Sunday, September 30, 2007

Out of Sight

No new photos this week. Most of the progress has involved wiring and plumbing pipes, being laid along ceilings, under floors, through various holes in walls, ceilings and floors. Lots of drilling and noise in the building, according to those who are there during the week. And a new cutoff valve for the main water line has been completed; that hole in the ground in last week's post is filled in.

In addition, Dave has been working with Zach (the supervising contractor) to figure out how best to use a gift we received from Jan--base and wall cabinets and a counter top that can be adapted to fit the new kitchenette! Additional cabinet doors, inside fittings and maybe another cabinet or two have been found on closeout from the manufacturer, so the new cabinets and counter top will be not only functional, but lovely. And quite a bit of expense saved there, thanks to Jan's generosity and Dave's ingenuity.

As soon as something new and photogenic arrives, we'll post more pictures!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beyond Pipes and Walls

This week found some of the Compton Heights women at the Southeast Gateway Area retreat at Orchard Crest Camp. The retreat keynoter was our own pastor Jacque Foster.

, Eva, Janice, Norma and Judi repre- sented Compton at this gathering of about 35 women. The rustic accommodations at the camp are both charming and something we are more aware of as we think about accessibility. Very little of the camp ground is easy access if a person has issues with arthritis or other mobility limits. But we had fun, anyway, and Jacque was a great leader. It was great to share Compton's mission with others from the area--note those Compton T-shirts!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or church, most of the past week in construction has been about water, how to route it, how to drain it, and how to turn it on and off. Or so it seems. At right, new pipes are roughed in to serve a new sink in the kitchenette.

Both waste and supply pipes that once inhabited the space between the old kitchen- ette and old bath rooms have now been completely rerouted through the floor, up the walls and criss crossing the ceiling to gain access to the upper floor. A marvel of cast iron, copper and pvc.

As they have worked, the plumbers have been frustrated by the lack of working shut off valves in our building. Most of them appear to be frozen open, not a good thing. New this week is this excavation just outside the education building entrance to uncover a supply line that enters the kitchen on the ground level. Yes, it has a valve. The valve is open. It needs to be replaced. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Compton Homecoming Sunday

Today was Homecoming Sunday at Compton. We had many guests and visitors in worship--calling and inviting people works wonders! Food helps, too. Almost 60 people dug in to the various dishes brought in for the feast. And yes, there was some left--a little bit, anyway.

The maze of pipes and drains that used to be between the kitchenette and the tiny bathrooms was completely relocated by the plumbers this week. The noise of jackhammers and the dust from holes being punched through the floor did interrupt the work of Isaiah 58 so much that the food pantry will be closed until Sept. 24, and the director had to temporarily relocate her office. All will soon be back to normal downstairs, we hope.

Meanwhile, in the former nursery, the studs for new walls are in place, and some of the plumbing is also relocated. Soon two new accessible bathrooms, separate for men and women, will be going in. So the photos above and below are not of a jail, but of what will become a liberating new feature for our building.

We also received word this week that the concrete contractor is finishing up a prior job and will be ready to start on our front entrance sooner than we thought, possibly by the last week of this month. So watch the space soon for news of an impromptu "concrete breaking" ceremony.

Also this week, our former student associate and sabbatical pastor, Darla Glynn, sent this e-mail:
It is so exciting to see all the changes going on with the Compton Cares Campaign! I can't tell you how this warms my heart to see God powerfully at work in the life of the community. Grace has always abounded at Compton and now the cup seems to be running over in so many miraculous ways. All of you and each of you remain in my hopes, thoughts, prayers and heart. I look forward to seeing the ongoing progress. Know that I am celebrating with you as your new space unfolds! Christ's love to all, miss you much, Grace & Peace, Darla

Thanks, Darla! Everyone, feel free to add your comments, or to send an e-mail. The e-mail link is found on my profile.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Faces at Compton Heights

The Compton Cares accessibility project is about more than construction; it's about extending a hospitable welcome, and doing something new in this place. So today we welcomed our new student associate pastor for this year, Jenn Simmons, a student at Eden Theological Seminary. Jenn read the psalm and participated in other parts of morning worship. Welcome, Jenn!

Another new face belongs to 5- month- old Madison, who visited the new nursery today with her grandma Judy. Norma took care of Madison during worship and said she was a delight. (Jacque, the photographer apologizes for getting you faded out in the backlight.)

Now about those newly exposed pipes. Many phone calls and e-mails went back and forth this week, trying to decide if any of these are too crucial to move. At last word, all should be well. But this morning during coffee hour, Sarah, Darrell and Bryan took a closer look at our "maze" of plumbing and also marveled at what a solid structure the education building really is.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More Deconstruction

More progress this week in the removal of the old bath rooms and kitchen is visible in this photo taken today. This view is from the same vantage point as the view of the old kitchenette that I posted previously. The sink, cabinets, cook top and refrigerator are gone! So are the two tiny bathrooms. Plumbing and pipes will be removed or relocated so that this corridor can become a new, more functional kitchenette stretching from the door back toward the window.

And where has all the rubbish gone? Into the big trash bin parked behind the building. It is causing some parking and access issues for Isaiah 58's food pantry, but staff and volunteers are working around it. This phase is supposed to last 3-4 weeks, we were told initially, and this is week 2.

Monday, September 3, 2007

At Last, Construction!

After almost a year of planning and fund raising, work has begun on the interior phase of the Compton Cares project!
The old kitchenette, above, will be removed in this phase.

Also to be removed are the two tiny toilet compartments behind the kitchenette. These were originally designed for small children and the cramped quarters and unisex arrangement lacked privacy.

Workers began dismantling the toilets and adjoining spaces on Wednesday, August 29. By Sunday, Sept. 2, all that remained of the former "water closets" was this array of pipes and conduits.

The previous nursery, with its cheerful mural of Noah, will become the space for two new accessible restrooms, for men and women. Additional space from the former Gleaners' classroom will be needed, so the wall between them was also demolished at the end of the week.

We are equiped for little ones, however! A smaller, cheerful nursery has been set up in a former associate pastor's office space near the sanctuary. During construction, the Gleaners' class is meeting in Fellowship Hall, and members are using restrooms on the lower floor.

We know that others who use our building will be impacted during the project, and we are working with them to minimize disruptions. The outdoor phase of the project should begin toward the end of September, or as soon as the contractor is available.

Updated information about the project will be posted here weekly, so check back often!