The Building Renovation Fund was initiated in 2017 with a three year time span to raise money for renovations that resulted in replacement of the steam furnace with ductless and forced air units. The three year fundraising goal was $100,000. As 12/31/2019 we have received $101,232.33. The sources of the funds are as follows:
The Building Renovation Fund was approved by Session in 2017 to help fund the church building renovations of which the HVAC upgrade has been completed. It is a three year fund and there are 27 donors that pledged support. The total pledged by the congregation donors is $78,810 and to date the cash receipts against those pledges is $61,708.33, so there is a remaining balance of $17,101.67. An additional $7,925 was received from donors that exceeded their pledge or did not pledge. Total receipts to date are $69,633.33 and that is considered a very successful Building Renovation Fund event. The remaining balance in the Building Renovation bank account is $60,535.90 and that will be used to continue payments on Pittsburgh History and Landmark’s loan balance of $193,029.15. Thank you to everyone that has participated in this important fundraiser.
August 23, 2019
The HVAC unit order has been placed with Elk Air and installation work has started in the basement area. There are holes in the walls/ceiling for ducts supplying the first floor halls, women’s restroom and choir room by a furnace located to the right of the boiler room door. Next week orders will be placed for the electrical work and for the gas lines to the furnaces. The single phase and three phase electric service will be enlarged and new distribution centers provided that will update the electrical system and will cover the requirements of phase two of the renovation, if we elect to proceed. This will bring our electrical room up to code.
Not much change will be visible on the first floor but installation in the daycare and some parts of the electrical installation will create temporary inconvenience for everyone. We will try to keep these to the minimum for the daycare and the AA meetings.
The current work on the HVAC renovation consists primarily meetings with the HVAC, electrical and plumbing contractors to review the final drawings and specifications to get final pricing. Getting all contractors to understand the project requirements, and all limitations and potential problems areas of a 100 year old building is important to getting accurate pricing. When final pricing is received, contractor will be selected and installation will begin.
We are continuing to move certainly and cautiously into this major project. Tom Ochs and engineers are thinking through how the updating of our electric system can be done more efficiently and economically. Some have asked “when the renovation will begin and how will it affect programs and room usage etc.?” We do want to begin renovating as soon as possible, but we want to approach it wisely. The first stages of renovation will include the electric and HVAC systems in the building. Very little disruption of the space will take place. All activities will proceed as before. Thank you for your patience and your continued prayerful support and encouragement to Tom and the session as we move forward.
As of Friday afternoon on January 26, 2018, I was informed that we can get Edgewood Borough permits for both phases of the renovation. I am out of town until March 3, 2018 so details such as cost of permit or any drawing comments will not be known until I return, but a permit will be issued for the HVAC first phase. No contracts will be issued until there is a Session review. FPCE has a line of credit for $200,000 approved and ready to make withdrawals immediately. More next month.
The church renovation will go forward in two phases: one is the replacement of the steam heat system with a forced air system, and second is the reconfiguration of the first floor which includes wheelchair lift, new bathrooms, larger Gathering Place and kitchen.
Before any construction contracts can be issued, building permits need to be obtained from Edgewood Borough which requires additional detailed drawings of the proposed HVAC additions and modifications. Phase 1 covers HVAC in all areas of the church, including the basement Social room, second floor day care, and Sanctuary. These drawings are being completed and then will be submitted to the Borough for approval. Hopefully that process can be completed in the next 30 days.
Following approval, final pricing will be requested and contractors selected to start phase 1. Phase 1 requires forced air furnaces located in the second floor storage room, basement storage room next to Social room, and the basement Mud room and Youth room. Each furnace and A/C condenser will need individual electrical connections, and each furnace requires a gas supply. Several areas that have either frequent or very infrequent use on the 1st floor, such as the Pastor’s office, Church office, nursery, and Music Minister’s office, will be heated/cooled by ductless units (similar to the unit presently used in the Gathering Place except much smaller}. The church presents an unusual occupancy problem in that many areas are only occupied less than 4 hours in a 168 hour week. The most occupied area is the day care at maybe 60 hours per week. No one spends the night, and most often Saturday is unoccupied anywhere in the church.
Insulation will be added in the area above the second floor to make the building more energy efficient. All first floor areas heated/cooled by forced air furnaces will have ceiling or floor supply and returns. The second floor and Social room will have exposed spiral duct, which is popular for use in building and restaurants.
Phase 2 requires some information from Phase 1, but should be able to initiate shortly after contractors are selected for Phase 1. Some minor changes on the LGA drawings will be required, but they are basically ready for submittal.
Regarding a loan for the renovation, the Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation (PHLF) has offered to provide a $250,000 loan at 4.25% 5 year fixed interest rate using the building as collateral. The loan will initially be a construction loan that can be drawn as needed with interest only payments. At the completion of construction, the loan will be converted to a mortgage requiring principal and interest payments for a 15 year term. This is the best offer available so far.
The Renovation Fundraising Team (Amy Moore, Gregg Baldwin, Paul Ohori, Rhonda Apessos, Tom Ochs, Tyler McGuigan, and Pastor Michael) is developing a fundraising strategy that will be implemented in January. But all of you should know that funds are being accepted for the renovation as of now. If you would like to begin donating before the end of 2016, please send in your donation—CLEARLY MARKED—”Renovation Fund.” Thank you.
SUMMARY: A concern was brought to the Session that the heating system poses a significant risk. The pipes running through the walls are very old and fragile. A simple leak could turn into a repair costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair. An investigation revealed that installing an alternate heating and a/c system could result in a significant savings but to maximize it would require some structural changes to the business side of the building. That lead to the discussion on installing a lift to make the main floor more accessible. That consideration led to the need to make the bathrooms more accessible and less like dungeons. That consideration resulted in redesigning the main floor of the Church.
ISSUE: Should we affirm the resolution to proceed with the building renovations.
QUESTIONS FROM THE OCTOBER 2 MEETING AND ANSWERS
We have received the final drawings from LGA Partners Architects along with specifications. After reviewing the drawing and working with LGA to make the necessary changes. We have asked two contractors for pricing. Each contractor has visited FPCE with their subs and are working on their bid. It was hoped these would be available by this date but with summer vacation and the general tardiness of contractors, we are still waiting.
The HVAC—which will encompass the whole building—is a separate project and pricing is complete. The session and congregation will be presented the pricing and alternatives when all the prices are received.
Renovation Project Blog
As the Session continues to discuss ideas for the renovations to the interior of the building, updates will be posted to this page. Session wants to hear ideas, so the comments section will be open under each blog update/entry.