Post-Fire Rebuilding Updates—Oct 2017

Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Note   On the Post-Fire Rebuilding News page, you will find this article and all the other post-fire news that has been published online. You can access this page from the slider image on the home page or the link on the right hand side of that same page.


The Fire Recovery Committee is still in the process of preparing the claim to be submitted to the insurance company. The process is quite detailed and the intent is to make the strongest claim possible. The committee is working with a lawyer with special expertise in this area. After the claim is submitted, the insurers will respond. If there are points of disagreement, these will be worked out in subsequent dialog with the insurers.

The Blue Fire Committee (Building Design Subcommittee), which includes members of both the Fire Recovery Committee and the Blue Sky Committee, is the group that is tasked with taking next steps on a plan for rebuilding Pilgrim Hall. They have had a variety of conversations about what will be possible, including input from the congregation through the June 10 open meeting. At the moment, they will need to wait until they have more information about the size of the insurance settlement.

Another subset of the Blue Sky Team is exploring the possibility of an affordable housing project on the property. Strong support for continuing with this research was expressed at the June 10 meeting. A recent program was held with possible ideas presented by Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. Several areas for further discussion were identified in that meeting and this subgroup will be organizing further conversations on parking, open space, Durant House and the housing crisis in the near future.

Although the Pilgrim Hall rebuilding project and the affordable housing project may be related in financial terms, the initial phases of both can also proceed independently. Full attention is being given to both initiatives.

Repairs in and above the Sanctuary are complete except for some plastering and painting in the balcony. Almost all of the scaffolding has been removed and the fences around Pilgrim Hall have been moved in closer to the building where they will be for some time. As the fences were moved the Little Free Library in the front of the church was liberated!

Work on installing an artificial lawn in the front of the church has begun and additional landscaping will be carried out as well. That work should be complete in the next few weeks. Only minor work is being done in the Pilgrim Hall area. The Rose Window is getting a cover and maintenance on the stabilization measures may take place. Otherwise, the cleaning up of that area that could be done has been completed.

The boiler and newly cleaned and repaired heating system will be started up in early November. It should operate much more efficiently after the upgrades.

The Tower Room, a room off the balcony in the Sanctuary, which had previously been used mostly for storage, has been cleared out and will be used as a meeting place for the youth.

The church has continued to adjust to the current space configuration and most of the functions that were carried out in Pilgrim Hall have been relocated, including the expanded use of Durant House (for staff offices, meetings, and the Preschool class on Sunday mornings) and the use of classrooms and the Pillar Room in the East Bay School for Boys (EBSB). A small kitchen was installed in the storage closet off of the Hall of Entrance.