The Building Improvement Fund and the Building Committee

by Paul Shultes November 25, 2015

Let us rise up and build—Nehemiah 2:18.

These are the words of Nehemiah’s “few” men after Nehemiah’s night inspection of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. You probably recall the detailed preparations Nehemiah made for his trip from Susa to Jerusalem, the gathering of supplies, and the inspections of the walls. When the preparations were complete, Nehemiah and his men went to work.

In a nutshell this is what Tenth’s Building Committee is all about. We meet most months to plan and implement small capital improvements and large maintenance projects so that the church buildings operate well and foster our ability to worship and serve the Lord. If we do our work well, you may not even notice what we do.

In some sense that is one of the challenges facing the Building Committee: the publicizing of our work, the need for more committee members, and the need for designated giving to the Building Improvement Fund. There is always a long list of worthwhile projects to complete, and new requests come in all the time. Designated giving has been less over the past few years, while the number of buildings has increased with the acquisition of 1716 Spruce Street in 2013 and now 1710 Spruce Street earlier this year.

Some projects on the books awaiting sufficient funding include repair and painting of Sanctuary wall plaster, renovation of Fellowship Hall, repointing the brick façade and reparging the basement in 1716 Spruce Street, interior and exterior lighting improvements, and plumbing and electrical upgrades. But there is a lot of good news too. In recent years the Building Committee has completed a number of significant projects including the complete replacement of the HVAC system in the Delancey Building, the replacement of the air conditioning in the Sanctuary, the replacement of the HVAC units for the Catacombs, reconstruction of the windows and the new shutters in Fellowship Hall, significant repairs to the building façade to comply with the city ordinance related to safe structure, the renovation of Dr. McDowell’s office in Delancey 3 West, the repair of the Delancey building chimneys, restoration of Delancey building brick and limestone after removal of the old air-conditioning units, and repair  of leaded windows in the Sanctuary.

Additionally, the Building Improvement Fund has been paying off the loan for the Sanctuary building roof replacement completed in 2005. The final payment will be made this year! 

So now you know what the Building Committee has been doing over the past six years or so. But there is more! The two remaining projects from the 2008–2011 capital campaign were transferred to the Building Committee for completion. The beautiful work in the northeast and northwest towers is due to the hard work of the Building Committee. If you have a chance to see the renovated music office and added music library or peer into what will be the new control room for the audio and visual systems, you hopefully will be impressed. In the upcoming months the sound quality in the Sanctuary and the video quality on the internet will be significantly improved.

If your interest in the work of the Building Committee has been aroused, please seek out BC secretary Dot Boersma or me. We’d be glad to talk with you. Our buildings are old. They will always need repair and improvement, done in a thoughtful and sensitive way. The members of the Building Committee include people from the fields of architecture, engineering, art, history, interior design, building and construction/project management, medicine, and publishing. We are a diverse group and open to new members any time.

I want to express my deep appreciation for the work of the Building Committee and its members, who currently are: Mary Berzinsky, Dot Boersma, Jane Cappeller, Darv Dombach, Frank Esposito, Pat Canavan, Kim Dengler, Doug Henderson, Josh Kuzma, Michael Macolino, Clark McCutcheon, G. Owusu-Ansah, Aaron Redus, George Woodward, and Maxine Young. Please thank them for their work. We are also thankful for the invaluable expertise of Clive Stockdale and David Fiori. We are blessed that more than a “few” are interested to serve the church in this way.


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