Sanctuary Refresh 2015

It is amazing to think that for the past 20 years we have been having thousands and thousands of people a week (over 2000 people on Sunday alone!) walk all over the carpet in the Lobby and Sanctuary. Thanks to you, the faithful BelPres congregation, we replaced a majority of the carpet in the Sanctuary building this past August.

Sammi Stimson, our high-energy Facilities Director, worked with G&W Commercial Flooring to implement the plan created by the “Sanctuary Building Refresh Task Force.” The Task Force was made up of BelPres members and led by Rick Chesmore and Dave Buck, of Chesmore | Buck Architects, both members of our congregation.

The original quote wouldn’t have allowed us to include much of the Music Wing, Welcome Room, and vestry areas in our carpet replacement, but some special help from G&W Flooring allowed us to acquire additional carpet at a fraction of the full price. It wasn’t quite a fish and loaves event (see Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, or John 6), but we were pleased to have the opportunity to replace a majority of the carpet in our Sanctuary Building all at the same time. The carpet that wasn’t replaced (mainly in the office wing) was thoroughly cleaned. So, while not every area has new carpet, we all are experiencing the joys of crisp and clean carpet and floors.

At the same time we were replacing the carpet, Sammi was guiding a paint crew throughout the Sanctuary building. The crew did a great job staying out of the carpet team’s way as they painted hand rails, accent stripes, and damaged walls.  All the paint and carpets were funded via the general giving of our congregation.  Thank you, General Fund givers! Paint and carpet was only the beginning of the project list this summer. The intensity of work really increased in August, when four major projects were all going on simultaneously in the Sanctuary building.

1.The heating system in the Sanctuary was modified. For the past 20 years, anyone sitting in the chairs in the Sanctuary worship service has experienced the wind chill caused by the wind-tunnel effect of the vents under the balcony. The Legacy Foundation graciously funded the major modifications needed to stop the wind tunnel effect. No longer will musicians need to use clothespins to hold their music on the stand. No longer will candles blow out mid-service when the heating system kicks on. No longer will people need to bring blankets to sit in rows 4-9 of the Sanctuary. Thank you, Legacy Foundation of BelPres!

2.The skylight and beautiful lantern windows have made our Sanctuary bright and cheery. Sometimes too bright. The choir and pastors have fought the blinding effects of the equinox sun for the past 20 years. The Facilities Maintenance Crew, headed by Carlos Tapia, was able to apply a special 3M film to the southern side of the skylights to control the glare from those windows. The team was also able to work with a friend of BelPres to design and install special shades for the south facing sides of the lantern windows. Both solutions allow plenty of light into the room while minimizing the blinding hot spots we have known for the last 20 years.

3.The Sanctuary lighting system was at the end of its 20-year lifecycle and needed to be expanded to handle the rigors of a weekly live stream broadcast. Unfortunately, the company that made the original control panel has gone out of business. Our volunteer consultant and BelPres member, Ron Hyder (who spent many hours helping us install the new system), told us that if the lighting panel failed, we would lose our primary Sanctuary lights until a new replacement was built – a lead-time of three to four months. We joked about having a season of candle light services every week, but were saved from that outcome when, once again, our Legacy Foundation graciously agreed to fund the much-needed enhanced lighting control system. The new system is designed to handle the complexity of live steaming broadcasts, which was not a part of the original specifications 20 years ago. Thank you, again, Legacy Foundation of BelPres!

4.The audio control system for the Sanctuary was old. Many parts were original equipment and past their expected lifespan. Sergio Chavez and his audio team installed a set of upgraded audio boards that will allow full digital control of the audio system and open up some new flexibility that has limited our broadcast quality for years.

Thank you, BelPres, for your generosity. Your contributions to the Legacy Foundation and the General Fund over the past two years have allowed us to save up enough to make these significant – and needed – upgrades to our Sanctuary Building.

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