Facilities committee chairman Marshall Price updated Session recently on the progress of the new courtyard. While the courtyard project has encountered numerous unexpected delays, progress continues, and the committee is hopeful that completion is nearing.
In addition to the delays in waiting for city approval of the plan, the COVID pandemic added further complications. Among these were supply-chain delays that many businesses around the country experienced. Exterior light fixtures and sconces, windows and the gate had been delayed in shipping and delivery.
The good news, Price said, is that progress has continued. The exterior gate, earlier delayed, has now been received, as have the windows for 9 Court Square, which is adjacent to the courtyard. The windows have now been installed in the new shotcrete wall and the wall has been painted. The completion of the shotcrete wall and painting have made a dramatic difference.
The screen behind the stage is up, and a planter has been installed behind it where vines will be planted to ev
entually cover the screen. As the plants grow, the committee is considering using attached banners to advertise church activities. A hydrant to enable care of the grassy areas and the planter box have also been installed.
One exciting development is the crosses that will be installed on the west wall of the sanctuary, which will cover the exposed angle irons that support the organ inside. The three large crosses will be made of a metal mesh and lighted from behind. They will create a dramatic scene to anyone driving around Court Square.
The courtyard has also been hardwired with ethernet and electrical capabilities so that in the future the church can live-stream services outside.
The last stage of the project will be to grade the area, install stone, pavers and sod, and to install the permanent, exterior gate.
While there have been a number of unexpected expenses, thanks to a number of generous gifts we have not only been able to fully fund the project but expand it to include things such as a handicap ramp for the stage, trees, the crosses on the sanctuary wall and a full array of lighting. We even anticipate having some seed funds for future projects such as addressing the way the courtyard ties into the rest of our facilities. If you would like to be a part of that, the courtyard team would love to talk to you.
While Price hesitates to give a firm completion date, the forward progress made is encouraging. The courtyard is coming along—and with it all the exciting opportunities that First Presbyterian’s first outdoor space will afford.