2016 BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS REPORT
The budget for the operation of the church’s buildings and property - to keep the complex heated, lit, cleaned and maintained, and the gardens cared for – is quite limited. However, we have been able to come through 2016 successfully with the help of a generous Building Fund donation and some judicious use of the Memorial Garden Fund to help with the costs of this important aspect of the church’s life. As a parish, we benefit greatly from the quiet and effective work of our caretaker, Joan Macleod and the daily attention provided by the Rector and Jann Callaghan Cullen to keep us ahead of the needs of the church and its support buildings. Thanks to all the staff, volunteers and the efficient professionals who have helped us with the buildings and grounds in 2016.
The major requirement this past year resulted from a group of happy raccoons doing serious damage to the north side of the main church roof and the flat roof over the sacristy and furnace room. It proved cost effective to replace the entire church roof and the flat roof, and to install a new skylight and new flashing. Given that we had work done on the south side of the main roof in 2015 and the Griffiths Hall roof is holding up well, we should be able to survive without any further roof expenses in the immediate future.
Bob Ives began what would appear to be a multi-year painting project involving the washrooms, hallways and meeting room in the ‘office wing’ of the complex. Every year we need to spend some time and money on painting in that area – either through volunteer labour, or using professionals – as there seems to be general agreement that the green and the pink walls are now well beyond their ‘shelf life.’
Bob and Jann also tackled the attic beyond the Sunday School room. Over the years, people have dropped ‘donated items’ off at the church assuming they could be used, and other things - bits of furniture etc. – have been kept endlessly ‘for future use’ that never happened. Anyone who has a garage or an attic knows what can happen without regular clean-ups and purges, so moving ‘stuff’ out of the attic area to thrift shops and the dump has been a great plus – and no-one seems to have missed anything!
In October, I reported to the Corporation and the Financial Planning team with the opinion that the church is facing three major capital expenditures over the next five years or so in addition to regular maintenance. We need to complete the roof replacement; the furnace system is no longer as efficient as it should be in light of new technology, and upgrades could save significant money the long term; and the church floor clearly needs to be replaced. This work, of necessity, would have to be staggered over a number of budget years, but for all three we are looking in the range of $50,000-60,000.
Gardens and Grounds
A major effort was put into the gardens in 2016 by a core group of volunteers -Frieda Moloney, Audrey Mistiades, Barb Cederlund, Ruth Dean, Bob Ives, Herb Smart and Robin Inglis, helped from time to time by a number of other parishioners. In addition to ongoing planting and weeding from spring to fall and some serious pruning, the aim was to get us to a situation where, going forward, the grounds can be relatively easy to maintain, particularly with respect to the upper garden north of the Memorial Garden. We spent considerable time with the latter bringing in some much-needed soil and new plants. With Herb Smart taking lead responsibility, we began with some lawn re-seeding and a regular watering program and the grassing in of some small plant beds; this will continue in 2017 as we believe that the grass looked as good as it has done for many years. The large north and central beds on the west side of Griffiths Hall were completely cleaned up, received new soil and some new shrubs. Herb and his wife Elaine built and planted a new rockery at the SW corner of the property and, with some bush pruning and removal, the area was consequently vastly improved.
Finally, a good deal of ‘stuff’ that had just been left in the pathway area north of Griffiths Hall over the years was cleaned up and taken away and, in the lane, the tall, out-of-control rose outside the rector’s office was pruned back and a rockery installed.