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  • <b>Existing facade</b>
  • <b>Proposed facade</b>

HQ Updates:

December 2012

The past two months have been busy. Most of the work to date has been behind the scenes to prepare the building for the work that got started in this month. Updates posted by Maureen Handler (MH) and Dave Haun (DEH). You can view some pictures at the link near the bottom of the page.

December 1, 2012 (MH) Chattanooga Grotto returned to the Headquarters to continue working on the ceiling job. A dozen hearty souls showed up. Tommy Royston of Huntsville Grotto brought a nice rolling scaffold, which really made the job much easier. Dirty tiles were stacked on one side; clean ones brought to the other side and one caver on the scaffold all day removing & replacing tiles. 8 cavers on the ground set up 3 assembly lines for cleaning. Another 30 % of the tiles were cleaned. In addition, Woody Woods of Sewanee Mtn Grotto courageously volunteered to demolish part of a block wall. Once this wall was removed, we could continue working on the future office & book store area even with an event going on in the banquet hall. (DEH) John Osborne and I prepared the White Garage behind HQ to receive a new heating and cooling system. I moved the existing Carrier heatpump and fancoil from the old white house and installed it in the White Garage. I continued to mark the walls and areas for demolition. I met with the Architect and worked on measurements for our new Grand Hall, the raised portion (clerestory) of our building.

December 8, 2012 (DEH) John Osborne marked a route for trenching a new electric service back to the White Garage. Bill Torode started digging the trench. I finished installing the condensate drain for the fancoil. I installed a temporary ozone and uv light fresh air machine. Some of the museum pieces were moldy and had bird droppings on them from previous storage. During the day, John Osborne and I removed the front flag pole lights that were in disrepair. I installed a new plywood door at the wall location Woody Woods had demo'd previously. I installed a temporary plywood wall between a public place and the demolition area.

December 15, 2012 (MH) Salvage Day! Six stout cavers descended on the HQ to remove as many salvageable items from the demolition area as possible. Tommy Royston, Tony Amundson & James DeForest from the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit, Maureen Handler, Woody Woods & Kim Smith of the Sewanee Mtn Grotto teamed up and rocked all day long. Doors were removed and stored, shelves were disassembled and stored, ceilings were removed, lights salvaged, ventilation hardware was removed and stored and cabinets & shelves were removed and stored. I was amazed at how much work was done by 6 volunteers in less than 8 hours. We were almost ready for demo day!!

December 27, 2012 (MH) I arrived at the HQ with my blind neighbor Cathy Rievly. The plans were to prep everything for the upcoming demo. We unloaded tools and set up camp in the desert room. This huge building is kind of creepy at night with all of the lights turned off. I finally fell off to sleep listening to all the little noises a place like this makes.

December 28, 2012 (MH) Kelli Davis joined Cathy and I for the day. Kelli showed up with bacon & egg biscuits for breakfast. I had the coffee maker going. What a great way to start the day. The three of us spent the day tracing electric service to the southeast portion of the building. We disconnected the power to the front three rooms and removed all of the outlets. We also rigged the lights, junction boxes and switches for temporary use so we'd have lights for the demo day.

December 29, 2012 (MH) The day dawned to light snow, but the rains had cleared out. The first volunteers arrived at 8:30 and the walls started coming down and the cleaned curtains were going up in the banquet hall. I could not believe how much work was getting done! Instead of demolition, we actually deconstructed everything. Sheetrock, damages ceiling tiles, smaller pieces of insulation and trash were going in the dumpster. All steel and copper were loaded on the trailer for scrap recycling. All of the lumber was salvaged for re-use or firewood. By lunch time, all of the former storage area was completely gutted, except for the ceiling. The crew moved to the southeast offices. The sheetrock started coming down, and the dumpster was filling up! Then the steel studs came down, the carpet & padding came up, and lastly the tack strip, sweeping and the room was gutted! What a fantastic day! Volunteers for the day include:
Tommy Royston Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit; Tony Amundson Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit; Hazard Bryant Birmingham Grotto; Anne Grindle Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Carol Jackson Augusta Cave Masters; Bill Jackson Augusta Cave Masters; Peter 'Mudpuppy' Michaud Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Dirk Siron Huntsville Grotto; Blaine Grindle Sewanee Mtn Grotto; John McMacken Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Lynn Buffkin Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Mark Ostrander Huntsville Grotto; Larry Brown Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Shawna Olwen McLennan Huntsville Grotto; Marty Abercrombie Chattanooga Grotto; Kim Smith Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Anita Hughes Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Andrew Zerbe Birmingham Grotto; Milo Washington Birmingham Grotto; Angela Reim Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Bonnie Creel Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Kelli Davis Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Cathy Rievly Sewanee Mtn Grotto; Shane Stacy Florence, AL; Maureen Handler Sewanee Mtn Grotto

December 30, 2012 (MH) Most everyone had gone home on Saturday, but a few stout cavers returned for one more day. Shawna, Cathy & Kelli started continued cleaning the curtains. They were really pretty nasty from years of smoke and looked like they had not been cleaned in over 30 years! Chuck Lundquist of Huntsville and I began disassembling the stack of old, wet particle board tables that were stacked out by the blue dumpster. We removed all of the steel legs and frames for recycling and then put the trashed table tops in the dumpster. This turned into an all-day affair. There were over 40 of these wet, heavy tables!! Finally by about 5 pm, the pile of tables was gone and the curtains were cleaned. What a weekend it was. I am always amazed at how much work a group of volunteers can get done. Now it's time to plan the next work days.

Contact Maureen Handler for Volunteer jobs. There is a link at the bottom of this page.

Pictures from the month:
<b>Woody Woods demo'ing concrete block wall.</b> <b>Auditorium being painted.</b> <b>Auditorium being painted.</b> <b>Auditorium ceiling tiles being cleaned.</b> <b>Auditorium ceiling tiles being cleaned.</b> <b>Auditorium ceiling tiles being cleaned.</b> <b>Recycling materials from office area.</b> <b>Ceiling demo in office area.</b> <b>Existing office area demo'd.</b> <b>Demo areas.</b> <b>Existing storage area demo'd.</b>

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