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Gene preserves the sign_edited.jpg

 Construction UUpdate

We are creating an aesthetically beautiful, multi-functional, environmentally responsible, harmoniously integrated campus that supports, enhances, and expands the sacred purpose of our congregation. Follow our progress!


with the most recent at the top. Click on a photo to enlarge it.

2023-4-18 Noe and Gene working on resurface of sanctuary walls

WEEK TWENTY-SIX: Noe and Gene work on resurfacing the sanctuary walls.

2023-4-21 concrete demolition for the new landing and ramp

WEEK TWENTY-SIX: Concrete demolition for the new landing and ramp.

2023-4-21 building forms for the new landing

WEEK TWENTY-SIX: Building forms for the new landing.

New flat roofs

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE: New flat roofs!

Tony & Santiago fabricating heat duct

WEEK TWENTY-THREE: Tony & Santiago fabricate a heat duct.

MIsale & Sayeed repair kitchen fascia

WEEK TWENTY-THREE: Misale & Sayeed repair the kitchen fascia.

Roof membrane seams are heat-welded

WEEK TWENTY-THREE: Roof membrane seams are heat-welded.

2023-3-23 vents waiting to be installed

WEEK TWENTY-TWO: Vents waiting to be installed.

2023-3-23 soffit for the fire sprinkler pipes

WEEK TWENTY-TWO: Soffit for the fire sprinkler pipes.

Barb with the light she refurbished

WEEK SEVENTEEN: Barb shows the light she refurbished!

Roger and Barb rehab sanctuary lights

WEEK SEVENTEEN: Roger and Barb rehabbed the sanctuary lights.

Roger with new trim for choir room roof_edited

WEEK SIXTEEN: Roger shows off the beautiful new trim for the roof of the choir building!

Gene cutting boards for covering sanctuary floor_edited

WEEK SIXTEEN: Gene is cutting boards for covering the sanctuary floor.


WEEK SIXTEEN: Roger and James spend Super Bowl Sunday restoring the light fixtures for the sanctuary. The amber glass is being replaced with white dimpled plexiglass, much safer in earthquake country! The incandescent bulbs are becoming LEDs, and the elderly, frayed wires shall be all new and up to code!

2023-1-31 Misale, Noe, Said, and Gene mix concrete for the new footings under the sanctuar

WEEK FIFTEEN: Misale, Noe and Said have poured concrete for the last piling under the floor of the sanctuary. Thanks, guys, for helping, errrrr, support UUSM!

2023-1-30 Noe removes extra wires on the Ellsworth wall

WEEK FIFTEEN: Noe removes extra wires on the Ellsworth wall, making the outside of our historic building extra-pretty.

2023-1-30 Misale begins modifications for the choir room roof

WEEK FIFTEEN: Misale begins modifications for the choir room roof, to accommodate more tall people in the back row of the choir.

2022-1-24 new windows at UUSM

WEEK FOURTEEN: New windows, featuring better soundproofing and heat transfer. Woohoo!

2023-1-7  rainfall drainage problems - discussing with the city how to drain the rainwater

WEEK ELEVEN: Rain, rain, rain. The water has to go somewhere, and it turns out that's a complicated issue. Our trusty CDTF is on it!

2023-1-7 new ceiling lights in HL

WEEK ELEVEN: New lights in the Ann Benner Room!

new framing for wall by organ 2

WEEK TEN: Bye-bye, flimsy, mysterious bric-a-brac, replaced by a sturdy wall, capable of holding a big monitor, whose position is marked in blue tape. What did they do with that lattice?

Roger and Noe examin the wall area near the organ that needs new framing

WEEK NINE: Roger and Noe ponder this archeologic find, decorative work from our forbears, hidden from modern-day UUs until now. Roger is saying, "Noe, how are we going to support a big monitor on this bric-a-brac?"

HVAC system ready for installation (1)

WEEK EIGHT: Holy guacamole! Are we ever going to appreciate our new HVAC system! We'll be able to attend services next winter without wearing gloves, scarves and parkas!

tree stump reminants in the area of the new ADA ramp 1

WEEK EIGHT: Tree stump remnants in the area of the new ADA ramp

framing for new ADA entery area

WEEK EIGHT: Framing for new ADA entry

wiring for new can lights in AB room 2

WEEK EIGHT: Wiring for new can lights in the Ann Benner Room

roof leak in the AB room 1

UH OH! Roof leak in the Ann Benner Room. This was not part of the recent roof replacement--that was the pitched roof over the sanctuary. Instead we have an older, flat roof over Ann Benner. Another not-so-fortunate surprise.

concrete is poured for sides of the new ADA ramp 2

WEEK SEVEN: Concrete is poured for the sides of the new ADA ramp.

concrete is poured for the sides of the ADA ramp

WEEK SEVEN: View from across the street as concrete is poured for the sides of the ramp

a temporary safety fence by the porta potty

WEEK SEVEN: A temporary fence is constructed to keep the workers' porta potty feeling safe and cozy.

upgrading the wiring in the choir room

WEEK SEVEN: Woohoo! New wiring to upgrade the choir room!

supports for the drop-down ceiling in the choir room

WEEK SEVEN: The choir room gets supports for its upcoming drop-down ceiling. Join the choir to enjoy this new ceiling every Sunday, as we process from Beck Hall to the front of the sanctuary.

conduit is installed for the AV in the HL

WEEK SEVEN: Those silvery corrugated hose-shaped things are conduit that will bring the service to the Hemingway Lounge.

plywood is installed for the new AB room wall

WEEK SEVEN: Plywood is installed for the new wall in the Ann Benner room.

Placement for monitors in the sanctuary

WEEK SEVEN: Blue tape shows where the monitors will go. Looks straightforward, right? Well, stay tuned as our historians take apart the left wall very, very carefully. There are hints of possible treasure inside.

Confidence monitor location

WEEK SEVEN: The blue tape shows the location of the "confidence monitor," the screen that reassures the people on the chancel that the monitors are showing what they think they're showing.

monitor location in AB room

WEEK SEVEN: The location of the monitor in the Ann Benner room is shown by that wood rectangle on the wall of the ADA restroom. This monitor can show the same image as in the sanctuary, or a slideshow of Paul Z's recent family trip.

monitor placement in HL

WEEK SEVEN: The wooden rectangle on the wall of the Hemingway Lounge indicates the location of the monitor that will allow people in the room to follow the service or watch the Giants game.

Said helped build teh ramp

WEEK SIX: Said helped build this magnificent ramp, aka Temporary Ramp Number 2.

new temporary ramp into BH - step side

WEEK SIX: A different perspective on Temporary Ramp Number Two, from the Kinder Academy side

new temporary ramp into BH

WEEK SIX: Temporary Ramp Number Two complete! You enter from the neighbor's driveway, through a gate. Thank you, neighbors!

framing for new Ellsworth ADA ramp

WEEK SIX: Framing for the permanent ADA ramp--and the shadow of our chief photographer, Barb Du Mond

area for new ramp

WEEK SIX: Here's where the permanent ADA ramp is going to go!

sanctuary 1 (1)

WEEK SIX: Choir's perspective on the sanctuary

sanctuary 2

WEEK SIX: Jesus's perspective on the sanctuary progress

Edgar and Said work in teh AB room and new ADA restroom

WEEK SIX: Edgar and Said work in the Ann Benner room and new ADA restroom

Said install the framing for the window in the ADA restroom

WEEK SIX: Said installs the framing for the window in the ADA restroom.

ramp between sanctuary and choir room

WEEK SIX: Progress on the ramp between the sanctuary and choir room, taken from a slight Batman angle

elevation makings for the new sound booth

WEEK SIX: Markings on the wall show Sylvie age zero (lowest), two, eight, and ten. Or do they show elevation markings for the sound booth?

debris from BH landing piled in sanctuary

WEEK SIX: Big pile o' rubble from removing the Beck Hall landing

Misa working on the temporary ramp into the back of Beck Hall

WEEK FOUR: Misa begins to work on the second temporary ramp, to the back of Beck

new header above the new door and windows in the AB room

WEEK FOUR: The Ann Benner door and windows get a new header!

new floor outlets

WEEK FOUR: Floor outlets! These are going to come in handy, aren't they?

construction in the sanctuary

WEEK FOUR: The long view of the sanctuary in progress

temporary leveled floor in the tower (raised 2_ at the outer door)

SURPRISE! The floor in the tower--that's the formal Ellsworth entry--was sloped by 2". Roger Otto never let on. This temporary floor is the first step to a new, level floor in the tower.

wood damage to old joists in the tower floor

UH OH! Water damage to the old joists in the tower

alcove where the new ADA door will be located

WEEK FOUR: The alcove where our new ADA entrance shall be

temporary steps into the tower door

WEEK FOUR: Temporary steps into the primary Ellsworth entrance. You know: the one on the corner of E. Santa Inez and Ellsworth

the first temporary ramp gets a handrail

WEEK FOUR: The first temporary ramp, into the back/side entrance of Beck Hall, receives a handrail


WEEK THREE: Portal to another dimension discovered

2022-11-10 closet framing between Hemingwa and Ann Benner

WEEK THREE: Framing the closet between Hemingway and Ann Benner

2022-11-10 framing for ADA restroom

WEEK THREE: The long-awaited ADA restroom gets framed!

2022-11-10 framing for ramp to choir room.  Door needs to be taller

WEEK THREE: Framing for the new ramp into the choir room. The door is not high enough, especially for certain bari-tenors who sing from the back row.

2022-11-10 Hemingway into Ann Benner - new framing

WEEK THREE: After new framing, this is the view from Hemingway into Ann Benner

sanctuary floor rafters 3

WEEK TWO: View from the Jesus window, as He monitors the leveling progress

framing of the sanctuary floor

WEEK TWO: Framing of the new, level sanctuary floor

sanctuary floor rafters 1

WEEK TWO: Leveling the sanctuary floor

sanctuary rafters 4

WEEK TWO: More leveling

under the sanctuary floor via the crawlspace

SURPRISE: Under the sanctuary floor we're going to need more pilings for support!

wires under HL floor via crawl space

SURPRISE! Wires drooping under the floor of the Hemingway Lounge. Don't be tempted to crawl under our building until those things are secured!

both furnaces with ducts removed

WEEK TWO: Both furnaces with ducts removed. This is why we have electric heaters in Beck Hall!

courtyard deck removed left side

WEEK TWO: Courtyard deck removed

water damage to AB room door sill left side

SURPRISE! Water damage on the left side of the door sill to the Ann Benner Room

Ab room water damage right side of door

SURPRISE! Water damage on the right side of the door to the Ann Benner Room

poorly supported beam outside AB room

WHOOPS! Poorly supported beam outside Ann Benner Room. That's going to have to be replaced.

water damage in the corner of Hemingway Lounge

SURPRISE! Water damage in the corner of the Hemingway Lounge, messing up our vintage lineoleum


DAY FOUR: Our main Ellsworth entrance, temporarily known as "the sand dune"


DAY FOUR: The secret to keeping the snow out during the worst blizzards. (Who writes these captions?)

Temp ramp

DAY FOUR: Temporary ramp installed to allow access to Beck Hall


DAY THREE: The ramp to Beck Hall, gone for now. But a really good one is coming!


DAY THREE: Where the wayside pulpit (our exterior sign) was

No header over the window

UH OH! No header over the windows and door in the Ann Benner Room. We'll need to remove the pipe and put a proper header in. Another reason we need that reserve.

Wood rot

UH OH! Wood rot discovered on the sill of the door to Beck Hall. Good thing we reserved money for unknowns!

Jesus looks over the rubble

DAY TWO: Look at the Jesus window closely. Is Jesus rolling His eyes at the mess?

wood floor under the tile in the Ann Benner room

SURPRISE! Anyone remember the wood floor under the tile in the Ann Benner Room?

Knob and tube wiring in Ann Benner room

DAY TWO: Knob-and-tube wiring in the Ann Benner Room. This electrical wiring technique was common from 1880-1940. That was at least 82 years ago!

Ann Benner ceiling beams

DAY TWO: Ceiling beams in the Ann Benner Room

wall removed between Hemingway and Ann Benner rooms

DAY TWO: Wallboard removed between Hemingway Lounge and the Ann Benner Room

debris in the sanctuary

DAY TWO: Sanctuary

pile of plants

DAY TWO: A big pile of plants

Ellsworth plants removed

DAY TWO: Ellsworth plants are gone

Barb and Roger start the demo

DAY ONE: Barb and Roger take up their tools

under the carpet at the top of stairs

SURPRISE! Linoleum under the carpet at the top of the stairs

Bach and UUSM leaders 1

DAY ONE: Bach and UUSM leaders

Sanctuary 1

DAY ONE: In the sanctuary

Ground breaking barb-roger-tricia-becky

DAY ONE: Barb, Roger, Tricia and Becky pretend they're doing all the work

under the chancel carpet

DAY ONE: Now we know what was under the chancel carpet!

sanctuary 5

DAY ONE: In the sanctuary

sanctuary 3

DAY ONE: In the sanctuary

under the carpet on the steps

DAY ONE: Archeology of the stairs from the E Santa Inez entrance to the offices

Ann Benner room 1

DAY ONE: Ann Benner Room

sanctuary 4

DAY ONE: In the sanctuary

Organ covering

DAY ONE: High tech multi-layered protection for our organ

under the carpet in Hemingway Lounge

SURPRISE! Raise your hand if you remember the linoleum under the carpet in Hemingway Lounge.

Bach and UUSM leaders 2

DAY ONE: Bach Construction and UUSM leaders

Oct 23 22 Remembrance & day b4 start of construction

THE DAY BEFORE demolition began: Connections Hour

In front of UUSM day b4 start of construction

THE DAY BEFORE demolition began: UU Hikers


Timeline Update:  On Schedule!
Demo started Oct 24. We expect to finish by June 23.

Feeling Nostalgic?

Read about the history of UUSM's buildings in this collaborative essay by Frank Seebode, Gail Ewing and Betsy Blosser.

Photo taken from the corner of E. Santa Inez and Ellsworth, early in the 20th century. Courtesy of the San Mateo Historical Society.

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