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.

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