On May 17th, Stasi Brothers began the incredible task of renovating Saint Anthony's Hall. Old buildings have many layers of material that hide many things. When Father Ralph first began the process of looking at uses for the second floor of Saint Anthony's, some of the old classroom walls were taken down and one could see the original painting of what was once the sanctuary of the second Church (as well as the windows of the sanctuary). As much as that is a beautiful find, we also (digging deeper) found that those old plaster walls contain asbestos (and the floor tiles as well!) and need to be abated. When some of the old school hallway was removed, there was evidence of the burned timbers in the ceiling structure. When the ceiling was removed from the first floor, one could see the main beam supporting the second floor (resting on top of the columns) was not set properly so that there is a sagging in the second floor!
As mother said, "If you are going to do something, do it right." Well, that's what is happening in this renovation of this beautiful building. New columns, new beams, and the reinforcing of older beams is now taking place. A new ceiling on the first floor of Saint Anthony's (donated by Stasi brothers) as well as new efficient lighting for which we will be rebated by PSEG. The elevator has been ordered, new stairs will soon go in and then the reconstruction of the front entranceway and foyer-vestibule for the first floor of Saint Anthony's.
Right now, we are seriously thinking of redoing the first floor as well -- new wall covering, new windows and perhaps a more efficient heating system for the first floor. As my mother also said, "Just to make it look pretty without doing it right is like putting lipstick on a pig!" Oh, mother!