The week of Christmas, we discovered a problem with the pipes that send steam to the radiators that heat our sanctuary. There are several sections of pipe that have corroded over time (a normal process). As a result, the steam is leaking in those sections and water that is supposed to return to the boiler is not returning. One complicating factor in all of this is that the steam pipes are wrapped with insulation that’s made with asbestos. That hasn’t been a health concern because asbestos is only dangerous if disturbed. However, in order to replace the pipes, the asbestos had to be abated. This was done in January.
In addition, our boiler itself is about 20 years old, which is toward the end of a normal life cycle for a boiler. Another item to note is that the system that supplies our AC to the sanctuary is reaching the end of its life cycle. The boiler and AC are two separate systems; however, while we were evaluating our options for our boiler, we felt it best to take a step back to evaluate our best option for the entire system to take us into the future. We don’t want to pay a lot of money to put band-aids on something if we can come up with and afford a long-term sustainable solution.
Thus, we have consulted a mechanical engineer and architect to give us a long-term solution. They are currently designing an HVAC system for our building. Once that’s complete, we will be able to get an estimate of how much this will cost. It’s important to note that we are still in the exploration phase of this process, and no decisions have been made yet.
Thank you for your patience as we have worshiped in the Fellowship Hall these past three months during the cold winter weather. I look forward to moving back into the Sanctuary for worship on Easter Sunday as we anticipate warmer weather in coming months that doesn’t require the use of our boiler. For now, our AC continues to be in good working condition.