On Wednesday, October 15, Bishop Don Wimberly visited Galveston Island to meet with heads of Episcopal congregations and institutions and to inspect the damage to our properties. He also met with those who are coordinating the volunteer effort. Volunteers assemble at William Temple Episcopal Center at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday for deployment to locations on the island where people need help with their residences. The Rev. Doug Tucker and Ms. Kathy Hill are providing leadership for this important outreach ministry that will eventually include people from across the Diocese of Texas and beyond.
At Trinity, Fr. David Dearman took Bishop Wimberly to see the Beginning School, Lower School, and Middle School where construction is underway. Classes will resume at Trinity Episcopal School on Monday, October 20. Contractor Ed Rismiller is making great progress in restoration efforts. School faculty and staff met on Tuesday to make preparations. Fr. Dearman expects approximately 75% of the students to return next week.
Fr. Pogue then led the Bishop on a tour of the nave, cloister, parish house, and Eaton Hall. Much remediation work still has to be done before these facilities are ready for use. Fr. Pogue hopes to be able to hold worship in the nave by November 16. However, there will be no heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and the electrical connection will be temporary. The electrical service and HVAC systems must be redesigned and relocated. The work will be performed over a three to six month period. Their present location is below the allowable level and was damaged by rising water.
Pews will be removed and sent away for restoration and chairs will be used in the meantime. While the pews are away, we are hopeful that improvements can be made to the appearance of the nave floor.
Trinity's architect, Joe Oppermann, structural engineer Pat Sparks, and mechanical engineer Ron Brown are conferring with Dave Mistick, representing Church Insurance Co., and with Fr. Pogue as elements of the work to be done are taking shape. Final recommendations will be presented to the vestry as soon as possible.
Our insurance deductible is 10% of the limits on the buildings. For the church buildings, we will need to raise $756,000 and for the school buildings we will need another $100,000.
An ad hoc committee, convened by Dr. Bill McMullen, has been appointed to identify non-church sources for which we may qualify and file the proper applications.
Harriet Latimer and Associates in Houston was engaged by the vestry to work on capital fund raising for restoration prior to the storm and is working with Trinity leadership to make the appropriate adjustments in the scope of work to assist with the deductibles. Senior Warden Susan Duif, Capital Campaign Chair Dr. Harry Kelso, and Fr. Pogue are meeting with Ms. Latimer this week.
Bishop Wimberly and the Diocesan staff are developing an appeal that will benefit all thirty-five churches that were damaged by Hurricane Ike. The vestry finance committee, led by Carl Schutz, has developed a plan for covering operational costs until regular giving and special contributions improve as recovery proceeds.
The Rev. Lillian Hyde is heading up an effort to establish a respite center in the 2900 block of Broadway to be staffed with people who are trained as chaplains, both lay and ordained, to care for people who are helping with the recovery effort, people who are troubled losses, and people who just need to talk.
Both the Diocese of Texas and Trinity Church have DONATE buttons on their websites to facilitate giving. The challenge is great, but we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses in a community of miraculous expectations! We are not alone. The Episcopal Church: Here to Help.