COG Blog: Weekly Updates on Construction

Thank you, Alice Dunn and Valerie Perkins, for your tireless work and your weekly updates! Click on any photos to enlarge. Also, you can check out photo galleries from Joe Turner here.

April 18 Update from your Construction Oversight Group (COG)

Save the date (tentative)! On Sunday April 28, after church, please plan for a walk-through of the new spaces (weather and progress dependent, of course). We believe the framing will be far enough along to invite all you patient Follenites to take a managed tour up into the new floor levels, to see what we have all created. Hard hats will not be required, as no one will be doing construction on Sunday, but it is an active site. Children are welcome, with a parent or responsible adult, and they must be carefully supervised the whole time. And we’ll be watching out for adults, too!  Choir members who are going to a 1 pm event get the first tours.

Here’s a few teaser photos –  The top of the South stair (on the Waldorf driveway side), and Claire in the Sonin Room (Which will have a roof in the next few days!)

And here’s us and our design team, hard at work on the HVAC coordination, as the rough-in of plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling systems is well underway.

We’ll provide more details next week!
Alice and Valerie

April 11 Update from your Construction Oversight Group (COG)
More roofing, more enclosure, more partitions!  Ice & Watershield membrane has been installed over most of the new roof; the other half of the roof is now ready to be framed, with the new North Stair addition and roof to follow. The gray sheets installed over the Tyvek on the playground side are a cementitious board for fireproofing; as our building is so close to the lot line, we are required to provide an extra layer of protection.
At the North Stair, check out the photo of the angling steel – that’s the side of part of the new stairwell, from Sanctuary level up to the Offices level. We’re standing down in the CC level bathrooms and Mechanical room.
We have also been finalizing a lot of the finishes for the floors, ceilings, cabinets. We have a beautiful palette, and will try to bring some of the samples to coffee hour, so you can see the colors and wood and tile.  And, of course, we’ve many, many meetings and emails about HVAC, site grades, door hardware and locks, lighting, AV…so much dedicated work by so many!
Is it really April?!  Alice and Valerie

April 4 Update from your Construction Oversight Group (COG)
We have roof! We have walls! We have Tyvek!  And we promise, there will be window openings, lots of them.
The framers are moving fast and we on COG were able to climb up our new South stairway (on the Waldorf driveway side) to see the actual spaces on the top floor for the first time. The new Sonin Music Room is going to be lovely and spacious – the photos are looking up at the new ridge beam, which roughly defines the shape of the new room (the diagonals in the foreground are temporary bracing). It will be even more real when the roof framing – and the skylight opening – show up, later today.
We are eagerly looking forward to seeing the north stair, next to the elevator shaft, and the connection to the new terrace space between Marshman and Sanctuary. The meeting/class rooms and the offices are taking shape as they raise the partition walls and we were able to measure for the kitchenette cabinets. So good to be above ground!
We continue to tussle with a number of areas;  HVAC ducting coordination, landscape pricing and the constant steam of questions about door hardware, walk-off mats, lighting, audio-visual options etc. etc. As we work to contain the budget and to balance unexpected over-runs with cost-cutting, we very much appreciate the vote by Program Council in support of our use of the pre-approved ‘contingency’ tap on the Heritage Fund, an endowment fund specifically set aside for the building. It means a lot to us to have such support from the congregation and from the leadership.
Also, some very happy news as we look forward to Moving Back In over the summer: Jane Spickett and Jackie Hawkinson are returning to manage the move in! We are delighted and thank them in advance.
Happy April, Alice and Valerie


March 28 Update from your Construction Oversight Group (COG)

Major Construction Milestone: We Topped Off the Building!

Follen passed a major milestone in the construction/renovation project yesterday with the topping-off of the building. This means the top piece of structural framing was put in place – the trusses that form the roof were dropped onto the top story walls by a huge crane. And, following long-standing building tradition, we attached a small pine tree to the truss, festooned with ribbons, to be the highest point. We signed the truss before it flew up into the air, and then we toasted everyone who worked on the project. Rev. Claire read an excerpt of a poem to celebrate the moment. What a happy occasion!

Now, after months of complicated, but necessary, foundation work, we can see the outline of the finished space. All that remains is enclosing the structure, drywalling, electrical work, plumbing, cabinetry, flooring, painting … okay, there’s a little bit left to be done, but it should be finished by summer!

Here is the poem Rev. Claire read:

For a New Home by John O’Donohue

May this home be a place of discovery,
May it be a home of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May no guest leaves without a blessing.

Finally, Check out Joe Turner’s pictures of the event, including drone shots of the little evergreen placed on top!


March 21 Update from your Construction Oversight Group (COG)

Spring has sprung and the building site is buzzing. Framing has finally started on the top level and walls are going up, and we expect to see a ridge sometime next week. Wow! Roofing will follow very quickly, and we on COG will try for a ‘topping-off’ ceremony in the middle of it all. Watch this space!

And, a big concrete pour yesterday. Thankfully it went quickly, as the concrete truck had to wedge itself on the Marshman front lawn; our Barnes Place neighbors have quite a construction site to live next to, and we’re grateful for their patience!

We on COG continue to work on value-engineering, to reduce costs. We’re developing alternate landscaping approaches, purchasing appliances and some lighting ourselves, and are going to be building some of our own kitchenette cabinets. Those of you who enjoy assembling IKEA cabinets- let us know if you’d like to help!

Hooray for Spring! Alice & Valerie