a temporary occupancy permit, an estimate of when we might actually be able to move, construction and furnishings update, and the interior design overview. This will be an opportunity to get a full report and ask questions.

Being quartermasters as you go about your volunteer work at the BUUB is very important. We need to keep the entire building picked up and as clean as possible to make sure there are no barriers or things to trip over. We want to be able to roll carts and stay injury free. Abandoned tools can be dangerous.

Despite getting all the wonderful furnishings, we still need to raise the additional funds to get us to occupancy. We will be utilizing everything we have in storage, but most of the items (except for the restroom partitions and the interior glass entrance door) are not needed for an occupancy permit.

Depending on the weather, framing in for the small skylights will begin this week.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: This was the opening words at tonight’s BPOC meeting: “Innovation. thinking about space in a new way and using new technologies in a creative manner. The notions of community and place, permanence and change, Landscape is something that changes over time and you have to allow for flexibility as you solve problems.”

Dismantling the IT racks
Dismantling the IT racks


DAY #565

2 Volunteers

Hopefully, everyone involved with the BUUB was home resting up from Friday. Husband Ed and I stopped by on our way home from Yachats this morning because I heard rumors of all the cupboards and stuff that were stored outside, and I had to see for myself. Ed Zack was already there doing paperwork before church. Today has been busy here at home, so I haven’t spent any time scrounging for news….except it was great fun hearing the enthusiasm at church of those who volunteered on Friday. Everyone wanted to see the inventory. The building we cleaned out had five levels and had so many twists and turns and rooms, that most volunteers concentrated on a small area and weren’t aware of what was happening on other floors, so they wanted to compare notes.

Luckily, Todd Woodward sent a nice report about the various goodies they were able to salvage. I am including it below:

“When the informal Tech Enablement Team submitted our IT Proposal and Strategy for the BUUB back in January, we knew that our costs were weighted on the high-side based on worst-case scenarios, new equipment prices and contingencies. However, we absolutely knew that there were potential savings to be had with bulk purchasing, reconditioned/used equipment, eBay, etc.

When Judy Sawyer asked me last Sunday and emailed me to help move furniture and “stuff” to the BUUB, I had zero clue what we were moving or where it was coming from. I didn’t even know where I was supposed to show up. So when I arrived at the BUUB Friday morning, Judie Hansen asked me why I was even there, and directed me to the PeaceHealth building.

After spending an hour lugging chairs, tables and whatever else needed to be moved, I bumped into Ruth Ross who said “Mark [Doonan] is looking for you.” When I finally found him, he whisked Chris LeBlanc and me away on a hunt for a room somewhere with racks and patch panels.

I believe Mark has a picture of this. (yes, it will be added to the webpage)

When we finally found the room, we were greeted by blue flowing rivers of Ethernet cables coming out of the ceiling into three gleaming floor-bolted aluminum equipment racks, with all the associated cable management panels and numerous Ortronics patch panels. Chris got all giddy as soon as he saw it, and was gone in a flash to track down the on-site PeaceHealth representative to nag, beg and plead with them to let us have the whole lot. After the Peace Health representative called their IT department to confirm, Chris reappeared in another flash, still giddy, with all the tools in his backpack to disassemble everything.

(Chris has time-and-time-again impressed me as someone who shows up at the right time with the right information and tools, and this was no exception. Chris had the advantage of being at the BUUB on Wednesday and found out that we were going to be at the old Peace Health building. Therefore, since Wednesday, he had his focus on finding some IT equipment and brought all the tools necessary.)

Chris and I spent the next hour meticulously cutting away the flowing rivers of cable, and unbolting the whole lot. A great cardio workout!

2mar_it_racks2-tAs I was quickly and unceremoniously snipping away at the hundreds of blue Ethernet cables, I was saddened, in a way, to undo all of PeaceHealth’s neat wiring work. I think the still giddy Chris thought it was silly for me to express such sadness. I found out later that the entire building was going to be razed, so when we removed some final wall anchors, we just ripped them out.

Because of Mark’s eagle-eyes, Chris’ forward-thinking and preparation, and our combined hard work, we now have three high-grade equipment racks that will be put to immediate use at the BUUB for installing and securing our AV and network gear in a very professional manner. We’ll need to cut one of the racks in half to fit in the “network attic” above the vault, but that will allow us to have two half-height racks up there.

As we brought the racks down to the staging area and Bob Kaeser saw them, I think he said with a grin (and some bottled up giddiness) “I think we might be able to use those.”

I know chairs, desks, and other things are extremely important and far more tangible and visible. However, I can’t stress how important Mark’s find was. I think we’ve been able to save a couple thousand dollars over the life of the full BUUB IT Strategy.”

Thanks Todd for this report. And special thanks to Susanne Giordano, Bonnie Koenig and Jan Willing for keeping track of everything we got and prepared a detailed inventory of each item and where it is stored!

DAY #564

Dateline Yachats

3 Volunteers

El Viejo is back from Sardinia, a little worse for the wear after spending the day in airplanes buffeted by strong winds and thunderstorms from the deadly storms that roared through the east this weekend. I received this report by phone and it was fun hearing his reaction to his re-entry to the BUUB after only an absence of five days. I guess tonight I will start with the:

QUOTES OF THE DAY, because this report is almost all quotes. “I was stunned by the amount and quality of all the furnishings and materials the crew collected on Friday. All of it is exactly what we need, and the crew did a wonderful job with the salvage. The entire north side promenade (outside) is stacked from sidewalk to roofline with “stuff”, and they filled FOUR storage units with a whopping 1055 individual items (plus a five gallon bucket of door knobs)! It took two box trucks, 11 pickups, panels, trailers, trunks, and stationwagons to haul it. It was a $50,000 plus day!”

“And if that weren’t enough, the amount of tiling, floor grinding and grooving was amazing. Stuff was so moved around in the BUUB I couldn’t find anything. It is obvious that things have been chaotic, but the place looks great. I am staggered by the amount that was accomplished in only five days.”

Comments added by others in emails: “I bet there are people who haven’t been up and down that many stairs in the past five years.”

“There were only three volunteers today — all the rest are probably in the hospital in traction.”

“The more we mistreat the volunteers, the happier they are.”

I had a long email from Todd Woodward about the amount of audio visual goodies we were able to get on Friday, but I will need to wait until I am home on my desktop computer to do it justice. I plan to share it in tomorrow’s 400 Days report.

DAY #563

61 Volunteers
3 Contract Carpenters
3 Contract Electricians
2 Contract Plumbers
5 Contract Grinders
1 Construction Consultant

HEY! Just look at the number of volunteers we had this morning helping to salvage materials and move furnishings from the former Peace Health Clinic at 1162 Willamette. They showed up in droves and entered the building like the day after Thanksgiving door buster sale at Target. The coffee crew arrived at the BUUB at 7 AM, and put together six full air pots of steaming hot coffee, loaded up a Prius or two with Voo Doo donuts, juice, cups, and the trimmings and set up a refreshment stand in the parking lot! Food was delivered at the BUUB about 11:30 AM, but by 12:30 PM there were still no customers for lunch because they were all happily toiling away tearing stuff apart and loading and unloading furnishings into storage. Every available vehicle was being utilized. Vans with trailers, cargo vans, station wagons, and the trunks of cars, all in addition to the two 16-foot box trucks rented from Penske.

I was at the BUUB and the Clinic until about noon, but am now in Yachats at a conference. I just talked to Gretchen Miller to get an end of the day report. At 5:38 PM, the last of the materials were put into storage unit #3 and the key turned in the lock. What an awesome crew! Thankfully, we were given an additional two hours to get everything out of the building (2 PM) and the weather cooperated. It was just under 50 degrees with no rain to speak of. After some random drops, the furniture was covered with visqueen, but it didn’t really need it. Thank goodness.

We were able to take a lot more than we had originally tagged, since they allowed us to go into the basement and floors 3 and 4. New items included 8 narrow folding tables like used for employee training sessions. Our rental coordinator was drooling over those and all of the stackable chairs because already there is an entity that wants to rent our space for a training meeting. It was discovered that we could stack the overstuffed chairs at least five high by putting them on their sides. We got two stainless steel drinking fountains, three baby changing tables, many grab bars, enough restroom partitions to meet our needs, a five gallon bucket full of door knobs, two outdoor park benches, two bike racks, 12 fiberboard cupboards, end tables, round tables, rolling carts with TVs, a series of audio visual racks, metal lockers, and a whole bunch of ‘too numerous to mention.”

All in all it didn’t go exactly as planned, but because our teams have been working together cooperatively for 19 months and we know who has various skills, we were no monkey wrench gang…we were more like a well oiled machine. Food was almost forgotten – everyone was having so much fun they forgot to go to lunch until after 2 PM. Of course they had feasted on those Voo Doo donuts. Fights almost erupted over who was going to get the one with cocoa puffs or ground up oreo cookies. Some were so colorful everyone was afraid to eat them, but when all was said and done, there were none left in the box.

One particularly choice item was two large plate glass entry way door panels – exactly what we need for the “inside” door for the south entry. We had gotten bids for them, and the price was hefty. We had three people making an inventory of what was removed and where it was stored, and when we are all done we will be able to put a price tag on the benefits of this endeavor. On my way home from the BUUB, I called El Viejo and amazingly he had a cell phone signal. He was so happy to get a report of the morning and wanted me to tell everyone how proud he was to know all the wonderful people who gave up their day or a portion of it, to get this job done.

Kirk Taylor recorded much of it with his cameras and I bet will have a disk to share. We had a wide variety of talents there. This will definitely go down as a memorable day in the life of our church.

If that weren’t enough, the contract electricians worked at the BUUB all day installing light fixtures and the plumbers got the gas line reconnected so we have hot water once again. The dishes from today’s endeavors had to be taken home to be washed.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “I’m glad I didn’t go to the gym this morning before I came here.”

“I just about have this disconnected, but there is a reservoir of water in it, and it could get a little messy.”

DAY #562

15 Volunteers
3 Contract Electricians
4 Contract Grinders
1 Contract Excavator
1 Concrete Cutter
1 Construction Consultant
1 El Viejo on phone from Sardinia

Jake in the ditch.

By 3:30 PM, pipe was installed for the new power line and most of the ditch had been filled with gravel. As soon as the concrete cutter did a little more work, the rest will be filled in and word on the street was that the job would be finished. Our work crew was decidedly less muddy today, so that was definitely a welcome sight. Because of the power disruption there was no hot water yesterday in the kitchen, but our diligent dish washer figured out a way to work her way through a pile of dishes.


See a little movie of Myles with the jackhammer in the ditch here

Filling in the trench.....
Filling in the trench…..

The volunteers on hand worked on general maintenance, did some tiling, helped prep floors for grinding, delivered food, cleaned the kitchen, and washed dishes. The contract grinders have finished with round one on all the office floors and did the second grind on Rooms 1, 2, 4 and 5. The rest of the grinds will go much faster than the first grind.

There are 14 doors stacked on rolling carts and they look for stout. Mark was preparing for the big move tomorrow – filling five gallon buckets with nail pullers, hammers, screw drivers, crow bars, and then had a utility cart full of power tools. Even today new people called and wrote to say they want to be a part of the action. YES! Come on down. We can use everyone who shows up. We couldn’t ask for more effort. If you have questions between 7 AM and Noon, give me a call on my cell – 541-335-1637.

If you can bring your own coffee cup that would help us avoid styrofoam!

I got the following from El Viejo –

Dear bUUbbas,

I miss all you dear, dear folks.

I can’t wait to get back and see all the progress that has happened.

Be back Saturday.


He is visiting his 90+ year old mother and must really be missing us because this is only the 5th email I have received from him in the past two years! You might have noticed that he called from Sardinia – Make that Sardinia, NY*, not the island. There is no internet or cell phone service out on the farm, so he had to drive to the top of a hill to get a signal.

QUOTES OF THE DAY: “It’s not as muddy today.”

“I came to find out where to meet tomorrow, and this place is like a tomb. At least the paid people are here.”

REMINDER: No Chinese dinner tomorrow.

*Sardinia, New York is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. The town lies in the southeast corner of Erie County and is considered one of the county’s “Southtowns.” The town is southeast of Buffalo. The population was 2,775 at the 2010 census. The town is reportedly named after an old hymn, Sardinia.


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