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

Latest HQ Updates:

March 2013

(DEH) March work was light. Worked with Architect and Structural Engineer on building design. Civil Engineer started his survey. We had two borings to get a soils sampling near the front of the building where the clerestory is being planned. We attended the San Francisco BOG meeting to update the Board and EC on HQ progress.

(MH) Friday, March 01, 2013 - I had planned to head to Huntsville about 4 pm to meet Walt Pirie from Virginia and open up the camping area. Walt called & cancelled due to an emergency trip to Maryland. I watched it snow flurry all day in Sewanee. By 5 pm I had my stuff loaded, but I was tired from working all day. I showered and decided to head out early in the morning. At 7, I was checking my email and saw one from Dean Wiseman, he was going to be in Huntsville about 10 pm. Quick change of plans, get the last few things in the truck and head to Huntsville.

It was blowing snow the entire ride to Alabama. Looked like a blizzard in the high beams of the truck as I drove down Winchester Hwy. I kept thinking how lousy the weather has been for the last 3 trips down on a Friday night. I arrived and unlocked the place. Dean showed up half an hour later and we locked ourselves in for the night.

Saturday, March 02, 2013 - The day dawned bright and cold, early too. It was still flurrying. So much for the sunny south. This is Alabama, after all. Shane Stacy and his daughter, Shayna were the first to arrive and they immediately started taking down doors. Then Tony Amundson came, followed by Birmingham Grotto members, more Huntsville Grotto and finally Woody. He had gotten iced in up and Sewanee and had to wait until it warmed up to get out of his driveway. It flurried on us all day!!

Before long the sheetrock was coming down in BIG pieces. The dumpster was filling up. The electric conduit came down next and then the stud walls hit the ground. We removed the band instrument room and opened up the entire library/media area in one day. Filled up a 40 yard dumpster with nothing but sheetrock. All the metal studs will go for recycling. Pulled all the wire and baled it up for recycling. The little bit of wood trim is our burn barrel campfire tonite.

Huntsville Cave Rescue Units was on site working on their equipment and fed us a cookout lunch and brought brownies for later. Kelli Davis fed us again with fantastic, spicy white chili and a huge salad, plus we drank our cold, well earned, frosty adult beverages. What a fantastic & successful day!! Dean Wiseman - Central Indiana Grotto, Shane Stacy - NSS, Shayna Stacy - NSS, Hazard Bryant - Birmingham Grotto, Tony Amundson - Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit, Jonathan 'Seek' Hobbs - Birmingham Grotto, Dave McRae - Birmingham Grotto, Jeff Harrod - Birmingham Grotto, Steve Coleman - Huntsville Grotto, Audrey Coleman - Huntsville Grotto, 'Woody' Woods - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Maureen Handler - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Kelli Davis - Sewanee Mtn Grotto

Sunday, March 03, 2013 - The day dawned bright and sunny. What a nice relief after all of the snow flurries (and cold) the day before. Woody and I spent the morning cleaning up the future library area from our previous day’s demolition. We staged all of the tools, cleaned up and swept our demo area and loaded the trailers for the return trip to Tennessee. Dean Wiseman spent the morning hiking the property looking for our caves. He helped with the clean-up when he returned to the building. I am always so amazed how much work a dozen people can accomplish in a day. The NSS has been such an integral part of my life for the last 33 years, working on this building is definitely a labor of love. Little did Dave Luckins know when he asked me to volunteer for this position, that demolition/salvage is one of my favorite things to do. We work so hard and are exhausted after a day’s labor, but the cavers are such a fantastic group of volunteers that it really doesn’t seem like work at all. It’s just another fun day of hanging around with my favorite friends. Woody Woods - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Dean Wiseman - Central Indiana Grotto, Maureen Handler - Sewanee Mtn Grotto

Friday, March 22, 2013 - I flew into Nashville at 9:30 PM from Lafayette Louisiana, where I’d been in meetings for two days. I made it out of the airport and headed south directly to Huntsville and the NSS Headquarters. My GPS took me some back roads through Alabama and I ended up on Pulaski Pike just north of the property. I was so glad to be done travelling. Woody had left Sewanee earlier and had the place unlocked for me. I was expecting some Birmingham Grotto folks to help with the deconstruction the next day.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - The day dawned cloudy and drizzly. The weather for the last three work weekends has been miserable. Two weekends of snow (in ALABAMA!!) and its now cold, wet and dreary looking. Hazard showed up early, followed by Kelli with DONUTS!!! We ate our breakfast and started our day. The first item on the task agenda was to remove the HVAC ductwork from the future reception area. Woody jumped on that, hollering when he needed to hand down the old metal ducts. Hazard helped me removed lights and wire from the reception area and the future office area. Greg Brecht from Birmingham showed up and he and Hazard began to remove the ductwork form the office area. Soon after, Kathy King of Birmingham came by and began stripping the floor tile adjacent to the office area. We had a little army of cavers working like ants and the areas kept opening up! Kelli Davis showed up with her daughter and 2 of her friends and they began cleaning a roof adjacent to the banquet hall. Stephanie Rubio has a tenant that wanted to use the room in 2 weeks and it was a little musty. It was great seeing those three little girls scrubbing walls like pros.

Gary Barnes and Dave McRae of Birmingham showed up and measured the picnic pavilion for the new roof. The grotto will vote at the next meeting to ‘adopt’ the pavilion and furnish a new metal roof. When they were done measuring, half the group pitched in and had the trailer of scrap metal loaded for this week’s run to the recycle facility. We have already salvaged almost $450 worth of scrap. It’s paying for the food and beer and soon the t-shirts a well. I’ve settled on the front architectural elevation on the front of the shirt and the words ‘NSS De-Construction Crew’. We’ll make them in OSHA yellow so they can be worn on the job.

By 5 PM we had accomplished our goal for the day and were ready for the pizza and beer when it arrived. We had certainly earned it. Woody Woods - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Hazard Bryant - Birmingham Grotto, Greg Brecht - Birmingham Grotto, Maureen Handler - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Kelli Davis - Sewanee Mtn Grotto, Kathy King - Birmingham Grotto, Dave McCrae - Birmingham Grotto, Gary Barnes - Birmingham Grotto, Kennedi Thomas - age 9 - Huntsville Community, Natalie Jones - age 7 - Huntsville Community, Reiley Jones - age 9 - Huntsville Community

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - Woody was asleep by 845 last night. Hazard went down at 9. I worked on the computer until 945 and then I passed out. It was a long day! Hazard, Woody and I slept in. After breakfast, we cleaned up our work area, packed up our tools and headed for home. Hazard Bryant - Birmingham Grotto, Woody Woods - SMG, Maureen handler - SMG

Volunteer jobs have been posted. Check them out. There is a link at the bottom of this page. Thank you volunteers!

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