You’ll find quite a number of changes have been taking place in our church building over the summer.
What’s the most noticeable change?
The new audiovisual system is in place and received its first test drive at the service on the Labour Day weekend. The centrepiece is the large screen that rises up on the north wall of the Chancel. It displays an image from a powerful ceiling-mounted projector, while two smaller projectors provide images in the wings. Three flat screens serve the choir, minister, presiders, readers, etc. The cabinet for the control console should be completed before the end of September and will adjoin the current sound console.
So, can we expect to see a full multimedia experience this month?
Putting the audiovisual system into action is a work in progress as we endeavour to make it fit the Fairlawn context and make sure it’s authentic and will enrich our worship. We’re looking for help with this evolution. Interested in getting involved?
What are the other noticeable changes?
You’ll see our new Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) ducts running along the east and south walls of the Assembly Hall. Controlled from a unit in the storage room beside the kitchen, they will transfer the heat from warm exhaust air to the incoming air supply. Other ducts and grills are apparent in the Gymnasium ceiling and along the south wall of the Birtch Room where some additional drywall work in the south west corner will hide most of it when completed. The new systems will provide fresh air in a more energy efficient way than opening windows and doors. The gym has four new radiators between the windows; they replace the old head-height rads that posed a hazard for the Monday basketball players.
You’ll also see additional thermostats. In the old system, we had a thermostat in the Birtch Room that controlled most of the church. If someone left a Birtch window open in the cool weather, the control would frantically pump heat throughout our building. You can imagine the expense. The new system will have 14 digitally programmable thermostats where they’re needed most, including the Sanctuary, Assembly Hall, Gym, Fellowship Room, Birtch Room, Library, Toddler Room, Creche, Organ Pipe Room, CE Office, Music Director’s Office, Senior Choir Room and Youth Room.
Any changes that can’t be seen?
Yes — the big one. We’ve installed two new high efficiency boilers. Either one has the potential to heat the church on all but the coldest days, which is reassuring should one kick out or require repairs.
When will the heating project be completed?
We hope the duct work, final piping connections and physical cleanup will be completed as quickly as possible this week or next, because use of the building is back in full swing this month. There are additional energy efficiency improvements still to be addressed. They include adding a vestibule to the west entrance lobby, double glazing the glass-block wall at that entrance, and installing new windows in the west and east wings.
What has helped to make these large projects possible?
We’re particularly grateful to Tom Clarke, Chair of the Property Council, who has spent most days this summer at the church ensuring the work was being done efficiently and economically. As Chair of Executive Council, I can’t thank him enough for his diligence and energy.