Inside Demolition and Separation Nearly Complete

Work to Separate Old Sanctuary Nearly Complete

Major Demolition to Begin Monday, May 3

When is the old sanctuary going to be demolished?” is an oft-heard phrase.  “What are we waiting for?”  Well, first, we had to relocate the senior pastor and front office staff before we demolished their offices.  This move is now complete.  Second, we had to disconnect and reroute all utilities that ran through the old sanctuary and fellowship hall.  This utility work is also now complete.  And third, we had to safely separate the old building from the remaining building before we started (what most people think of as) demolition.  This separation work will be completed this week and major demolition work will begin Monday, May 3.

A good example of this separation activity, known as selective demolition, is Pastor Randy’s office.  Interestingly, his old office shares a single wall with his new office.  To separate the two offices the carpet was removed (for reuse), the asbestos tiles were remediated, the built-in bookshelves were removed and the plaster wall was demolished.  This exposed the shared cinder block wall.  This wall was then hand cut with power tools.  The cut on one end, carefully made through the exterior red brick, exposed sunlight in the old office.  The cut on the other end, made from the sanctuary hallway, exposed daylight between the office and hallway.  And finally, the roof line was cut with special care to leave all support structures undisturbed.

This process of separation between old and new has repeated itself all around the building, for example, between:

  • The altar wall in the old sanctuary and the existing town square,
  • The side wall in the old sanctuary and the existing music wing,
  • The back wall in the old organ chamber and the existing nursery,
  • The walls in the lower level resource center and the existing nursery and music wing,
  • The walls in the old lower level boiler room and the existing lower level classrooms.

In some cases, special temporary shoring was required to support the existing building until the time we are able to tie-in the new building structures.

In total, the demolition activity will take almost five weeks, but just like painting a room, several weeks were invested to carefully “prep” the space before the “fun” work can begin.   The fun begins on Monday, May 3.

The pastor’s office: an example of selective demolition and separation.

Carpet was removed for reuse before the asbestos tiles were safely remediated.

Bookshelves, plaster walls and ceiling tiles were removed, exposing the block wall.

Piles of debris throughout the building will be removed later using heavy equipment.

Cuts on each end of the wall are made both inside (L) and outside (R) the office.

The outside cut involves carefully separating the red brick exterior.

The inside cut through cinderblock opens to the old sanctuary hallway.

The lower level resource center is barely recognizable in it’s current state.  With no electricity, only work lights illuminate the demolition activity.

A debris pile in the center of the room makes space for the demolition and separation activity that occurs around the perimeter.

Blueprints, 3D models and Zoom calls are great, but let there be no confusion about what goes and what stays.

After the demolition is complete more weather-proof wrapping will be added to ensure that summer rains have little or no impact on the remaining building.

The front doors have been removed, and a portion saved, to create a special wall hanging in the new sanctuary narthex.

Just a few weeks ago the organ chamber contained thousands of organ pipes.  The two story room that sat directly behind the women’s choir pews has now been emptied and the pipes repurposed.  The chamber itself was stripped down to the cinderblock walls.  Vertical saw cuts were made on each corner and the roof line was separated from the building.
Similar activities took place in the lower level Fellowship Hall and Resource Center.