2017 Sanctuary Remodel Update

June 28, 2017:  

The Sanctuary renovation and restoration project has seen lots of progress and discoveries over the last several weeks. These included interior plastering of the walls, recovering of the pews, raising the roof and finding and repairing a damaged support column. Overall, the project has progressed very well and the hope is to be back in a completed sanctuary sometime in August. The pictures below outline some of the activities happening both at the church and offsite location.

Picture taken in Batesville, Indiana at the Weberding’s Carving Shop, Inc. where the pews are being refurbished. The picture shows how all the old coverings have been removed and replaced with new berlap and two layers of foam.

The next picture taken at Weberding’s shows the press used to hold the foam and berlap in place as the new pew covers are attached.  Once the covers are completed they are re-attached to the wooden pews.

The next two pictures show how the north and south walls in the sanctuary have had the wainscot removed and the plasterers preparing the walls for a new look and new color paint. Also notice the window frames have been installed and ready for the stain glass installation after the plastering is completed. Each window will be trimmed after the plaster is completed. The plaster company is from West Terre Haute and we were lucky to get them to help on our project.


One of the major issues in the project was the need to reinforce the connection of the southeast interior trusses to the top of the walls. This involved using a crane to raise the roof over 2” to replace the wooded plates that the trusses rested on with steel plates and additional wooded support.

The picture below shows the workers prepared to install the plates as the roof was raised.

Last Sunday we moved out of Fellowship Hall and over to the ISU Recital Hall for morning worship services. The reason was the discovery of northeast  columns starting to compress and crack.

Calls were made to both Forensic and Structural Engineers to develop a plan to restore the columns integrity and get back on track for completion. We would not have found the problem if the wainscot had not been removed as part of the remodel. Once repaired the column will be plastered over and painted to match the rest of the wall finishes. Additional support work was done around the steel beam that was directly below the column just off the pre-school room.  This was filled in with cement grout for additional support and stability.

The next two weeks should include the installation of the stain glass and window trimming. After that the caulking will be done in anticipation of paint. The carpet is already here and ready to be installed once the painting is complete. You should also know that the womens restroom is being remodeled with the wall paper already gone and a new vanity being purchased for installation.

June 12, 2017:  

The window frames were delivered and painted.  They will be installed in anticipation of the stain glass windows being delivered after they are rebuilt.

The pillars that will frame the outside of the windows have been remade and painted. They will be installed after the stain glass is installed.


The archers for the top of the windows were delivered and primed.

The picture below shows the installation of the arches. This is in anticipation of the stain glass being delivered.

The crosses mounted on the north and south outside walls act as both decoration but also support the interior steel wall supports. The star in the picture above is also part of the interior wall support.

The arch installation required both a fork lift and people lift to make the tight fit. Now all the windows are uniform and can easily be worked on for glass installation and any protection needed in the future.


The view from inside the sanctuary shows all the frames installed and the bird holes closed.

The next steps include preparation for plaster and finishing the enclosures around the supporting ceiling rods. All the truss rods have been installed and the only remaining supports are the 3 supporting wires that tie the north and south walls together. The hope is to start the plaster work later this week and start the painting process before the end of the month. The carpet colors and type have been decided upon and the orders will be placed this week. The pews are being recovered and repaired and hope they will be available for installation after the carpet is installed. The project has been without any major issues so far. We still need to raise the southeast corner of the building roof and install new support plates on top of the brick. There is cleaning and support work to be done in the crawl space of the church after the sanctuary is completed. When you are in the church feel free to go upstairs and watch the progress.


May 5, 2017:  The work this week on the wall/truss supports has really progressed. With all the rain the workers were happy to be inside and out of the weather. Most of the tie rods will be installed by this Sunday with the rest probably going in over the next couple weeks. Take time to go upstairs and look during your next visit.


Figure 1 Worker installing the truss tie rods

Figure 2 Workers connection and tightening the tie rods

Figure 3 Attic area above the north sanctuary storage room where the rods connect

Figure 4 Plates used to connect the rods in the attic areas

This week the committee choosing the carpet, pew and wall colors came to an agreement regarding carpet and pew color and style. This was very important so we could start the pew refurbishing.  The plan is to keep the traditional look but also give the sanctuary a face lift with new wall paint colors. The north and south walls have had the wainscot removed and these walls will be plastered over the exposed bricks. The steel framing on the north and south walls will be exposed but painted to match the wall colors. The next major change will be the installation of the stained-glass windows. No date on the windows yet but the work is coming along fine.

There is no set date on the project completion as of now. However, there have been few surprises which is always a good thing when working on a building over 150 years old.