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4023 VT Route 15
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posted on August 15
In early December we launched a $115,000 Capital Campaign to repair the current damage and to install a permanent barrier to prevent further water damage. Our intent is to continue to provide a space where we can continue to raise money for local and worldwide missions; to provide a newly renovated space that will available for the residents of Wolcott to use for community and personal events; and to continue to tell the amazing story of the Rev. George S. Brown, the African American founder and builder of the church. We hope that many of you will be willing to support this important project. To date we have raised a little over $30,000 and we greatly appreciate all of those who have already donated.
Construction began during the week of April 2nd. All of the old floor joists have been removed as has the existing floor in the front of the building, including that in the bathroom which will not be available during the construction phase. A porta-potty is available outside, however.
The first phase uncovered some interesting finds. When the current supply closet was deconstructed, it became clear that there had a one time been a bathroom in that area, as well. Septic tanks were installed underneath the floor in each bathroom at that time. Apparently, there had been a men's bathroom and a women's bathroom at one time.
The huge stone ledge in the back of the kitchen wall was uncovered, giving us a better view of the water infiltration problem and how to deal with it.
Interestingly, a bottle which had once held embalming fluid was also unearthed. Mark Faith, our local funeral director offered the information that in earlier years, before funeral parlors were available, bodies were embalmed and laid out in the family home. Techniques were quite different, however, and it is possible that additional embalming fluid might have need to have been added once a body was brought to the church for the funeral. It is unlikely, though probably not impossible, that embalming would have actually taken place at the church itself.
The second week of construction has proven to be as interesting as the first - though in a different way. On Monday, a large section of the granite foundation on the west side of the building was removed and cement footings were installed. All of the plastic on the ground was removed in preparation for covering it with the small stones which will lie under the cement slab. Then stones began to be transferred into the basement through the side door via an electric conveyor belt installed on the east side of the church.
Week 3 - construction was halted for a couple of days due to a death in the family, but began again on Wednesday, April 18. More of the foundation was removed in preparation for pouring the concrete. Additional stones have been moved into the basement.
Week 4 - The concrete foundation on the west side has been poured and the ground has now been filled in. The old granite foundation on the east side has been removed in preparation for pouring the remainder of the foundation.
Week 5 - On Sunday, April 29, we received an estimate of $26,400 for the additional work that needs to be done to repair the damage on the back wall which was uncovered on the first day of construction. See picture below for Week 1 Construction Day 3. This work must be completed prior to completing the work on the inside of the church and pouring the cement slab. This is going to put us substantially behind in our fundraising efforts. If you have been considering the possibility of making a donation but have not done it, now would be a wonderful time to do so. We still have $1500 to be matched by our anonymous donor, so any donation that you make today will be doubled!! You can send a check to the WUMC, PO Box 94, Wolcott, VT 05680 or go to the "Giving" tab on the upper right hand side of this website. We thank you for supporting our historic restoration project. See below for updated pictures of the continuing work.
Weeks 6 and 7 - Work was completed on the foundation of the church.
Week 9 - The foundation was completely filled in and landscaping was completed around the outside of the church.
Week 13 - Plumbing was completed in preparation for the final pouring of the slab.
Week 16 - The inside was prepped in preparation for the final pouring of the slab.
Please return for updates on the project and to view pictures of our progress. Click on the pictures for an explanation of what you are seeing. For a full history of the need for and history of the project go to the News tab and click on "Church Restoration Project."