Sunday, May 31, 2009


At 5:30 AM on Friday, May 29th, two 9 ton, 70 foot long steel girders made the 5 mile trek up Elm Street from Williams Steel. By 6:10 AM the driver had maneuvered his rig onto our property and the girders were ready to be unloaded.

Msgr. Marcaccio, Parish Commission Chair Dick Pauley, and Building Chair Tom Martin check out the girders after their arrival. Fortunately they didn't have to do anything but watch.
A little after 8:00 the first of the girders was hoisted into the air and by 8:15 it had been bolted into place. The activity was exciting for the school carpool line and gave everyone a lot to look at. Several parish members stopped by to watch the excitement. Joe Plesh and Guy Lizotte pose in front of the newly erected girder. The second large beam is goes up on Monday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Steel on the Way!!

Happy Memorial Day! There was no activity on our church today, but that all changes tomorrow. The last 2 weeks have provided us with the framework for the Narthex and Day Chapel as well as the floor and decking for the Narthex. Tomorrow, a larger crane which you may have seen this weekend will be setup and ready for the first truck to arrive with the steel for the Main Nave.

These Photos show the results of the last week. With luck from the weather

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Steeling ourselves

If you've driven past our construction site on North Elm this week, you've seen how our new church is really starting to take shape.

Williams Steel, a Greensboro firm located on South Elm-Eugene Street has been working to fabricate all the steel we'll need for"Making a Place at the Table".

The company loaded up six trucks and started bringing it all 200 pieces of steel over, piece by piece on Monday, May 11th.

As the workers unloaded the steel beams, they laid them out across the site in preparation for construction -- which would start the same day. By Monday afternoon, many of the uprights were already in place.

This week, work has been done in the narthex, the chorus practice room/family room, bathrooms, the side wall opposite Elm Street and the day Cchapel. Currently the basement is 80% completed.

The outline is emerging:

As you look at this view of our church, here are a couple of interesting points. The square you notice at the top of the narthex is where a skylight will flood our sanctuary with natural light. And even though we can see the outline of our church, the central nave in the sanctuary will actually be 17 feet higher than the steel which has already been erected.

This week workers will continue to use the steel onsite so watch for more growth and changes as the narthex and day chapel will be framed in steel. The concrete floor of the narthex will be poured and the crane repositioned for the rest of the steel to come.

Phase II of our steel work is expected to begin May 26th when the next round of steel comes. That work will include the sanctuary. Also in late May or early June, the two largest beams which form the center nave will be delivered. These beams each weigh 9 tons and are 70 feet long. Here's one of them, from a photo taken at Williams Steel.

These two huge beams will most likely come to our site at night and go directly from the truck to their final places in the center nave. We expect all the steel work to be completed in 30 working days.

Special thanks to Tom Martin for his photos, timeline and construction tidbits.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Construction Tail

When Saint Pius X Church started "Making a Place at the Table" for all in our parish, we never expected to have this unusual family take us up on the offer.

A feral cat who has long visited our church grounds, created her own "Place at the Table" when she delivered five kittens behind an AC unit beside the Kloster Center. When workers lifted that unit this week, they found the three-week old kittens huddled together.
The workers used materials at hand to keep the kittens safe, while calling the church office with the news.

Teresa Marie Vestal and Jeanine Lazusky grabbed a mail carrier box and a towel to collect the kittens: three boys and two girls, all in great health. You can see how cute they are in these photos. All together, there were two calico females, two orange males and one black male with white paws.

Just look at those faces! Teresa and Janine spent about an hour with them, showing them to the Saint Pius X school office staff. That's when first grade assistant Mrs. Holly Fortun called her neighbor, Cynthia Johnson, who quickly came over to bottle feed the new kittens. Not only did she feed them lunch that day, but she also made arrangements to have the kittens receive their first shots, get dewormed and even found a home for one of the orange males.

Monsignor's veterinarian, Dr. Tina, took on the kittens as new patients and cleared them to be placed in homes once they can eat on their own.

Meantime, we're so grateful to Cynthia Johnson for her time and effort to keep our new parish pets healthy until their adoption days come.

One of our parishioners, Peggy Delisi, has tried to catch the feral mom for several years, and owns several kittens from the mama cat's previous litters. The Feral Cat Society has been called, and together we're trying to ensure the mama cat is spayed and then released.

After the kittens' nine lives were spared, construction workers resumed their installation of the new AC units behind the Kloster Center.

Special thanks to Teresa Marie Vestal and Tom Martin for their pictures and accounts of the kittens' tail ... I mean tale.

Edited to add update.

If you'd like to adopt one of these kittens when they are old enough, please contact Teresa Marie Vestal. You can email her at teresamarievestal (at) gmail (dot) com.
And I am deliberately spelling out her email address so she is not added to many, many email lists by robot spammers. You would write it in the usual way when you send the email, though.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Today at mass, the Responsorial Psalm was "The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone". Well, we're working on getting the cornerstone for our new church home, but first we must build a strong foundation. Building the foundation is a slow process, but a critical one. Since, most of the work to build the foundation is out of sight, I thought this would be a good time to show you what's been happening.

First, the surveyor gives the workers points that they use for measurements. They then put markings on the dirt where the column lines and footings must be placed. After this meticulous task, the workers get a backhoe and begin digging out the area.

After the trenches are dug, rebar or a reinforcing bar (a common steel bar used in reinforced concrete) is placed in the holes that have been dug. In addition, plates are installed that will be used to mount the steel beams. Once this is completed, the City inspected the work and then concrete is poured.

Once the concrete dries, the finished foundation is ready for placement of the steel beams. Depending on the size of steel that will be placed, each footing is approximately 4 feet square and 3 feet deep.