November 5, 2017

The End Is Near! The End is Near!

No, not THAT end…the end of our construction project.  In about a month, we should be DONE!

Here’s what needs to happen:

Last Monday, the first wave of scaffolding was removed.  All of the pieces that are under the portico (and that were holding the portico up at one time) have been removed and replaced with a work deck.  That deck will give the workers a base from which they can plaster and paint the portico ceiling and install the light fixtures

We are very close to being done with all of the stone work.  Make sure you check out that the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus stones and the newly-polished granite coping are back where they have been for the last sixty years. 

It was fun watching these pieces go up.   Our contractor suggested  I come out and check the spelling (talk about written in stone!), so I spent about half an hour watching them work.  As the photo shows, they really moved the 1,200 pound block quite adroitly, but I did hold my breath until the piece was safely in its spot.

Once all the stone is in place, it will all be washed and the new joints caulked.  We also talked about washing the other stone  elements on the front façade.  Sixty years of dirt is pretty obvious next to the new stone.

Our friends at Adler Roofing will be back to install the flashing and portico roofing.  It’s a deja-vu job for them—Joe Alder (St. Raymond School class of 1944) installed the first portico roof back in the 1954 .

And then folks, it’s time to remove all the rest of the scaffolding and the protective wrapping and casing and see what we have. I CANNOT WAIT.

Barring awful weather, we expect to have the worksite cleared of construction materials before Thanksgiving which means natural light will return to the narthex!  I must say that darkness really   bothered me.  It’ll be good to see the doors again, even if they won’t be useable for another few weeks.

Once all of the scaffolding has been cleared, it’ll be time to restore the plaza.   We’ve chosen a formal paver brick that should set off the new pillars nicely.  I think it is going to be a wonderful enhancement.

We’ll also flank the plaza with landscaping.  As with any fall planting, you won’t see the true beauty until spring, but the plan is for understated beds which provide color.  We’ll also relocate the marble statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Joseph that are in the center of the lawn.  We’ve created a space for them in the   landscaping beds.  The statues will be cleaned and placed closer to each other on shorter pedestals.  (This move has the added  advantage of getting them out of the way of the construction equipment during the Bell Tower restoration slated for next year.)

Lastly, we have selected new lighting to wash the front façade with warm light.  Those lights will also illuminate the two massive flag poles that are getting a spruce up with a fresh coat of paint.

Our team is working an extra day each week, and they are projected to be done with everything by Friday, December 8.   Once again, something notable happens at St. Raymond on the Feast of the  Immaculate Conception!

Have a great week!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development and Projects Liaison
straysdevelopment@yahoo.com 815-722-6653, extension 242

P.S.  Hope to see you Thursday for Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom with Colleen Murphy Duggan.  Should be a lively evening of wisdom and insight for  parents, grandparents,  God parents, step parents, aunts, uncles and guardians.  See you at 7:00 p.m.!  Bring as friend!

 

 

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