Our renovation progress – the exterior

Dear Supporters,

It has been an extremely busy autumn and I am long overdue giving you an update on what we did after the church was moved and put on a new foundation. With the foundation completed we got started on the exterior renovations of the Church on July 28th.

We needed several weeks after moving the church to get all the details worked out and supplies ordered. I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of different people to find out the best course of direction on everything from the choice of siding, best way to restore the windows, most fuel efficient furnace, a restorer for the Pinnacles on the pillars, the right lighting for our interior, and so on.

Importantly, we had to make decisions that would keep us within our budget.

To keep costs down we decided that we would not hire a general contractor to oversee the entire project. We wanted to put that money into quality products in our restoration.

Our contractor on the exterior of the building is Main River Builders Inc., owned by Todd Hannay. It is a crew of five consisting of Todd and his son Tye, Larry Jones, Maurice Daigle and Gaston Gallant. I am happy that we are able to employ small local entrepreneurs to work on our renovations. They are doing a fantastic job for us, and their enthusiasm for this project has been very evident.

The first job they tackled was to remove the stain glass windows and store them until the renovations are complete. The windows were removed, stripped, repaired and painted. We were able to restore the storm windows as well. Another local man – Malcolm Savoy, restored the window framing. Gordon Drew of Moncton installed new glass and glazing into the windows.

The old siding was removed from the entire church in a matter of a couple of weeks. We were all very relieved that there was very little rot and only a few of boards had to be replaced. The siding is completed on the church and the pillars were cladded with new wood.

Deciding on the right type of siding was a critical part of the project. We wanted to ensure that the siding was appropriate and that it would last. A special thanks to Shawn Graham for helping us to obtain reduced pricing on the cost of the siding and accessories which were provided by Cape Cod Siding.

During my research on insulation it was recommended that we don’t fill the core wall in an old building, so we installed 2” Styrofoam on the exterior walls and thermo wrap to seal the building.

At the rear of the building we stripped the old shingles and installed Styrofoam and thermo wrap temporarily as it is our plan to add an extension to the rear of the church for an office, and other uses.

The old moldings on the exterior of the church over the windows were stripped and repainted and they look great!

We installed Lightening Rods on the church, which has an effect on insurance. We have been blessed that the structure has never been struck by lightening given its location on the river and height.

We hired Dawson Campbell to separate all the good foundation stones so that we know just how many we can use in our landscaping. We are researching for possible landscape consultants to give us a landscaping plan. This is an important part of the Restoration, as it adds to the overall look of our Church.

We plan to replace the front doors with historically correct solid wood doors. These will have to be custom made. Thankfully we have the doors from the rear of the church for design reference. I have contacted a company in Nova Scotia that does this type of work. The doors will be installed in 2014.

There are a lot of surprises when restoring an old property, but when the work is finally complete and we see the Church standing proud on the point on the Richibucto River it will all have been worth it!

Stay tuned for an update on the interior restorations.

– Paul Warren

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Exterior restoration is well underway

Dear supporters of the restoration project,

I thought that it was about time to give you an update on the progress of the church renovations. It has been a busy few months at the United Church, and I have lots of news on our progress.

Phase I – Exterior renovations

The first step in the exterior renovations was to replace the roof to stop the leaks. The Hudson brothers replaced the asphalt-shingled roof with a steel gravel roof resembling asphalt shingles. This roof is guaranteed to last 40 to 50 years.

The second step of the exterior restoration began on April 15th with the arrival of Joseph McDonald Movers, who are the largest building movers east of Montreal. We were fortunate to have such an expert team of movers on hand with their impressive hydraulic lifting machinery to move the church.

It took approximately three weeks to prep the building for the move. It was an exciting time for committee and the community. There were several people who were pessimistic that the building could actually be moved without damages, others thought it could not be lifted at all.

During the preparation for the move McDonald’s told me that it was the heaviest lift they have done to date, but not the largest building. I think that bit of information made us all just a little bit more nervous than we already were.

Initially they estimated that the job would take approximately 6 weeks, however due to some unforeseen complications (rotten sills under the building and the steeple) they were another two weeks. The steeple sills had to be replaced before they could proceed.

The church was moved on May 6th and it took approximately 6 hours to move it 21 feet towards Water Street.

We had a contest to guess the weight of the Church prior to the move. Laurie McNairn of Rexton and Edna Whitton of Moncton guessed the weight correctly – 369,000 pounds!

CTV Atlantic News was on hand to capture the event and interview Gwendolyn Reidpath, Dale Dickinson and me. Click here to view CTV Atlantic News story and TV news segment.

We generated good media coverage with stories in The Moncton Times, The Focus, and the Acadie Nouvelle. The week after the move we had Rogers TV tape a story for a news segment, which aired about a month ago.

After the church was moved into position we poured a new 10” wall foundation with bearing points under the main sills of the building, installed 2” Styrofoam on the foundation exterior, installed drain tiles, and backfilled.

The remaining sills still needed a lot of work after the move and this work was completed by Aldoria (Popeye) MacDonald House Moving.

During the relocation of the building, I found a few artifacts under the church – three bottles, a pair of leather shoes (that look to be about 160 years old), door from an old stove and also burned sills from the previous church, which was destroyed by fire.

We could even see evidence of burnt ground under the church. I think that this settles where the old church was really sitting as some thought that the original church sat closer to the river.

Stay tuned for another update on our progress in the next few days.

T. Paul Warren, Chairman

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Buying your groceries using Foodland and Coop Gift Cards helps us raise money

Thanks to Kenny Glencross for giving us a great idea for raising additional money for the church restoration – Foodland (Sobeys) and Coop Gift Cards!

It’s an easy way for us to raise extra money with very little effort.

Here’s how it works…

The committee buys the gift cards upfront in cash and in return we are given a discount. This discount then goes towards our fundraising efforts. Coop gives us 10% and Foodland 5%.

There is no cost to the purchaser of the gift cards. If you buy a card for $50, then you redeem it for $50 worth of food and other items at Coop or Foodland. And you can still use your AirMiles cards to collect points!

We are selling gift cards in $50 and $100 denominations. You can buy your gift cards from the following people:

Al Corcoran (427-0467)

Linda (Rodney) Hannay (523-4316)

Paul Warren (523-4916)

Buy your groceries and support the church restoration!

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