Planning and teamwork make Kingdom Hall a reality

November 26, 1992|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

Once a sit is chosen for a new Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall, the congregation's Building Committee has site plans drawn up and applies through the local government for the necessary permits.

The Eldersburg Congregation started last May on actual site preparation. Contract bids for part of the work were put out, while the congregation did some work itself.

Over the summer, the site was graded, the foundation laid, storm-water management and utility hook-ups were roughed in, curbing was installed and the first layer of asphalt laid for the parking lot.

During this time, as the building date draws closer, other off-site work is being done: Cabinets are being built and woodwork (moldings, railings, doors) is being stained and readied for installation.

The week of Nov. 16, the Building Committee began receiving materials and started some construction work. The foundation walls were bricked, then Thursday evening, the walls were put up.

Friday started off with breakfast at 7 a.m.; then the trusses for the roof went on the walls by crane. While the sheathing for the roof was put on, bricking on the walls was started.

With the walls up, interior plumbing and electricity were roughed in. Preliminary roofing was finished for county inspection by Friday afternoon.

"County inspectors are on site Friday," said Dave Ford, regional building committee chairman. "We call them and tell them when we'll have certain trades done. They come out and, if anything needs to be changed, we do it then, then proceed with the next step."

Friday evening, insulation was installed, then drywall went up. The building was heated with kerosene-fired blowers to speed up the process of sealing and smoothing over the drywall. Crews worked through Friday night on the interior walls.

Early Saturday, the drywall was being sanded; before noon, wallpapering was started. Throughout Saturday, bricking continued, roofing tiles were laid, and soffit, guttering and downspouts were installed.

Inside, dropped-ceiling trusses were put in, and air conditioning and heating units were installed. Electrical work continued for lighting, a sound system and fire alarm system. Bathroom fixtures also were installed at this point.

As the wallpapering was finished, trim work, wall sconces and fluorescent ceiling lights were put in. Cabinetry was installed Saturday evening.

Also Saturday, trees and shrubbery were planted and other landscaping done according to county specifications.

Normally, the carpeting is laid and seating bolted to the floor late Saturday and early Sunday, but the Eldersburg committee had to re-do the foundation top early last week.

"The carpet won't be put in for two weeks because we had a problem with the concrete foundation and had a late lay on that," said Wayne Shelton, secretary of the Eldersburg congregation.

"The concrete isn't dry enough to lay carpet over, so rather than risk having the carpet mold from dampness, we'll wait."

Crews continued working through Saturday night. By mid-morning Sunday, ceiling tiles were installed and the fire alarm system was being hooked up. County inspectors returned to give their approvals.

The finishing touches were being done in most areas, cleanup started and temporary seating brought in. Although the work was not as complete as the congregation would have liked, a final meeting of the work crews was held early Sunday afternoon.

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