Building Update

November 2021 Summary

Reconstruction work is essentially complete. The Sai Center will start using the church on a limited basis.

Mold remediation work: The air samples taken on October 29th showed significant improvement, with the only area needing additional remediation was the maintenance storage room at the back of the church building.

  • All contents of the maintenance storage area have been removed and temporarily stored in refurbished Classroom E.
  • RestoPro crew came in on Tuesday, November 16th and accomplished additional remediation.
  • Storage area is now ready for an additional air sample to be taken.
  • Confirmed that mold in the Women’s Room came from the drain, where water in the trap had evaporated due to lack of use for several months.

Recent accomplishments:  The church has been buzzing with activity nearly every weekday for the past month, both with contractors and volunteers.  Noteworthy are:

  • A volunteer crew, supervised by RE Board members, cleaned classroom contents (except for the Pre-K room) at the off-site storage facility. This now has enabled us to give back the second of three storage units.
  • All walls and floors completed, including baseboards.
  • Chris Spencer has remade all tackboards and most installed by volunteers.
  • All office areas (front & back) have been set up.
  • Many small projects have been completed by volunteers, including a “high” cabinet for the Nursery and Ushers’ cabinets.
  • “Musical chairs” continues with Classrooms B, C and D being used for temporary storage.
  • Remaining area carpets cleaned and returned to the church.
  • Top-to-bottom post-construction clean completed on November 16th.


  • We will add a few new tackboards to the front office rooms
  • Finalize what is placed where on which walls throughout.
  • Nursery caregivers will complete cleaning of items remaining in off-site storage unit so we can turn back the last unit before the end of the month.
  • After clearance granted, will purge & set maintenance storage area back up.
  • Move temporarily-stored items back to their proper location
  • Conduct top-to-bottom clean of Classrooms B, C, D & E.
  • Select & purchase office & conference room chairs.
  • Expected delivery of new chairs: late January 2022.
  • Jen Mason is working on banners.

November 6, 2021


October 22, 2021Stage carpet installed

October 14, 2021 

Things are moving along quickly! Reconstruction work began on September 13th. The reconstruction work is now nearly complete (targeted for end of next week – October 22nd (except for wall base installation) and flooring installation began on Tuesday – October 12th. Everyone who has come by says it looks “beautiful”. 

Mold remediation work:: The last five areas with mold issues (Annex F Outer, the [old] Minister’s Study, the women’s rest room and the RE/maintenance storage areas in the back) have undergone remediation and air samples were taken on Monday, October 11th, results of which we expect today.. 

  • In Annex F Outer, the problem appears to have been mold growing on the blades and coil of the HVAC unit, which was treated with hydrogen peroxide and air blown. 
  • In the (old) Minister’s Study, the flooring has been replaced with carpet tiles. 
  • In the Women’s rest room, it is suspected that mold is coming in from the floor drain, which is undergoing study right now. 
  • In the RE storage room, the problem was that a couple of fiberboard shelves had mold due to someone placing wet items on those shelves. The shelves have been remediated. 
  • In the Maintenance storage room, ants had been carrying dirt into the room via cracks between the slab and walls. These seams have now all been sealed with expandible foam. 

Recent accomplishments:  The church has been buzzing with activity every weekday for the past month, both with contractors and volunteers.  Noteworthy are: 

  • Our RE Caregivers (Farangis Ghasnavi & Rachel Brown) have sanitized about 90% of the Nursery contents currently being kept at a storage facility. This has enabled us to turn back one of the three units, saving on rental fees. 
  • Foam insulation added to external walls where there was damage, as well as the area over the ceiling in the front office area. 
  • All sheetrock in rooms affected has been replaced/repaired, taped/bedded, prime & painted and wainscoting installed in selected rooms & corridors. 
  • Damaged/missing ceiling tiles have been replaced. 
  • The Sanctuary stage has been modified to be four levels instead of three – the prior steps were nearly 10” vertical difference, but are now ADA-compliant (except for lack of ramp) at 7”+. The stage for the pulpit has also been extended. 
  • Repurposed panels have been added to the back of the Sanctuary stage and painted per the new color palette. 
  • New wall sections have been built to accommodate the reconfiguration of the front office space. 
  • The doors to the Nursery (from Foyer – Dutch door) and Pre-K to Founders Hall have been swapped out. This was a prior project requested by Safe Congregations Committee. 
  • DRE bookshelves and Church Secretary’s desks have been retrofitted with repurposed panels from the corridor for better structural stability and aesthetics. 
  • We netted about $200.00 for recycling of the old chair frames. New chairs for the Sanctuary and stackable chairs for Founders Hall and classrooms have been ordered.  Because of supply chain issues, we expect delivery either in December or January. 
  • Substrates for new tackboards have been purchased and are awaiting space for Chris Spencer to be able to assemble them. 
  • Carpet tiles have been installed in the (old) Minister’s Study/(new “Back” Office – for Bookkeeper/Music/Membership Coordinator) and VCT (vinyl composite tile) has been removed from Founders Hall and the pass-through. 
  • Several RE shelf units have been repainted to match the new color palette, as well as one of the two Visitor Desks. 
  • “Musical chairs” has started with the moving of furniture from one room to another to allow for flooring installation. Returning furniture to the front and back offices is done or imminent. 


  • Complete last bits of renovation work, which will include replacing electrical outlets with tamper-proof plugs, new outlet/switch plates, base molding, replacing stage handrails, men’s rest room work, rehanging signage. 
  • Continue flooring installation – classrooms (LVT – luxury vinyl tile) next, followed by carpeting in Sanctuary, corridors, etc., then LVT in Founders Hall (lead time limited). 
  • Add high-hanging storage cabinet in Nursery (where little ones can’t reach) and construct new Usher storage in front of the Sound Booth. 
  • Continue cleaning of contents in the storage units. 
  • Take three remaining carpets to Dalworth Cleaners for restoration. 
  • A bunch of little one-offs too numerous to list. 

Help needed:  While a lot of the “heavy” work has been or is being handled, there are several activities requiring volunteers that involves much less physical exertion. 

  • Clean boxed contents taken to storage unit. 
  • Wipe down Library books and put back on bookcases. 
  • Miscellaneous cleaning & dusting all around. 

Refer to the following progress captured in photos:

9/20/21 Stage after new steps

9/25/21 Stage after panels added

9/29/21 Mary Painting Visitor desk

10-12/21 Office-carpet installed

10/12/21 Back corridor facing North

10/12/21 Stage after panels painted

Classroom E looking back

10/12/21 Classrm E toward front

10/12/21 Back Office-Carpet&Handrail

10/12/21 New Minister’s Study

10/12/21 Front Office looking out

10/12/21 DRE Office

10/13/21 Founders Hall floor removal

10/13/21 Mark reinstalling banners/chalice

10/13/21 Dick holding chalice





SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 Restoration Photos

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021   Things are starting to move! This week we obtained clearance from RCI Environmental to proceed with work now that mold levels are down to acceptable levels (more detail below). For the main building, renovation will commence this coming Monday morning (September 13th) and this phase is expected to take four to six weeks. Additionally, mold remediation in the Annex will commence either today or Monday and will take about two weeks before we can expect clearance.

Remaining mold remediation work (main building): The only areas that still had a bit higher than acceptable spore counts were the (old) Minister’s Study, the women’s rest room and the RE/maintenance storage areas in the back. None of these will hold up reconstruction.

  • In the (old) Minister’s Study, (as expected and budgeted in the congregational approval) the flooring has mold contamination and will be replaced by carpeting. This will be pulled up in the schedule to be able to relocate our Bookkeeper’s Office to this room as quickly as possible – we had to again move the Bookkeeper temporarily to classroom D since the Annex cannot be occupied during remediation. For reference, see item 1 from the August 12th
  • The air in the women’s rest room had not been scrubbed during the remediation (no walls had been removed). A HEPA scrubber has now been placed there and we will take another air sample when the Annex remediation is complete.
  • We have avoided moving all the materials stored in the RE storage and maintenance cages in the back of the building to try to save volunteer work. The remediation team had sealed off this area over the past few weeks. While the spore counts had come down, they are still a bit too high. The protocol specified is to run an air scrubber in the sealed area and use a blower to blow any particulates off the surfaces of contents in the area. After that, we will take new air samples.

Recent accomplishments:  There has been a lot of “miscellaneous” activity by volunteers since funding approval has been obtained.  Noteworthy are:

  • 3 storage units have been rented at Public Storage on K Avenue for (1) storage of boxed contents from the Nursery, RE classrooms, Founders Hall and the Sanctuary, (2) cleaning of these items and (3) a unit to store the cleaned materials until they can be brought back to the church. All boxes have been moved there and are waiting for volunteers to come get everything cleaned.
  • All fabric items that needed cleaning (paraments, stoles, tapestries, etc.) have been picked up and are being stored at Public Storage.
  • We now have a roll-off 30 cubic yard dumpster on the parking lot for everything being disposed of and general construction trash.
  • All of the Sanctuary, choir and maroon chairs have been disassembled, cushions tossed and frames will be delivered to a recycler next week. Other upholstered chairs have also been put in the dumpster.
  • Pre-existing tackboards (several of which had mold) have been removed and put in the dumpster. Chris Spencer has volunteered to lead a team to make new tackboards.
  • The Floors and Walls Team has made final selections of wall colors, chairs, flooring and trim. A detailed specification has been written and given to our remodeler.  Samples of materials are available for view on easels in the church foyer.
  • Chairs are being placed on order – they have an 18-20 week lead time and a pending price increase next week. If the church is cleared by the Board for occupancy before then, we could rent chairs temporarily.

Updates to August 12th update:

  1. As mentioned above, we have a quote and a purchase order (PO) for Annex mold remediation, which will start no later than Monday, September 13th.
  2. See prior section
  3. One more leak after our last rain was found when removing damp sheathing in Founders Hall. It has been caulked and we plan to paint areas where stucco meets trim with an elastomeric paint to try to prevent cracks from reforming.
  4. Board of Trustees, then the congregation approved the plans and funding for renovation.
  5. See prior section
  6. See prior section
  7. Still working with insurance company for final compensation.
  8. See preamble
  9. Some or all flooring may be in stock at our vendor so we might be able to avoid the long lead time issue.

HELP NEEDED:  While a lot of the “heavy” work has been or is being handled, there are several activities requiring volunteers that involves much less physical exertion.

  • Clean boxed contents taken to storage unit.
  • Paint visitor desks to match new palette
  • Repaint Quiet Room bench
  • Repaint some classroom shelves
  • Wipe down hymnals
  • Wipe down Library books and put back on bookcases
  • Clean electronics with compressed air
  • Clean all items that hung on wall
  • Replace all ceiling air filters

AUGUST 12, 2021  (a lot of moving parts amid uncertainty)

  1. On August 3rd, Bookkeeper/Member John Elder alerted us to mold found on a couch in Annex G Outer, where he had temporarily moved his office, but then moved out of due to mold on furnishings that had been moved from his original office. The couch was removed and disposed of. RCI Environmental was called to do an assessment. RCI came out on August 6th and took 20+ samples (measurements) throughout both buildings. We received the report today, showing extremely high levels of Aspergillus and Penicillium spores in Annex G Outer, and lower, but still unacceptable levels in other portions of the Annex building. We will request a quote from RestoPro for the Annex remediation.
  2. Previously identified mold remediation to commence on 8/16/21; duration 2 weeks. Quote of $64k approved this week. In preparation for the mold remediation, items from various shelves, bookcases, etc. have been boxed up and labeled, which will need to be decontaminated before being put back in service. This may also be an opportunity to purge items that aren’t needed. Additionally, Jen Mason has taken all the paraments and other fabric to a dry cleaner for cleaning.
  3. Mike Edgmon and Dick Hildenbrand have been working at pinpointing the sources of water leaks coming onto the floors in Founders Hall, Nursery, Sanctuary and Minister’s Study. This has been an iterative process, starting at the bottom sill of each window and working upward and caulking anywhere that water (from a hose) penetrates. This exercise was completed today – no leaks detected! Yay!
  4. Diagrams for proposed reconfiguration of the office area (to accommodate moving the Minister’s Office to the front) have been submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration/approval.
  5. The “Floors and Walls” Team has been meeting by Zoom for several weeks and Melissa Hildenbrand will present their consensus recommendation to the Board at this Saturday’s meeting. Thanks to our members’ participation in working with Melissa on this: Jen Mason, Chris Spencer, Brennan Hadden, Jodie Zoeller and Jeannette Baillie.
  6. Due to the mold contamination and evaluating costs of remediation & cleaning versus replacement, there appears to be strong support to replace all upholstered chairs (Sanctuary, Choir, Founders, Office, etc.). We will get sample chairs for evaluation in the near future.
  7. Bill Daffinee is still dealing with insurance compensation issues. He wants to get the initial claim locked down before submitting a subsequent claim for the mold damage caused by tearing out the walls and carpeting.
  8. As of now, restoration/remodeling is to commence on 8/30/21; expected duration 4 weeks.
  9. Flooring installation schedule in question; 60-day material lead time has been advised by our vendor – this is an industry-wide supply chain issue.

JULY 7, 2021  During the past month there has not been appreciable physical progress on the church, however, there has been some scheduling shifts for various reasons. We’ve received some funds to apply to the renovation. Also, several preparatory activities have been happening.

  1. About mid-June we discovered mold on several surfaces throughout the main building. We believe this was caused by the earlier removal of carpeting and drywall damaged by the freeze event – mold spores liberated from behind or underneath that had been trapped beforehand. Some we attribute directly to the freeze event (e.g., carpet removal) and some attributable to chronic leakage through the exterior walls, especially around several windows. We intend to submit a supplemental claim for that damage we believe directly attributable to the freeze event.
  2. Upon discovery of the mold, we contacted our mold inspector and received his report on June 25th. We then contacted the mold remediators (RestoPro) and did a walk-through last week and are awaiting his estimate. Once we receive his estimate (split into freeze-related and non-freeze-related), we will file another claim with our insurance provider, Church Mutual, for freeze-related damage.
  3. A lot of effort has been expended in the past couple of weeks to organize/consolidate items in the church that need to be cleaned to eliminate mold – rugs, chairs and other upholstered items, paraments, banners, curtains, etc. Jen Mason will handle the cleaning of the latter and we will get a quote from Cyclone Pro cleaners for the former.
  4. An earlier solution to stop the water seepage onto the Nursery floor from the windows (which worked) was replicated for similar leaks in the Sanctuary, Minister’s Study and Founders Hall. The solution appears to have worked for all areas except of Founders Hall. In Founders Hall, we will be removing the exterior wall’s drywall and insulation to see if we can find the root cause of the leaks. For mold remediation, we will encapsulate the sheathing to prevent subsequent mold from entering the interior and foam insulating the wall.
  5. Our remodeler (Lone Start Remodeling) has informed us that he needs to push his start date back from the beginning of July to the end of July due to other projects ahead of us. Regardless of this, we would have had to push his start date back due to the need to complete mold remediation first. Once remodeling work starts, we estimate 6-8 weeks before the church is usable.
  6. We received the initial insurance check for $115,181.01 in June. This check had a depreciation discount which will be paid to us later upon replacement of the designated items.
  7. We applied for a UUA Disaster Relief Grant and were awarded a $30,000 grant. The check was received on July 3rd.
  8. Bill Daffinee is still working with Church Mutual’s appraiser and staff on different aspects of our insurance claims.
  9. Dick Hildenbrand met with Angela Hathaway (RE Board) to get a compilation of all the books and their ISBNs for insurance reimbursement and replacement. This list should be complete within a week.
  10. Melissa Hildenbrand has been asked to come up with a proposal of three sets of color/material schemes. These will be evaluated by our team of Jen Mason, Chris Spencer, Brennan Hadden and Pastor Kris and their recommendation will be passed on to the congregation for a vote.
  11. My best guess at this point would be a re-opening sometime around October 2021.

JUNE 1, 2021  The committee recommends engaging Lone Star Remodeling to do renovation. This is an employeeowned and operated local company that proved to be reliable and trustworthy in the past. Lone Star provided an estimate of $179,970 for completion of the current work. Lone Star is negotiating the settlement amount with our insurance provider. This will delay the start of work until July, with estimated completion sometime in August. Work to create an ADAcompliant restroom is not included in the current restoration plan. Another Congregational vote will be needed later to authorize spending for additional building renovation and upgrades. There is no working phone in the building now, except near the circuit breakers. Phone calls to the church are being forwarded to a cell phone that Connie will monitor and answer during business hours.

MAY 23, 2021  As of mid-May we have completed the first round of insurance claim/reimbursement/remodel contract negotiations (B. Daffinee – S. Mason). Initial cleanup by church members allowed us to recover our insurance deductible. The insurance covers replacement value, but depreciation and rapidly increasing materials and labor cost/availability are complications that have yet to be fully resolved. We hope to have a remodeling contract in place by the end of the fiscal year, with remodeling to begin by the end of July,

FEBRUARY 16 – APRIL 12, 2021  During our week of extreme winter weather our church building suffered from burst pipes and LOTS of water damage. Detailed description of this event and restoration progress.