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Hello Fort George and Lighthouse Community,

Below are the questions we have received to date regarding the proposed renovaiton.  Further questions are welcome.  

New Questions added February 8

1.) Will the renovations take current Covid-19 regulations into consideration?  How will this work when in-person services are allowed again?

All workers will be wearing masks and maintaining social distance similar to other construction zones.  Currently we don't have in-person services which makes this a great time to get started on the project.  When in-person services begin again they will be at a reduced capacity.  We will hold the services in the sanitized ministry room until the reno is complete.

2.) Are there detailed drawings with measurements available?

No. Because our renovation is non-structural it wasn't necessary for us to get detailed drawings.  We have measurements available for things like the stage (12-24), new south entry (9-18) and the nursery (9-11).

"Older Questions" from February 6

1.)  At our last congregational meeting the initial estimation for the cost of the renovation was $40,000.  Now it is over $100,000.  What is the reason for this increase?  

Initially the Renovation Committee brought in a general contractor who estimated that the full job would cost $140,000.  After we received this we broke it down ourselves into three rough categories: maintenance ($40,000), renovation ($40,000) and labour/profit ($60,000) for the contractor and his team.  We then decided we would be better to have members of our congregation oversee the renovation and cut out as much of the labour cost as possible.   

After it was brought to our attention that it wasn’t right to combine maintenance and renovations, we went back to the drawing table to get more accurate quotes for the individual jobs involved in the renovation.  As it turned out our initial estimates and rough breakdown were low.  The new numbers represent quotes from individual contractors and are much more accurate.  

2.)  How old are the existing furnaces, and do they need to be replaced?  

The three furnaces under the sanctuary are 2005’s (16 years old).  They are currently functioning fine, and don’t need to be replaced, but they are low efficiency furnaces and will need to be replaced at some point.  These furnaces exhaust out a chimney through the roof.  In order to move the south wall of the sanctuary back they will need to be upgraded to high efficiency furnaces which exhaust out the side of the building.  There will be an ongoing gas savings here due to the increase in efficiency.  

3.)  If we have potlucks upstairs this will be a long way from the kitchen.  Is this good?  

If potlucks happen upstairs it will result in a long walk to the kitchen.  That said, it will mean people with accessibility issues won’t have to carry their dishes downstairs.  We think this is worth the trade.  The sanctuary is also considerably larger than the basement room which will enable us to host combined Fort George/Lighthouse events.    If we have a meal that requires heavy use of the kitchen, we could still hold it downstairs.  

4.)  What will the measurements be for the new south entry area?  Will it be big enough?  

The new south entry area will be 9 x 18 feet.  This will be large enough for a greeter or two to stand inside and welcome people.  It won’t be an area for visiting, but it will enable us to maximize the size of the sanctuary.  Keeping it small will also result in a larger area for visiting behind the sound booth.     

5.)  Will there be a place to hang coats and hats in the new south entry?  

Yes, there will be a small coat and boot area in the new entry.  We are also considering installing a larger coat and boot area just inside the south entrance of the sanctuary on the new south wall.  

6.)  Will the new nursery be big enough?  

The nursery will be 9x11 feet, half the size it currently is.  It will have a sink and change table and some seating.  

7.)  Has aisle size been considered for things like communion, baptisms, funerals, bride and father etc?   

Because we will be using chairs we will have flexibility to make sure the isles are wide enough to accommodate all these things.  

8.)  Will the new stage be big enough?  

The new stage will be 12 x 24 feet and two steps high.  Our current stage is 24 feet wide and 10 feet deep at the narrowest part and 21 feet deep at the widest part.  The new stage will be big enough for a full band or a large wedding party.  

9.)  Could we install a dumb waiter or some form of elevator to bring stuff up from the kitchen?  

That could be considered at a future date but isn’t part of the current plan.  

10.) Could a main floor kitchen be built under the current covered walkway on the south side of the building?

That could be considered at a future date but isn’t part of the current plan.  

11.) How many wheelchair emergency exits do we have, and is there any plan to increase this at this point?

We currently have only 1 exit or entrance for wheelchairs (The south entrance).  The current renovation is restricted to only non-structural sanctuary work.  A future exterior renovation would need to include improvements in this area.  

12.) Have fire regulations been considered regarding how many chairs we can have in the sanctuary?  

Fire code dictates that we can seat 300 people in our sanctuary.  It would be difficult to get that many chairs in there, but that is the number we are allowed.

13.) How big will the new chairs be, and will they be comfortable?

At this point we haven’t finalized our chair selection.  They will likely be similar to other church chairs like Westwood or Hartland's. 

Thank you to all those of you who put work into asking great questions.  We hope we have been able to answer them to your satisfaction.  If you have any further questions please get them in as soon as possible.


John Zettl