The pink is going away! Our buildings have undergone a dramatic transformation. The repairs and painting are complete (with the exception of some areas on the back (north side) of the church that will be tackled next week) and the new color combo looks fantastic. We have new windows and doors in select areas in Grafe Hall, and the swamp cooler has been removed from the kitchen roof. The job should be entirely finished in the next couple of weeks.
The Work on repairing the siding and painting the church continues. As expected, we have found some areas that that are badly rotted and require repairs beyond the scope of the original bid.
In the “you win some you lose some” category, in consultation with our gardeners, the Vestry has voted to end the St. Barnabas community garden. The location on the west side of the church has not been a successful area for gardening – it is particularly hot on that side of the church and the roots from the adjoining tree have invaded our planting boxes, choking out the vegetable plants. The plan is to remove the boxes in mid-May. If you would like to talk with Sean before the boxes come out, please contact him before May 12.
After six months out of commission, our playground is back and better than ever. With help from Church Mutual Insurance Company (although not quite help as much as we hoped), we have repaired or replaced everything that was damaged during the August 28 windstorm when a large limb from the oak tree fell and crushed several items. We added some age appropriate toys for the Portland Kindershule (PKS) kids and installed 4×10 landscape timbers to contain three dump trucks loads of engineered wood fiber to keep the kids safe when they fall. The playground looks beautiful and will serve as a great gathering place for the preschool and our congregation for years to come.
The repair parts for the play structure are safely stashed in the garage of the building formerly known as Barnabas House (thanks to the new owner for his kindness in sharing his garage). The original plan was to have the installation completed by the end of January. Oops. Yet, hope springs eternal that the playground will be as good as new by the end of this month. In addition to replacing the broken parts – and adding some new toys – in order to meet current safety standards, proper groundcover will be added to ensure the safety of all the children who use our playground. Just 6-8 weeks….
Now that Barnabas House has sold, it is time to prioritize work around our campus. We have a great many deferred maintenance projects that need attention and some improvements that will make our church a more enjoyable place to worship – for instance, updated and ADA compliant bathrooms. We certainly have more good ideas than we dollars, so your input will be vital to building for the future. If you would like to join the campus revitalization committee, please email Fr. Sean.
There is nothing that causes a Vestry member’s heart to go pitter patter more than hearing, “Energy Trust Oregon will give us a 59% discount on modernizing our boiler controls and we will save an estimated annual amount of $2620 in natural gas costs!” After much investigation and planning, Vestry Building and Grounds Liaison Chris Battista has arranged to get the control system of the church boiler modernized so we can control the operating hours, reduce gas usage, and get better temperature control in the heating water zones. All of this will be managed through a web-based front end system. It will take several months for the study and work to be completed. Energy Trust will also let us finance part of the net cost at no interest. The boiler is the original 1950s behemoth and is stuck in mid-20th century “technology”, i.e. none. This upgrade will add modern Trane computerized control capabilities to the old boiler (which is basically sound, but cannot be replaced without MAJOR expense). The net costs will be returned in just three years of energy savings.