Once more, dear friends

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It was a great temptation, after the celebration of the building dedication, to declare victory on the renovation project and move on. But it turns out it doesn't work that way, and that a number of items still remain to be finished. Many of them are small, and a few have been completed recently: the speakers to the fellowship hall, nursery, and room 109 are working, for example. We have a new fence around the Water Street side of the playground. We also have a good bid, within budget, for improved lighting in the sanctuary.

But the two big things left, and on which we need your help, are these:

  • Painting the basement
  • Contributions

The basement. The basement is a story that concisely sums up the vagaries of trying to fix one thing in an older building. The initial plan was to simply replace the carpet for about $12,000. It turned out there was asbestos tile under the carpet, which had to be removed ($16,000). It looked like the mastic (the stuff that holds the tile to the floor) would also have to be removed because it frequently also contains asbestos. Then, tests showed no asbestos in the mastic. There was much rejoicing, because that stuff it hard to remove. Then, it turned out that new carpet glue and old mastic don't get along, and in fact tend to combine to form what is technically known as ooze or gloop, which eventually works its way through the new carpet. Fortunately, the asbestos removal bid involved removing the mastic, too. Then it turned out that the mastic was nearly impossible to remove completely; removing it was either unsuccessful, or involved wrecking the concrete in the process. The solution is to pour a thin layer of self-leveling concrete over the old concrete and remaining mastic ($6,000). Oh, and when we tore off the old base cove, it left big clumps of old glue, so that either has to be removed or worked around… so we're using wood baseboard.

All told, the carpet removal and extensive work in the north hall of the basement left a big mess, and we're going to paint the entire area. In a short amount of time, so that Sunday schools and the preschool can start their years in their normal, nice, new spaces on good, nice, new carpet.

Painting in earnest will begin as soon as the new concrete is dry: Tuesday, July 26. The carpet installation will start August 8, so the goal is to paint as much as possible before that. Sunday school begins August 26.

This will take a lot of volunteer hours, there is no doubt about it. But school is still out, you've probably already taken your summer vacation (or are totally willing to postpone it because of this), and certainly have tons of free time (!). Football doesn't start for months, and preseason doesn't count.

And Tom Sawin has agreed to organize the painting work, and I'm very grateful for that. Please sign up for shifts in the regular place, here. It can be done. Make it a small group meeting, a replacement committee meeting, collect random strangers, and so on. Thanks.

Contributions. We made a very good start on pledges, and this will all get paid for in the long run. In the short run, though, some bills are payable now. If there's a way to pay your pledges ahead of schedule, or to add to them in the next month or two, that would be helpful. As always, mark checks as "Everyone Welcome Campaign" and put them in the regular offering. Suitcases full of cash can go directly to the church office. Thanks again.

Community Mennonite Church
70 South High Street Harrisonburg, VA