Roof Repair Project Update
The Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena
I want to update you on the progress of our Roofing Infrastructure project at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church.
The project has three distinct phases. Phase 1 the “Shoring Up Phase”. This phase puts in place shoring towers and other components to ensure that no further damage occurs to the church as a result of the deteriorating wood trusses that currently exist in the church attic.
Phase 2 is the “Truss Repair Phase”. Phase 2 will begin immediately upon completion of the Shoring Up Phase. As it is currently envisioned, the use of steel building components called “C Channels” will be added to the existing timbers to encapsulate the deteriorating wood trusses and transfer the loads from the wood to the steel. This is the least invasive type of solution and when used in combination with a new steel archway throughout the length of the attic will add support, not only to the roof but to the irreplaceable Gothic plaster ceiling inside the church.
Phase 3 of the project is the “Cosmetic Repair Phase”. Following the completion of Phase 2, it will be necessary to make cosmetic repairs to the interior plaster, paint, etc. of the church as well as reinstallation of the of the altar, ambo, pews, etc.
The project began Monday April 6th with the removal of the pews and of the dropped ceiling in Rosary Hall. The purpose in removing the dropped ceiling was to gain access to the steel components located within the church’s primary structure in order to accurately calculate the loads that would be incurred as a result of the project. Upon removal of the dropped ceiling, a tin ceiling was found. Under the tin ceiling asbestos fiberboard insulation was found, most likely installed in the 1920’s or 1930’s.
Uncontained asbestos is a very harmful substance. It is necessary to remove and abate the asbestos fiberboard. That process is currently underway with an expected completion date of May 1. At that time, we can resume with the Shoring Up Phase, which is expected to take 3 to 4 months. Also, we expect to be able to determine an accurate calculation of the cost of Phase 1, most likely by the end of May.
I will continue to keep you aware of the progress of restoring the church’s roof as we work to ensure the safety and stability of our venerable and historic church building.
Peace and blessing,