This very important message is from our hard-working Junior Warden, Lou Aiello:
Those of you who tried to attend church last week know that the Centrum A/C was out and that we met instead in the CLC.
I met with a representative of Carolina Commercial on Friday and have a meeting with a representative of Newcomb on Monday. Based on my Friday meeting and a conversation I had with the Newcomb representative, we will replace not only the exterior A/C unit, but also the air handling equipment in the furnace room. This is due to the current EPA requirements that no longer permit the use of the old R-22 refrigerant.
When the Vestry first became aware of this problem, and indeed even before this occurred, as Robin Maycock, RPaul Smith, David Both and I at various times looked at our physical plant, we knew that we would have to replace this unit soon as it is about 30 years old. We also thought that it might be necessary to take down the wall between the furnace room and the north entryway to facilitate that due to the size of the air handler. Fortunately that will not be necessary as the old and new units can be disassembled and the new one reassembled in the furnace room. Carolina Commercial has indicated that they have done this at other churches in the past and we will determine whether Newcomb has also.
In my walk-through Friday, it was determined that there is also a need to trim the tree overhangs around the A/C unit to create a clear vertical space so that a crane can be used to remove the old unit and drop in the new one.
We anticipate that we will be without A/C in the Centrum for about 4 weeks. So please plan to attend services in the CLC until this work is completed. The current estimate for replacing the A/C unit and air handler for the Centrum is subject to change but the working number for now is $28,000.00.
Please know that for 18 months, we, the Vestry, especially Lou Aiello the Junior Warden, and Robin Maycock, who is also responsible for our physical plant, have been taking inventory of our property and buildings and trying to assess the status of our aging infrastructure. Even before this failure occurred, we had already obtained a ball-park estimate from the Newcomb representative in anticipation of replacing this Centrum A/C unit before it failed due to its age. Unfortunately we were not able to anticipate just how soon this A/C unit would fail.
As a result of our continuing assessment, we do anticipate the potential need to update other portions of our infrastructure in the relatively near future. We will communicate those needs as we identify the specifics.
Fortunately the A/C for the St. Mark’s office spaces is now working after having refrigerant added last week. This was necessary because the recent repairs to replace the stolen copper tubing from this unit did not account for the extra length of the tubing on our unit compared to other, similar installations. As a result the A/C unit for the office spaces, which is separate from that for the Centrum, was unable to cool sufficiently during the recent heat wave.
Please contact Lou Aiello or other members of your Vestry if you have questions, and look for articles in the Messenger regarding progress on this project.