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First Presbyterian Church, Conroe
 Building and Grounds 

BUILDING AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE

Mission:  Ensure that our church building and grounds are pleasing and acceptable to God; are safe, functional, and comfortable for members, staff, and visitors; and promote and support the activities held at the church including: Worship, Fellowship, Sunday School, Day School, Small Groups, Mission projects, etc.

BUILDING AND GROUNDS

2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT

Members: Steve Tibbetts (Chair); Steve Das; Paul Evans; Allen Haines; David Henderson;

Roy Kessler; Tom Lowery; Warren Taylor; David Green

Landscaping

Roy Kessler - Landscaping issues - Roy discussed the accomplishments of his committee of Master Gardeners and others.  He reviewed what plantings had been done, the formalizing of the garden around the flagpole and addition of steppingstones to that area.

During the meeting, we also discussed the issues of water drainage and how to eliminate the entrance of water to the Sanctuary through the weep holes.  The problem is a complex issue, with much discussion that centered around getting all the members of the committee on the same page.  From this discussion we came up with a couple of actions for Landscaping. 

#1 Remove the bull rock down to a level that is about 2-3 inches below the weep holes.

 #2 Address the issue of the old established bushes that sit nearest the southwest wall. Due to their age and size, we think that the root structure from these plants has caused some of the problems by holding the mulch that was placed around them in such a manner as to have built up the earth level closest to the church and filled the bull rock spaces to make its task of  draining water ineffectual.  #3 After determining if removal is necessary, redo the landscape in that area with drainage as the number one priority in the choice of plantings that should go into that area that will help to prevent the repeat of flooding of the building during torrential rainstorms.

Ground Repair

Paul Evans is going to address where his plan of action is and when the project will be completed.  This project has taken on new urgency.  Paul informed the committee that his plan was moving forward.  He has been working with Allen Haines who has contacted a couple of Awning Contractors to give us estimates on two 4 x 8-foot awnings that will protect the emergency exit door to the northeast side of the Sanctuary and the Emergency exit nearest the area becoming known as the Columbarium. Additionally, Paul informed us he has a benefactor who is willing to take care of the financial issues regarding the manufacture and installation of these two awnings, which should assist in reducing water intrusion. After some additional discussion, Paul has decided to back away from the ground repair issues and defer that activity back the Building and Grounds Committee.  From this discussion there were four action items.

  • Action #1 - Contact "Gardenmania" to determine whether the church still has an active contract with them regarding the cleaning of the gutters and downspouts of the church.  If that contract has expired, then determine if they are interested in rebidding the contract.
  • Action #2 - Work with Allen Haines to determine if a person he knows that does excavating and concrete removal would be interested in assisting with the removal of the sidewalk joining the two entryways at the rear of the church.  Once the concrete is removed, the earth needs to be sloped to allow for the required drainage of the area.
  • Action #3 - Locate Concrete contractors to provide estimates for concreting the area of concern, keeping ADA requirements for emergency egress in mind while providing the necessary drainage for the building.
  • Action #4 - Locate a commercial guttering contractor to evaluate our current guttering system and add additional right-sized down spouts that will discharge water efficiently enough to prevent issues like those seen in IMG_0502.jpg.  (our understanding is that this particular gutter has been blocked for a number of years, or at least long enough to allow a small tree to start growing in the sediment residing in the gutters above the downspout.)

Roof Repairs

Steve Tibbetts - Current status of repaired roof.

I reported that while Turnbull Roofing had repaired the roof in the areas of the "Bistro" and Family Life Center, during the hard rains that occurred within the past couple of weeks showed us areas where the leaks still persist.  Turnbull Roofing responded as they said they would and sent out one of their workers to inspect the damage, I was told that the owner of Turnbull would be in touch with us this week (12/7/2020).  Repairs were executed during the week of 12/14/2020.

PDS Report

David Henderson - PDS current status - David reported that the only issue out of the meeting with the PDS Team, were the continued roof leaks. 

  • Action: #1 - It is the intent of Building and Grounds to address these leaks this coming year.  While the School Management wants us to replace ceiling tiles, we need to leave those damage by water intrusion because that is only place, we can start our investigation as to where the water is coming from.  If there is to be an inspection of some sort before we can get our leak investigation moving, we will move forward with replacing those water damaged tiles.

Pew Investigating Committee

Tom Lowery talked about the pews that are to be installed in the Sanctuary. He indicated that the pews will be bolted to the floor with some type of apparatus that will allow the pews to be moved when ceiling maintenance is required.

  • Action #1 - Work with Brandon to determine the location of the overhead cameras, with the idea that perhaps several of the pews could be shortened to accommodate the location and positioning of the church’s staging to service camera's and stage lighting.

Mission Trip

The youth of the church did us a great service this year, they worked on the landscaping around the church and painted the portable building located at the rear of the church.  Building and Grounds aided in the preservation of this piece of our property by installing a new roof, which should add 20 years to the life of that structure.

Columbarium Update: All activity on the Columbarium is on hold until we can get the drainage issues outside totally resolved. Recent heavy wind-driven rains have allowed rainwater to flow into the building and follow the contour of the wall where it seeps under the wall to the room containing the Columbarium. Hence, there will be no work done in the Columbarium until the outside drainage issue is resolved.  If work outside cannot be completed to eliminate the flow of water into the building, then the recommendation from Building & Ground is that the Columbarium Committee should consider placing this item outside in an area that would be appropriate for such an artifact.

Two significant repairs occurred this past year, one of which was the hot water system for the restrooms in the gym being repaired. The folks that participate in Family Promise and the members of our Youth Group (when on the property for a lock-in) can now have hot showers… a condition Mark Sowden thoroughly enjoys, or so I am told.  The second significant repair was done to the gym entry doors.  One door was damaged during the last Sew-a-Thon.  We replaced the door frame and all four closure mechanisms, so that they can be locked open if necessary.  Mechanical limits are on the door as well as a heavier gauge steel door frame, which should prevent even the most determined individual from causing the major structural damage as was done in the past.

First Presbyterian Church Conroe
8:30 a.m. Communion and Prayer Service (Sanctuary)
9:00 a.m. Fellowship (Bistro)
9:30 a.m. Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Fellowship (Narthex)
11:00 a.m. Worship Service (Sanctuary / Live Streaming)

2727 N. Loop 336 W. | Conroe, TX 77304 | PH: 936-756-8884