Buildings & Grounds Report February 2022

Here is another in the periodic reports from UUCC’s B&G team about the progress on major projects and other efforts to maintain and improve our physical surroundings.

Major Projects
* Repair the roof leak and replace ceiling tiles and floor tile near the skylight on the second floor.
– Still waiting for proper weather (temps at least in the 40’s and no snow or rain) to repair the roof and then the interior ceiling and floor work will follow.
* Repair the crumbling masonry for the front steps and east retaining wall of the Shaker building – proposals being solicited and work to be done in spring/early summer.
– A contractor has looked at the project and has recommended removing the sandstone portions of the steps, repairing the broken concrete and then putting sandstone parts back on. Standard handrails will be put back up.
– B&G is considering installing a 42” wide ramp on one side.
– Estimates from this contractor and two others, including minority contractors, will be solicited.
* Stairway areas and the stairs themselves have been painted, holes filled and generally cleaned up thanks to the focused efforts of Dell Salza – thanks, Dell!

Heating System Problems
* Two problems occurred in January and early February.
– A pump (one of 7 in the system) broke down and the key valve to isolate it from the other parts of the system is “frozen” and cannot be repaired without shutting down the entire system, which cannot occur until after the heating system is shut down for the season; space heaters were deployed to those rooms most affected.
– Independent of that problem, a water intake valve to the boiler broke down on Feb. 5; while some delays were encountered on acquiring the part due to supply issues, the problem was fixed by the end of the following week. (Thanks to Michael Kuehm for his persistence to get this fixed and his frequent communication to leadership and staff.)
– To clarify these issues for the congregation, a new boiler was installed in 2017 to provide more energy-efficient heating but parts of the piping system are still old, difficult to work with and replace. B&G will look at what is needed for a more complete overhaul of critical pipes, valves and pumps and work with UUCC leadership to address this.

The B&G team members are Pat Dillard, Ray Gonzalez, Michael Kuehm (custodian), Ken Kuehm (co-chair), Ryan McGuire, Tom McKenna (co-chair), Vertis Nelson (custodian), Dell Salza and Matt Smith. We welcome your feedback and input.