The most visible change this past week was the arrival and on-site assembly of our new, north staircase that extends what some know as the “blue” stairs, down from the main floor to the lower level. As it descends, it stops at grade on the Dewbourne side of the building where construction crews will soon cut an opening for new secondary doors to access the School Wing. This new staircase will enable us to continue programming in the Philip Smith Congregational Hall during construction of the balance of Phase 1 of the Renewal Project, by giving us an approved emergency exit from the lower level.
Other work continues primarily in two largely-hidden disciplines: drywall/painting and electrical. The final drywall partitions are essentially in place now, providing vestibules on all floors for our new elevator. With regard to painting, the trades will finish off the last few offices very soon, ready for final inspection by our architects. Our staff is anxiously waiting to move into their new temporary offices in the School Wing and will do so just as soon as Bell completes its work of moving the phone lines.
The electricians still have a couple of weeks work ahead of them as they reroute systems and wiring to enable us to operate the Sanctuary on Shabbat during Phase 1 construction. Included in their scope is the challenging and necessary relocation of all of the Sanctuary sound equipment that is currently in the direct line of future demolition.
Again, these are the final stages of the preliminary phase of construction, so that we can house all of our Temple activities in our School Wing during construction of the balance of Phase 1 of Renewal. Phase 1 construction includes our spectacular new Central Atrium, our brand new Family Chapel and so much more – work that will be getting underway very soon.
In fact, as mentioned in our last construction update, tender packages were recently distributed to six pre-qualified general contractor firms that are bidding to oversee the construction of the balance of Phase 1. Our Building Committee, with the guidance of our architect, will select the winning bid in about one month from now. At the same time, the results of the tendering process will allow us to finalize our total anticipated Phase 1 budget.