Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Since 1951

SUMMER YOUTH COTTAGE RESTORATION

POST-HURRICANE FLORENCE

 

The Chapel’s Summer Youth Program has been a pillar of EAMC’s ministries since the 1950s. And the youth cottage — central to all things youth — is a blessing to that ministry. It provides a place for summer program participants to gather, as well as housing for the youth ministers.

 

 

Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence’s three days of wind and rain pounded the cottage resulting in water intrusion to the ground floor. After removing the flooring and exposing the waterlogged walls, it was decided that a nearly total gutting and rebuilding of the space was necessary. It was obvious that water damage had been happening for years and had to be arrested immediately.

 

 

At the same time, the Chapel’s building committee was also dealing with damage and repairs to the other properties including the Respite Apartment in the Fellowship House. Time was of the essence in getting the apartment ready for guests arriving in early June, but the youth program is also beginning in early June. So the decision was made to let the contractor focus on renovating the respite apartment, and to recruit affiliate volunteers to focus on the youth cottage restoration.

 

 

Demolition at the cottage began in earnest on April 3. Exterior siding and sheathing were removed, exposing even more damage than originally thought. Volunteers have since rebuilt damaged walls, installed new sheathing and weatherproofing, put up new siding, and undertaken a variety of carpentry and other tasks to ready the downstairs for the next steps. The rough-in electrical has been completed, and installation of insulation and sheetrock will be done by professional contractors, which is necessary to expedite the project. As of the writing of this article, volunteers are ready to complete inside carpentry, finishing and painting over the next few weeks.

 

 

The restoration project is expected to be completed well before the youth program starts in early June. The youth committee has been involved in providing input all along the way, not only regarding building materials, but also in improving lighting and overall function and use of the space.

 

 

Everyone is looking forward to having the downstairs area restored to a condition much better than it was prior to Florence. The storm was a blessing in disguise in that it allowed us to stop the advancing water damage and completely restore that area making it a more usable and comfortable environment for youth programs for years to come.

 

 

Many thanks are due to all the volunteers who have helped in this restoration project. More than 400 volunteer hours have been devoted to the project, with significantly more on the way before completion.

 

David Barnes and Rich Wood have served dutifully as project leaders, and are due a special gratitude for their devotion to managing this intensive undertaking.

 

 

Contact me if you would like to assist with the renovations or have any questions.

 

Rick Benton