The good news we have to report is that our church repair project is on schedule! And there have been no unpleasant surprises as the asbestos removal has progressed. It is expected to be completed during the week of January 22 – probably toward the end of that week.
Thus far, there is no “bad news” so we will keep our fingers crossed and keep praying that our repair program stays on schedule.
Once asbestos is removed, a moisture test well be done and if it passes the test the floor will be skim - coated, which should be completed by January 31.
(The new tile and carpet will not be installed until mid-March after the church is cleaned painted and lighting installed.)
Hopefully, we will begin the next phase of the project on February 8 when cleaning and painting crews begin their work. All the wood surfaces will be cleaned and stained if needed. This will include the heating vents and wood work. The Cry Room/Bride’s Room will have new dry wall installed.
The activity in the church during the past two weeks has generated some questions and one answer that we cannot stress enough is: We are NOT changing the appearance of the church interior. The same striping patterns that you have been accustomed to for years will remain, with fresh paint.
Former office space in the Rectory (not the Parish Center) also will be painted.
Firm installation dates for the new lighting in the church have not been set yet but the new chandeliers will offer brighter light and will be dimmable. The same number of chandeliers will be installed. That part of the project is expected to take two weeks.
Construction has already begun on new pews and kneelers and installation is expected to be completed by March 28.
Prior to the installation of new pews, and in conjunction with the installation of new flooring, an audio “looping” system will be installed throughout the church to enable hearing-impaired parishioners to hear the Masses through their own hearing aid devices with much-improved sound.
Seating capacity in the church will remain at approximately 750 but one visible change will be the widening of the cross aisle about half way between the front row of pews and the back row. This will allow more space for wheel chairs and distribution of Communion when large crowds are in attendance.
As you can tell from this description, there is a LOT of activity ahead and it is primarily through the generosity and commitment of you – our parishioners.
By the way, the Gathering Place will not be affected, and daily Masses will continue to be celebrated there on Monday through Friday at the normal time of 8:30 a.m. Communion services continue at 7:00 a.m. in the Gathering Place (8:30 a.m. on Saturdays).
I hope to keep you fully advised of our progress through the Bulletin and Wayside Wednesday and our other communications devices.
All of us who have been involved in any remodeling project – at home, at work – or in our church – realize there might be unforeseen delays but we think we have covered all bases with the contractors and crews, and with the parish staff people who will be involved.
We are confident that you will approve of your investment in YOUR parish
Father Ed Fialkowski
Pastor, Our Lady of the Wayside