I am so excited about all of the property improvements here at St. Stephen’s, and I hope you are too! As you look around the building, you will see evidence of some of the work going on. Some projects are visible and some are not, so I wanted to take a moment and give everyone an update. Also, thank you for being patient with the mess during the construction.
The flat, rubber roofing that is above the parish hall, kitchen, and part of the nursery school wing has been replaced by Northwestern roofing. There was tapered insulation installed and that will take care of drainage issues that we have had in the past.
There are also several electrical improvements in the works. Most of the light fixtures in the building have been replaced with LED fixtures. The remaining fixtures will be replaced in the next couple of weeks and all light bulbs will be changed to LED bulbs. The electrical panels are being replaced this week. All exit signs will be changed to LED signs and a new generator will be installed within the next couple of weeks. Blackman Electric is doing all of the electrical work.
All of the ceiling tiles in the building are being replaced. They have all been removed, the ceiling tile grid has been painted white and the new tiles will be installed within the next couple of weeks.
You may wonder how we are going to pay for all of this work. The Bishop authorized St. Stephen’s to spend $100,000 from the gift from Jean Mertens for property improvements. We are estimating that the total cost for the roofing, electrical and ceiling tile work will be $90,612. I have been working with a property committee that includes church members Don Meeder, Dave Vogt, Eric Schuette, George Willis and Mike Felmlee. We have looked at the need for the projects, reviewed all estimates and made recommendations to the Bishop’s Committee, and monitored the work that is being done. Once we have the final numbers for all of these projects, the property committee will meet and look at other projects that still need to be done at St. Stephen’s. A huge thank you to all of the property committee members for all their hard work!
You may also notice all of the beautiful landscaping that has been done. We had a wonderful opportunity to partner with an agency called PRI Community and they have done all of the landscaping at St. Stephen’s free of charge. PRI Community is a company that is dedicated to improving the public good through providing services to community organizations and businesses without cost. PRI Community works with Erie social service agencies to identify individuals living in Erie that would benefit from PRI Community employment. PRI Community provides employees with English language knowledge as well as technical trade skills. The goal for this program is for these individual to gain the skills necessary for future employment. PRI Community has spent four days this week, with a large crew of workers, working on our property. I invite all of you to take a stroll around our grounds and see the difference. It is quite impressive and we are very blessed to have this opportunity! PRI Community will be returning the week of August 14th for 3 days to clean the inside of our building top to bottom. Again, what a blessing!
This is certainly a very exciting time here at St. Stephen’s! Please contact me if you have any questions about what has been going on (814.474.5490, email@example.com).
Claire Wachter, Parish Administrator