While the damage to Pilgrim Hall, the part of First Church that housed offices, church school classrooms and large meeting spaces will take quite a while to replace or repair, work has already begun in earnest on the Sanctuary.
A small portion of the Sanctuary roof was burned and there was smoke and water damage inside. Although evaluation of the damage to the structure is still on-going, it is clear that the roof and the interior ceiling will need to be repaired, some of the pews will need to be reupholstered, the carpets replanted and floors refinished.
All of the pews were removed (exposing those odd, bell-shaped forms on the floor where heat from the furnace below rose up into the room) and scaffolding reaching all the way to the ceiling was installed. The projection screens, banners, organ, piano and other furniture were also removed.
Robin Kempster, First Church?s member, Parish Nurse and photographer, took some wonderful photos documenting the progress (slideshow below)
Since the Sanctuary was renovated not too long ago, the restoration will return it to something quite similar to it?s pre-fire state.
BBI construction, which is owned by First Church member Moe Wright, is serving as the general contractor for the Sanctuary repair. Moe has been an invaluable resource in the church?s response to the fire.