6-2-2021: Renovation Update

It’s been a busy time since the last update on the renovations, and – of course – it’s been an adventure.

In May, we authorized jetting and videoing our storm drains and having them located on a site plan.  This turned up a couple of interesting conditions that are being addressed.  Once we understand the full costs we may – once again – need to re-examine priorities for the capital projects.

First, we found a cesspool associated with Dixon House.  It was not shown on any plans, but was clearly visible in the videos.  This has been excavated and no one can understand why it hasn’t backed up into Dixon House long ago.  This cesspool is a Victorian approach to sanitation and dates to the 1880s.  Follow this link to a video that provides more information.  It will need to be added to the public sewer.

Second, we found the source of water that occasionally appears in the crawl space below the parish hall and under the stage.  As it turns out, the storm drain is inside the building and follows the wall of the parish hall closest to the drive.  This would never be done today but was not unusual when the parish hall was built in 1924.  The pipe has completely failed – the top half is gone – and when it rains, water just runs into the crawl space.  This must be replaced.  We are lucky that the ground under the parish perks so we don’t have standing water for long.  This also explains the disintegrated floor in the bowling alley.

I’m sure these two items won’t be the last surprises as we continue renovations.  The property committee is learning to role with punches and embrace the unknowns.  As always, thank you for the contributions and pledges that are making this work possible.