We signed an agreement for the worship area air handler replacement on March 15th and if the 26 week lead time remains accurate we can expect the new unit to arrive sometime in mid September with replacement to follow. Fortunately, the existing 27 year old unit is still chugging along as an air conditioner and the hope is it will get us through the heat of the summer so we don’t have to worship in the fellowship hall.
We have budgeted $35000 for this project which will include the new unit and materials/labor provided by our contractor as well as two tasks we as a congregation are going to be responsible for. The first task will be to modify the line voltage wiring (some of which runs in a conduit buried just below ground level next to the concrete slab the current unit sits on) to get the conduit up out of the way of our second task. The new unit is physically wider than the old one so we will need to add a 16” wide by 120” long strip of concrete to the existing pad. Once the conduit/wiring is moved so it is clear of our work area and the unit can continue to cool, we will need to dig out existing gravel and soil next to the slab, form up the necessary area to receive concrete, dowel into the existing slab with reinforcing steel and pour the new slab extension. There is also a small concrete slab just outside the door next to the AV desk (in the area where the air handler sits) that has heaved up by frost over time and impacts getting that door open when there is snow and ice on that slab. We can’t have that going on since that is an emergency exit so we will be tearing out this small slab as part of our work.
We will be looking for help with this concrete work probably sometime in late July or early August. I know there are people out there just hoping such a project would come along so if some of those people would contact the church office with their willingness to help we will get a crew and a schedule together to get this work done.
Finally, and this is a big issue, we don’t yet have enough money to pay for this project. We probably have close to enough to pay for the unit when it comes in and realistically we could delay the replacement until we have raised the balance of the contract but we will be pushing weather by then. Ideally, we will get our finances in order and the necessary funds raised to get the unit installed and operating in heating mode before we have to be wearing jackets in the worship area again.
Point of all of that is if you have not yet contributed to the hot air fund, please get after that as you are able. We will continue to report on where we are at financially on this necessary fund drive. Realistically, this is a problem for all of us and one that will take all of us to solve.
I will be available after worship on Sunday to tour the area and answer any questions you may have.