First, kudos and thanks to the crew for getting the ceiling down while keeping the roof stabilized.
The dumpster is full of sheet rock. A truckload of old insulation has already been taken away. The pile in the photo will get hauled off eventually. New insulation will be going in with the new ceiling.
What did we discover when the ceiling came down?
1) It wasn't just "king posts" that came out their gussets, causing the trusses to drop. Some of the trusses broke, either clear through or fractured. (see picture, right)
2) The entire sanctuary roof, not just the elevated portion, has broken supports and needed to be shored up. The shoring now stretches from one end of the sanctuary to the other.
3) Some of the electrical wiring up there are potential hazards and need to be replaced while everything is easily accessible.
A crew from Porter Construction started first thing Wednesday morning to start preparations to remove the ceiling and assess the roof trusses. The sanctuary floor and walls had to be covered in large sheets of plastic to protect against all the dust, insulation and debris to come. The lights and speakers had to come down, along with the large "beam" over the stage. Did you know that's not actually a beam or weight bearing? It is a hollow, decorative piece.
Over 200 people joined us in the Auditorium at Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School for today's Sunday service, which included a meditation by Rev. Mark Fisk, inspirational music by The JaJas, and an incredible talk by visiting instructor Rev. Laura Barrett Bennett.
Rev. Laura reminded us all to remember that in every situation, "There is good in this." Unity of Mesa has witnessed this firsthand with the structural issues with our Sanctuary: From the many people who have given of their time, talents, and treasures to help with moving chairs, assessing damage, and paying for repairs; to other organizations in our community, including AMC and Mesa Public School District, who have provided us with venues for our Sunday services; to the professionals who have guided us through identifying the structural issues and the solutions; to the new visitors who have found us as we have moved from one location to another. Despite outward appearances to the contrary, there is good in this!
The structural engineer provided us with a proposed plan for repairs, which the church put out for bid last week. The construction company that the church retained will begin repairs early this week, which we anticipate will include removing the existing ceiling, repairing all of the trusses, and then replacing the ceiling. Once the ceiling is down, the structural engineer should be better able to determine the cause of the damage, confirm the repair plan, and determine whether additional work will be needed. We anticipate the repairs will take approximately 2.5 weeks; we expect to continue to hold Sunday services at the Franklin at Brimhall Auditorium through at least February 1. The estimated cost for the project is $50,000. Additional donations dedicated to the cost of repairs would be much appreciated.
Tonight we started an exciting week of S.E.E. in the Field, with nearly 50 students joining us for classes taught by Revs. Paul Hasselbeck, Laura Barret Bennett, Mark Fisk, Judy Hildebrand, and Kathy Kellogg. We appreciate the love and energy this group will bring to the campus this week.
Today was Unity of Mesa's last Sunday at the AMC Mesa Grand 24. Rev. Mark Fisk spoke about "Entering the Mystery" and Rev. Judy Hildebrand led the meditation. Our music team Erahn Patton and Jimmy Boyd rocked the house. We are grateful to AMC for being such gracious hosts and offering us the facility at a discount.
Next week we will moving to Franklin at Brimhall School Auditorium (4949 E. Southern Avenue, West of Higley), with guest speaker Rev. Laura Barrett Bennett who will be speaking about "The Center of the Universe." Youth Ministry (Nursery - 12th Grade) will be held in classes on-site at Franklin/Brimhall.
We now have an engineering plan to repair the roof trusses: The ceiling has to come down. We are awaiting the results of asbestos testing and a determination of the cause so that we can figure out how to proceed. We hope to know estimated costs and have a repair timeline next week. Visit www.unityofmesa.org for updates.