Electrical Upgrade Nearing Completion

October 7, 2013

Near the end of this past June important electrical upgrade work began at BSM. These upgrades will allow everyone who enters our space to feel safer and more secure. We want to salute Marc Hoyer, and his two electricians, Tom Findlay and Billy Ruggieri, for their expertise and dedication to the task of upgrading all the electrical systems in a building now more than 113 years old. The scope of work includes: installing and upgrading life safety systems (fire alarms and strobes, smoke detectors, and smoke sensor beams in the ceilings of the Sanctuary and Sunday School Room), converting the old gas light fixtures to electricity, as well as having these antique fixtures repaired and reconditioned.

Working in a building as old as ours presents significant challenges to even the most skilled craftsmen, and this was surely the case for Tom and Billy. They had to “fish” more than 10,000 feet of wire through walls that had not been opened in several generations, and to the extent possible, do this without disturbing the look and feel of this historic church.

If you enter the Sanctuary even before the work is completed, you will see a marked improvement in the lighting throughout the space. This will prove beneficial to our guests during Breaking Bread, as well as those attending worship services on Sundays. Once the work is completed in late October, the differences will be dramatic.

Included in this work is a safety upgrade, which involves the new fire alarm system. From now on, if there is a need to activate that alarm, it will be routed directly to the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Central Station. This means a drastically reduced response time for firefighters to respond.

We have been fortunate over the years that we have not had any need to contact our city’s brave firefighters, and hope and pray that we will not in the future. That said, we are also relieved and grateful in the knowledge that our staff, volunteers, congregants, and our guests will be much safer for many years to come.

All of us at BSM want to express our gratitude to Marc, Tom and Billy for their fine work, and for their ability to “work around” the Breaking Bread meals. Even with all the scaffolding and “fishing” that they needed to do, they were always aware of the needs of our guests, and were able to complete their complex work without disrupting our efforts with our guests.

And finally, a heartfelt thank you to the anonymous donor for the generous $300,000 grant that made all of this possible. We wish we could express our appreciation publicly, but we respect your wishes to have this grant speak for itself.