The Cathedral of Saint Paul

Home » Floor Refinishing and Pew Replacement

Floor Refinishing and Pew Replacement

The model pew for our new design sits in front of one of our existing pews. This model is on display in the church starting on the weekend of November 17/18.

This coming Lent 2019, we will undertake a major maintenance project in the Cathedral church: to repair and refinish our beautiful solid oak hardwood floors and replace our old pews. Please read this page for more information about how we arrived at this decision and how we are paying for it. The work will take place from approximately March 7 to March 29, 2019. During that time we will have Mass in the Cathedral Life Center Great Hall. Much more info below!

 

SIGNS OF STEWARDSHIP, PROGRESS, AND GROWTH!

 

ABOUT OUR SOLID OAK HARDWOOD FLOORS:

  • Installed brand-new in 1992, in preparation for the Cathedral church’s 1993 centennial celebration; they have never been refinished since then.
  • Heavy traffic and wear over the past 26 years requires that we now refinish them.
  • The smooth/durable finish has worn off in many places, leaving them more vulnerable to damage (which has, in fact, occurred in several places). If we delayed repair any longer we would have to put down protective runners.
  • The pews will be removed, all screw holes in the floors will be plugged, all damage will be patched, then the floors will be professionally sanded and coated with a durable matte finish (similar color as before) that we hope will last at least another 25 years!
  • Repair and refinishing is expected to cost $17,500.

 

ABOUT OUR EXISTING AND OUR NEW SOLID OAK PEWS:

  • Installed brand-new as part of the 1955 church renovation (when St. Paul’s became a co-Cathedral), they have served us well for 63 years. The previous pews would have been from about 1893 to 1955 (similar lifespan).
  • For some time now there have been multiple problems frequently occurring with broken kneelers, cracked seats (resulting in various sorts of discomfort), stickiness in the finish, etc. Maintenance has been continual.
  • Repairing and refinishing them would cost approximately $115,000, but all companies consulted warned us that they could not guarantee that the pews would not crack further when taken apart for refinishing, or even that after being glued back together they would not start cracking again upon being reinstalled. The wood is heavily-used and worn. Refinishing these pews would not be a good investment for our Cathedral church!
  • The new pews will be solid oak (NO particle board, NO plywood), custom made to complement our beautiful church (see details on model pew — exactly how our pews will look),  stained to match our other furnishings (ambo, etc.), and will serve us for generations to come — just as the prior two sets did in our 125-year history.
  • Replacement cost is $170,000 (maximum — if we are unable to realize possible tax savings of just over $15,000).

 

TOTAL PROJECT COST: $187,500

FUNDING SOURCES:

$87,500 — Net after paying diocesan taxes on an anonymous $100,000 non-capital campaign gift received in 2017.
$35,000 — 2017 Grand Gala proceeds.
$65,000 — Taken from our reserve savings balance—savings from operating surpluses and Columbarium income.
$187,500 — GRAND TOTAL OF FUNDING

REMAINING AMOUNT NEEDED: $0
And we will still have over $26,000 in our reserve savings account for future needs after all bills are paid.

 

WORK SCHEDULE:

Installation will take place during Lent of 2019 — projected from the day after Ash Wednesday until just before the Fourth Sunday of Lent — so, roughly March 7–29. Lent is the best time for us to do this because we do not have weddings scheduled. While work is taking place we will have Mass in the Great Hall of the Cathedral Life Center. When we return on the Fourth Sunday of Lent — Lætare Sunday — we will rejoice to see how much the beauty of our church has been enhanced by this project!