From Parish Council

It has been five weeks since the fire in the kitchen of St. Peter. Parish Council will be providing updates on the clean-up and restoration so that parishioners might be informed about the progress, as well as sharing information on the needs which are revealed as a result of the fire.

First, the clean-up downstairs has been completed by Vapor Jet, who also conducted an inventory of damaged goods. Our insurance adjuster, Eric Anderson, could not be more kind, supportive and helpful in navigating this. The reconstruction phase will be managed by Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration Company. They have already been on site and completed the duct work cleaning and sealing. The contract for the reconstruction of the kitchen has been submitted to the Chancery. Once it is signed, Panhandle will begin the demolition and reconstruction work in the kitchen, perhaps as soon as next week.

Three electrical companies have examined the wiring in the church, and all agree that an upgrade is necessary. The church houses at least 16 electrical boxes, most of which are outdated. The fire was our warning that this situation needs to be addressed. Insurance will NOT cover this cost, because this was not an injury caused by the fire. This one’s on us and it’s got to be the first order of business.

Efforts are under way to get clearance from the insurance company to permit scaffolding to be erected to test the walls up high to determine if there is a need to have the church cleaned because of the fire. You may see scaffolding in place near the Logan Street entrance as soon as next week. Should it be determined that there is a need for a cleaning, that would be covered by insurance. If this is the case, Parish Council will also be considering what others needs might be addressed, and how else the church might be restored while scaffolding is in place during the cleaning process. Some of this will require expenditures on our part, even if we choose to do only the electrical upgrade.

As much as the fire might have distressed us and disrupted life at the church, it also comes with a great blessing. We now better understand the challenges which face us in preserving so beautiful and historic a structure. Everyone who has been on site to assess the church has commented on how extraordinary and magnificent she is. We as a parish are entrusted with her care – what an honor and a privilege! Parish Council is committed to preserving St. Peter Church, and trusts that her parishioners share that same sentiment.