Construction Confidential: Door dolor!

It’s nearly spring, and it’s been three months since we’ve been in the newly remodeled church building. In that time, we’ve continued to make progress on a handful of open issues with the building, some of which have been mentioned on Sunday mornings. Others have been noticed by members and visitors and entered in our “Complaints/Suggestions” book.

Understandably, one of the suggestions in the book was to have a way of communicating responses to these items back to the congregation. What a terrific suggestion! This week we continue “Construction Confidential,” to offer responses to some of the thorny items we’re noticing.

Today’s Issue: Door dolor!

This week we get a “two-fer” because we’re talking about doors and there are so many doors and more than a few frustrations with them.

One we heard about several times was entered in the Suggestions book as follows: “Problem: all-gender restroom across from Dix – the lock sometimes does not lock even when it says “occupied.” We showed it to Alberto.”

Oh my! That’s embarrassing. And not just for the carpenters. An oversight during construction was the full-throw depth of the “Vacant/Occupied” dead bolts on all the bathroom doors. The mortises for the latches were cut just a bit shy of this full depth. As a result, when the dead bolts were thrown by the latch on some of the bathrooms (some were deep enough, others were not), the bolt went in and the sign switched to “Occupied” without the hardware actually in the fully latched position. This allowed others to turn the exterior door handle which pulled back the lock and oh dear excuse me!

If this unfortunate experience was yours, on either side of the equation, we are very sorry. The solution was to have the contractor’s “small works” team come out and pull all the strike plates on all the bathroom doors and drill out the mortises another quarter inch, to allow the dead bolts to fully throw into their locked position. This work was completed on February 14 and should resolve the matter, maintain our expected privacy, and avoid future embarrassment. But as an added precaution when using any of our bathrooms, please respect the “Vacant/Occupied” sign, or at least knock on closed bathroom doors before trying the handle as a courtesy to all bathroom users.

Some have said that when God closes a door, she opens a window, but what if all your doors look like windows and your windows look like doors? A suggestion entered several times in the book was similar to this one: “Clear glass walls need interim decals or posters or signs. Woman crashed into one and hit her nose.”

Ouch! It may take a while to get used to all this glass, but anyone new to the building is potentially going to have this experience. Fortunately, there’s an elegant solution to all this (better than handwritten pieces of copier paper that say “GLASS”) that maintains the transparency of the design we’re all enjoying in our light-filled rooms.

Elementary classrooms space with fern decals

We have engaged AmGraph, the firm that installed the beautiful sword fern film on the children’s classroom suite at the south end of the bridge, to install 3” strips of film with a geometric-patterned graphic between 4 and 5 feet above the floor. This simple and unobtrusive visual cue should help everyone navigate the glass doors and walls while leaving the overall feel of transparency. We hope it will also reduce use of our first-aid kits! We hope to have the installation scheduled with their local installer and complete by mid-March. More questions and suggestions? Please find the books at the Connections station on Sundays. We’ll try to get back each week with answers to some of the most common issues.