We are currently undergoing renovations at Beth El, and are holding many of our services at the Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church (TAPC), 927 W Trinity Ave in Durham, NC. If you have questions regarding the location of specific services or programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailing Checks to Beth El: If you have payments set up to Beth El from your bank or charitable fund, please be sure to give them our current address at the Freedman Center: 1008 Watts Street.
We are now entering our 5th month of construction work with CT Wilson, and we are still working well within our budget and target schedule for completion. WFA and CT Wilson have proven to be a great team for solving problems that arise in the field, and minimizing “change order” costs.
Demolition inside the building is now complete, as is all asbestos abatement. CT Wilson has begun some interior framing downstairs, closed the location of the old stairwell, and opened up the location for the new stairwell. The elevator pit is in place. Heating/cooling systems are about 50% complete, and electrical work is following close behind.
On the exterior of the building, grading is now about 40% complete. CT Wilson has finished excavating the pit for the new stormwater retention area, called the “BMP”. This is the large pit now in front of the building and near the parking lot. The actual BMP area will be much smaller after the walls are built and earth is backfilled. Footings excavation has also begun, and tests show the soil is more than adequate for load-bearing purposes.
On a less technical (and more fun) note, committees led by Beth El congregation members are making great progress with decisions that will affect the final look and feel of the building. The Finishes and Selections Committee has selected paint colors, flooring, wall and ceiling panels, light fixtures and ceramic tile for bathrooms. The Audio/IT Committee, working with consultants, has designed the future audio system for the building and selected the company that will install it. The Furniture Committee has begun looking at chair samples and office furniture. The Landscaping Committee has begun spreading woodchips at the front of the property, as part of a “xeriscaping” approach that will reduce our future needs for water and chemicals to maintain the lawn. And local high school students are working with congregation members to design a system that will manage and update information on the new memorial board.
The early months of 2018 have been a busy time for everyone involved with the renovation of our beloved shul. We are now in our 7th week of construction with CT Wilson, and construction is on schedule and on budget.
Demolition inside the building is 95% complete, and asbestos has been completely abated from the downstairs and the windows. CT Wilson is now cutting into the downstairs slab to rough in plumbing areas.
Exterior demolition of trees and some walkways is underway and will continue until the end of March. Trees we specified to save have been surrounded by tree protection fences. CT Wilson expects to begin excavation of foundations in the first week of April.
ECS, a well-known environmental engineering firm, has been hired to do materials inspections and special inspections during the construction period. They will inspect and test to make sure that most important load bearing aspects of the building are built correctly. For instance, they will confirm that soils under our footings are stable, concrete is mixed correctly, wood framing is installed correctly, and steel welds are done to code. They will inspect many other things in addition to these items.
The Finishes Committee is planning to meet with our architect, Weinstein-Friedlein, before the end of the month to begin selection of color palettes, tile, paint colors, and flooring. They plan to finish making selections by the end of May.
We have some big news to share this week. Yesterday Noah Pickus signed our construction contract with CT Wilson and CT Wilson began work on our site. Two weeks ago, under a separate contract, the asbestos tile and insulation was removed (abated) from the downstairs of the main building. We’re rolling folks!
Those of you who visited the Freedman Center this week probably noticed that a construction fence has gone up around the main building and most of the parking lot. This fence is essential to protect both their equipment and our children, who will be near the construction as they go to Talmud/Torah classes at the Freedman Center. We should also note that in about a month CT Wilson will need to fence off the entire parking lot because they’ll be excavating foundations and the storm water drain. The parking lot will remain fenced off for the duration of the project, so congregation members who go to the Freedman Center will need to park on Green and Watts Streets.
Next week, CT Wilson will be mainly “mobilizing” on the site- that is, getting their equipment and construction trailer set up. Once those things are in place, they will begin demolition in the main building.
Sending mail to Beth El
During the renovation, our offices are temporarily in the Freedman Center. Please address all mail to 1008 Watts Street, Durham, NC 27701 during this time.
Important message about parking for the Freedman Center
We’d like to share with you the exciting news that CT Wilson (our building contractor) is starting work on our site this morning (January 31)! In order to protect congregation members as well as their equipment, CT Wilson will need to fence off the site of the main building as well as the parking lot for the duration of the project. For the next 6 weeks, they will fence off only the back half of our parking lot, so that we may still park in the front half. After that they will have to fence off the whole parking lot to accommodate the construction happening there.
So starting today (January 31), there is a construction fence on the back half of the parking lot, but you can still park on the front half for the next 6 weeks. We are working diligently to create a plan for Talmud Torah and parking for members with mobility issues.
Accessing TAPC at 927 West Trinity Avenue:
- Parking is available on Minerva Ave. and in the lots off Gregson St. and Minerva Ave.
- Please leave the spaces in the parking lot off Trinity Ave. for our congregants and guests with limited mobility.
- The building will be locked; please access TAPC through the Gregson St. or Trinity Ave. Courtyard Entrances (see map below) where Beth El Greeters will let you in.
- For congregants with limited mobility, please use in the Preschool entrance. (see map)
TAPC Map with Entrances