August Update on the Arizona Lobby Repair Project

Arizona Lobby Staircase

A new foundation, new flooring, new doors, and new energy-efficient windows are planned for the Arizona Avenue Lobby, which serves as an entryway to Forbes Hall as well as to our classrooms upstairs. It’s been a complicated process to get from a list of the needed repairs to having the architect, the design, the contractor, the building permit, and the actual materials to allow this work to begin.

Temporary Lobby supports in place

Demolition and removal of old materials has begun. The 1961 walls and windows were removed first. Then, demolition and jackhammering out the concrete. The demolition will followed soon by digging the footings. Once complete, the soil engineer will verify the work prior to city inspection. Then the contractor can set begin creating our new entryway.

Throughout this construction project, the Lobby area, including the bathrooms on the 1st and 2nd floors, will be blocked and inaccessible. The only bathrooms available are two in the Cottage and one in the Sanctuary Lobby. We are sorry for the temporary inconvenience caused by the construction and we appreciate everyone’s understanding.

Interested in how the project got this far? The Forbes Hall entrance on Arizona Avenue has been in need of repair for a long time. Problems started back in 2007 when Forbes Hall was renovated. The ground had been shifting and as a result — cracks developed in the floor; eventually, the Arizona entrance doors did not work properly.

A group began to work on how to proceed, reporting regularly to to Board of Directors. They invited us to participate in an important Town Hall meeting in May 2021; at the next month’s Annual Congregational Meeting, we voted to authorize this project and to fund it. And the working group continued its Herculean task. This June, Abby Arnold refreshed our memories of why this project is necessary and showed us two of the blueprints; take a look here.

The new photos below, taken the first week of August, show that, at last, this project is really happening, friends!

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