Sanctuary Spruce-up: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- Do we have the money to do this? Yes, there is money in the Building Reserve Fund. Trustees reserved this money aside around two years ago, already thinking about the need to replace the carpet.
- Will using this money for the floor take away from our other church activities or the church’s mission? No, the Building Reserve Fund money can only be used for building-related purposes, so we are not draining resources from worship, outreach, music, education, or other activities of that sort.
- Do we really need to do this? The Church Board believes we definitely do. Now that the pews are out of the sanctuary for the moment due to COVID, you can look in the building yourself (on a first Sunday of the month, for example) and see how wrinkled and puckered up the carpet is. It is a tripping hazard for some members. It is also stained in quite a few places, and generally old and dirty. We believe this is a safety and health issue as well as an aesthetics issue.
- Why the rush to get this done now? Last year was very challenging for the church due to COVID. The Board was not sure whether we might have to borrow from the Building Reserve Fund to cover our cash flow needs (we would then have had to pay back that fund from general income). Thanks to a PPP loan and generous continued giving from the congregation, we did not have to do this, and discovered in early January that we had finished the previous year in the black on our budget. Only then could we move forward with confidence on the spruce-up. Obviously, with no regular full use of the sanctuary, this is the perfect time to do this. COVID restrictions may now end sooner than we expected in January however, so we are somewhat squeezed by both the January start-up point and the potential sanctuary re-opening in the summer of even in May.
- Has the decision to replace the carpet with vinyl wood-like flooring already been made by the Board? No. The Board is recommending that this be done, based on quotes we have received for various options, plus discussions with staff. We continue to request your input.
- Have you reached out to the congregation about this project? Yes, we held a congregational meeting on March 14 and 11:30am, to invite input. There were people who favored the vinyl flooring option, and others who spoke in favor of continuing to use carpet. The idea of vinyl flooring resembling stone rather than carpet was also raised. Thus we have put this FAQ document on the website, and we are asking you to provide us with written feedback by April 1, to email@example.com.
- Will this affect the acoustics of the sanctuary? According to Brian Du Fresne, vinyl flooring would have a positive affect on the acoustics, as carpet tends to muffle sound. We already have a very large space, with lots of brick and padded pews and chairs, so our problem now is too much muffling.
- What about the noise of walking on the vinyl during the service – the clickety-clack of high heels for example? The Board recommends that we purchase carpet runners, that could be place in the middle aisle, as well as the side aisles, to address this issue during the service.
- Will the vinyl be slippery when wet, as when people come in on snowy days with wet shoes? The narthex is actually where this is most a concern, and that area is indeed somewhat slippery (a problem we need to address). The vinyl itself has micro-pores, which prevent buildup of small amounts of water on the surface and reduce slipperiness. See also the idea for carpet runners, in question #8.
- Will the vinyl be damaged by things like high heels? No, this is a very resistant surface to that kind of damage. It is expected to have a very long life.
- Will it be expensive to maintain the vinyl? No, it will be cheaper than carpet. There is no need for stripping, polishing or refinishing every few years, as with hardwood floors, and obviously no need for carpet vacuuming and cleaning. Thus, upkeep and cleaning costs will be cheaper than carpet.
- Will it be expensive to install the vinyl? The costs for vinyl and carpet are roughly the same, based on quotes we have received from Carpet Exchange.
- Will this affect the aesthetics of the Sanctuary? This is a difficult question to answer. Some people feel that carpet is more “warm and comfortable” feeling. Others have suggested that carpet might appear more “classy.” Others like the idea of the hardwood-floor-type look, as being “modern” (or “classy”, as in some concert halls). The best we can say is that the vinyl would match the front wooden flooring around the altar closely.
- Can I see what the vinyl flooring looks like? There are samples in the narthex, leaning against the wall by the sanctuary entrance, though the building is normally closed these days.
- Have other churches done this, and can I see pictures of that? Brian has been organist at two churches with have used this product. We will try to get a picture up soon of the interior of those churches.
- Can you give us an idea what the vinyl flooring would look like in Mountain View?
We will try to get a mock-up posted of what this might look like.
- Would replacing the flooring restrict our options for things like keeping pews, moving to chairs, or adding more chairs or pews, or rearranging the seating in the sanctuary in various ways? No, it would not. (By the way, the balcony will stay as it is).