The Physical Plant Committee assists and advises the Pastor in the oversight of the physical facilities of the Parish—church, school, rectory and Father Gavin Parish Center.
The Committee reviews the status of all parish properties and organizes parish volunteers for projects that can be done in-house.
Annual Report of the Physical Plant Committee of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish – 2013/14
Fr. Ron Chochol organized the Physical Plant Committee in 2005 to manage several parish projects and formalize an informal group of parish volunteers. The first major project was converting the rectory to central heat and air conditioning.
Today the committee is composed of a board with a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, a Secretary, our Pastor, 5 at-large members, and a large group of parish volunteers. Since our inception, the Physical Plant Committee has completed or project managed Capitol and Operations projects worth over $5 million. George Marr recently retired as Chairman after 7 years of service. Mike Diehl was appointed as Chairman in July of this year.
The past fiscal year has been a busy and productive one.
Mike Brake is the committee liaison to the church building. In the past year he has been involved in numerous activities. The church ceiling recessed lighting fixtures were replaced with LED fixtures. This project also involved upgrading much of the wiring in the ceiling to current standards and provides a great reduction in electricity usage. Church was closed down from late June to late August to allow for plaster repairs, to install drywall over the ceiling and repaint the interior. Craig and Betsy Rebholz were key partners in this project. Work in the west tower of the church was recently finished that involved the replacement of a temporary, 10 year old exposed plastic drain. Also, ventilation screens in the tower had rotted over time and all have been replaced. Mike has also become knowledgeable in the operation of our heating and air conditioning system and has prevented many expensive service calls. A recurring problem with a set of boiler hot water pumps was resolved in-house and an air conditioning failure caused by a faulty crankcase heater has been resolved. Some needed tuck-pointing has been completed although there is much more to be done in the near future and this is a costly endeavor. The steps on the west entrance that had been damaged by salt use over the years have been replaced.
Mark Gadell is the committee liaison to the Rectory. The primary project there has been the replacement of the old windows. Most of the windows were rotted and had peeling paint, while others had been modified beyond repair to accommodate the use of window air conditioners. John Noecker is managing the window replacement project and that work continues. Craig Rebholz updated the front entrance by scraping, patching and wood graining the door, transom and sidelights. Bob Buscher repaired the concrete at the front entrance.
Mike Diehl is the committee liaison to the school campus. In the past year he has dealt with the results of a sewer back up in February that necessitated the replacement of over 14,000 square feet of flooring tile and the replacement of 18 floor standing cabinets. At that time the new tile was upgraded to a no wax option that will save time and spending in the future. Mike began to oversee the rehab of the existing boiler room to house new boilers that will be installed this fall as part of the current Faith in the Future Campaign. He was also involved in negotiations for a new cleaning service to take over the campus in October.
Bob Buscher was the liaison to the Fr. Gavin Center that was closed this past year. He and Bob Waeltermann spent a great deal of time preparing the building for its closing and ultimate sale.
In addition to these activities, we also updated our committee by-laws to better conform to Parish practices.
The physical plant committee has accomplished much in the last fiscal year. Countless volunteer hours have kept parish costs to a minimum. It is our intention, in to initiate communications with similar committees in the South Side Deanery to discuss processes and procedures and investigate possible cost savings. Our committee continues to be challenged by many factors, including: The age of our buildings and our board members; many years of deferred maintenance; a permanent shortfall in funding; the addition of new facilities and the expansion of existing ones. At this time our cleaning and maintenance staffs are fully involved with existing structures and will need to be supplemented in the not too distant future. We need to consider the option of professionalizing our ongoing maintenance to reduce the dependence on volunteer labor. Of concern is the occasional and sometimes frequent reprioritizing of maintenance and preventative maintenance to a lower level. Our buildings and mechanical systems benefit from proactive maintenance and will reduce costs in the long run. While the purpose of any building in the parish is to glorify God, we must continue to be aware of its physical needs.
We thank you for the opportunity to serve the parish.
The Physical Plant Committee
Mike Diehl, Chairman