Inside and out

      Comments Off on Inside and out

Some steps in this process are dramatic and easy to see. Others go in another direction, and happen inside the (new or old) walls, or invisibly lay the ground for the next big thing. This week brought more of the latter, but they're dramatic in their own way. What's more, because CMC included in our renovation plans a tithe to support projects other than our own, the work this week was not only in our building, but outside it.

This week:

  • On Thursday night, Church Council approved a $15,000 donation from the Everyone Welcome campaign, to Our Community Place's kitchen expansion project. OCP will use the improved kitchen to support meals they serve and a catering business that offers jobs to people who need them. They have a pretty great video on the project here. CMC's Outreach commission recommended the project to council, and is working on additional recommendations for the remaining $35,000 of our tithe money.
  • The first of many city inspections–plumbing rough-in–happened on Monday.
  • We worked with Anna Campbell of Blue Ridge Architects and Johann Zimmermann (not just a CMC member, but this project's structural engineer) to make the renovated north hallway "fire-rated," with "draft-stop" protection in the walls and ceilings. (The scare quotes are for me, but if you're also not fluent in construction terminology, fire-rating means that the walls are engineered to stop fire penetration for one hour, and draft-stop means that all openings between the studs at ceiling height and between ceiling joists are blocked. I think maybe one term, fire-stop, would cover all that, but apparently this is not widely used in the construction world.)
  • Our HVAC contractor, Excel Steel Heating and Cooling, is wrapping up their rough-in work which includes running ducts for fresh air and heat recovery along with "line sets" (tubing that connects indoor and outdoor units) for what will eventually be 18 indoor heating/cooling units. Ten of these units will be mounted high on the wall in individual rooms, each with its own thermostatic control. All  18 new units will be tied into a central control system that will monitor and record room temperature as well as provide programmed control according to each room's occupancy schedule.
  • Stone mason Kirk Shank-Zehr, former CMC member, began laying block as part of the new steps and landing for the south entrance. He was also found limestone remnants at Frazier Quarry in sufficient quantity for a veneer that will be as good a match as possible to the old limestone foundation in that part of our building.
  • Eric Cline, our electrician, begins the electrical rough-in work today (Friday). Hugh Stoll, who in the past few years already improved CMC's electrical infrastructre, has been consulting with him to figure out how to further clean up the piecemeal wiring that has developed over the years and to provide safe power distribution for the new HVAC units and to the renovation areas. We are leaning towards using LED recessed ceiling lights that will provide warm light at low cost.
  • Linda Martin Burkholder has agreed to organize and lead a yet-to-be-formed CMC volunteer painting crew, which we expect will save about $5,000 in labor costs. She has joined Ruth Stoltzfus Jost and Roberta Fernandez on the Interior Finishes Team and will work on paint color and type selection. Painting is scheduled to begin the week following church retreat (October 19). We will need a number of painting volunteers to make this work. Talk to Linda or Jeremy Nafziger if you're interested.
  • The disconnected radiators are being removed from the building, and it turns out that these things are somewhat sought after by home renovators. Building committee member Julia Alderfer Stauffer is going offer them for sale on several social media sites.

Work on the steps. The limestone leftovers Kirk found will match the limestone around the base on the entrance. For a while, we thought we might not be able to do that because of the additional cost.


Crew from Jim Herr & Co. stand in the new version of the administrator's office, looking toward Pastor Jennifer's and Pastor Jason's offices.


See, I said right up front that some of this was not dramatic to behold. (The awesome Jim Bishop photo collages, to my knowledge, have never included a picture like this.) This is a very necessary new electrical panel, and despite its humble appearance, you will thank it.


Community Mennonite Church
70 South High Street Harrisonburg, VA