Ironworkers have begun erecting the steel structure that forms the backbone of the new church balcony. The balcony, accessible from two open stairways, has a tiered design for improved sight lines.
The steel structure for the balcony is suppored by the vertical steel columns previously installed, as well as the block walls that form the new narthex (front lobby.) The balcony steel was laid out in a staging area on the west side of the church (see construction cam #2.) A large crane moved each piece of steel in a specific sequence to allow the puzzle to be correctly assembled. As the pieces are lifted into place the stucture is initially bolted together. Then once the major pieces are all in place, the ironworkers true up the structure and add additional bolts and welds as required.
Already one can see the sloped steel that will support the six tiered steps that will each hold one pew row. The balcony is accessible from open stairways on either end of the balcony. Two aisles divide the balcony into three sections of pews, each approximately 12′ in length. The new tech booth for our AV volunteer operators is in the back of the new balcony.
After the steel structure is bolted into place, metal planks will be attached to form the base of the floor. Later this month the same team that formed and poured the chancel steps will return to build the balcony tiers and steps.
The balcony and organ chamber steel is staged on the west side of the church.
A large crane carefully lifts the steel over the block walls and into place.
Workers install the two center beams that run parallel to the center aisle.
Each beam is initially bolted into place and then permanently fixed when all is true.
The largest beam in the photo will run above the new narthex windows.
This is the view from the front doors looking through the narthex to the altar.
The sloping balcony floor can be seen in this photo.
The balcony overhangs the back of the church, without any obstructing columns.
The steel support for the railing on the front of the balcony is now visible.