View of interior of First Church Berkeley's new community building

Blue Fire Update – Community Building

Thurs., April 4, 2024

As you can see the construction of the new building is moving ahead. The roof is on and the entire exterior is covered with a waterproof material that is the newest technology and it will protect the building from water intrusion for many years. Most of the windows have been installed and the exterior doors are proceeding now. On the interior, all of the electrical, plumbing, and heating work is proceeding and is about 75% complete, and we are getting ready for the interior door installation.

The next exterior steps involve placing the decorative stone around the windows and then the exterior plaster is applied as a final finish. On the inside, once the mechanical systems are completed and inspected, insulation is installed and gyp board is applied.

Thanks to the successful Capital Campaign, the upgrades to the kitchen are proceeding, the photovoltaic and the audio visual systems will be installed. When we get to the patio pavers, there will be a built in labyrinth that we can all enjoy. Some interior finishes were upgraded with the campaign funds as well.

Two milestone activities occurred last week:

  • The relocation of our gas meter. Even though the new building will not have any gas appliances, the old meter was located next to Pilgrim Hall, and it needed to be moved to accommodate a new accessibility ramp into the new building. It only took 2.5 years to get PG&E to do this work!
  • The new building is now hooked up to the main electrical power in the church. This will allow the contractor to test new equipment and also begin the installation of the elevator.

We look forward to a finish date in December when we can all start to use our large assembly, offices, library, and classrooms again.