Originally published in the Winter 2015 Quarterly Explorer
Updates provided by Seth Roberts, Bill Rusher, & RC Moore
The organ project is proceeding smoothly. At this point, the pipes and many of the internal mechanisms of our Sanctuary pipe organ have been removed to the firm of Steve Emery. Steve and his colleagues have begun the work of restoring / repairing our instrument. This will involve thoroughly cleaning all of the components, fixing damaged pipes, and replacing certain parts that cannot be repaired. This process will continue over the next 10 months, or so. The work is being overseen by our Building and Property Council, our outside consultant Jonathan Ambrosino, and Bob Gallagher. Once complete, Steve and his colleagues will return the components to our sanctuary and reinstall / re-regulate the instrument. We still envision the entire restoration project will be finished by late summer 2016. During that time, we will continue to use the electronic organ that is currently in place. We look forward to the completion of this project and welcoming our pipe organ “back home.”
With the help of our lighting designer, plans which began over two years ago for the Sanctuary lighting were revised. We are now going with a fixture-for-fixture replacement scenario, and we are staying with the existing “scalloped” effect, rather than a “wash,” for the indirect lighting. These revised plans do not include lighting the stained glass window, which will be handled as a separate job.
These revised plans include new lighting for the choir and alter areas. The fixture choices for LED’s have greatly expanded in the last two years. In 2013, when we received bids of around $200,000 for the Sanctuary lighting, we were hoping that prices on the LED’s would come down someday, and it appears that they have.
We asked four contractors for proposals. The low bid of $61,630 was from Folkes Electrical Construction Company, Inc. Even though this job seems to be fairly simple on paper, there are bound to be surprises along the way. Therefore, we suggest that an additional $5,000 be allowed in the budget for this job, for unforeseen circumstances. We look forward to an enhanced worship experience that will include not only the rebuilt pipe organ, but also improved lighting and sound systems.
The sound system renewal project, which now spans nearly one year of investigative work and review of new replacement systems, has progressed to the final decision on the installation of the new system and related upgrades for the Sanctuary. The project includes new elements which will be utilized to enhance the worship service. It also introduces expanded capabilities in recording, as well as enhancements for more effective communications and system usage.
The major components of the proposed system will provide significant improvement in speech intelligibility for the spoken word, without alteration of the musical sound qualities that our Sanctuary is known for.
The proposal contains a wholly new system with several enhancements which will improve congregational communications, hearing impaired upgrade, and audio visual recording. The new system will operate from an expanded console containing the system components. The drawing shown to the right provides a visual of the new column speaker system which will replace the present pew back system currently in use. Training sessions are incorporated into the contract for the sound system operators, in order to maximize the usage of the new systems and its components.
New System Content:
- Broadcast components and cabling
- Column mounted line array speaker for sanctuary
- Line array speakers for choir
- Line array speakers for transepts
- New balcony and Narthex speakers
- Speakers for minister’s seating area
- Expanded operators console
- Wholly new microphone systems
Expanded Components for Communications and Recording:
- Hearing impaired system upgrade 24 loop and ear piece units
- Rebroadcast system with repeaters in Chapel, Fellowship Hall, Nursery & Commons area
- Sound recording equipment for Sanctuary performances
- Video camera with variable optics & remote operation
- Stage box unit with associated microphones and remote connection
The negotiated cost for the entire system is $174,000 which will
be funded by the Rejoice & Give Thanks capital campaign. Upon final church acceptance of the proposed system, final contracts will be completed and equipment orders will be placed for installation in early 2016. There is excitement in the air for the improvements the system will bring to the worship experience.