Major renovations resume at St. Andrew's Catholic Church

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Five years after St. Andrew's Catholic Church replaced its steeples, a second phase of work is now under way.

Although it might not be as dramatic as the work five years ago, it's just as important, says Wayne Gould, Facilities Maintenance Coordinator.

"I thought the steeples were exciting," Gould told WDBJ7, "but this is just as exciting... This is preserving St. Andrew's for the next 125 years."

Crews are now "sealing the envelope," making sure the roof and walls are water tight.

Skilled workers are replacing the slate roof piece by piece.

"It's 250 pieces of slate in a square, which is a ten by ten foot area," said Shane Day, Special Project Manager for The Durable Slate Company. "And every slate takes two nails, so you have 500 nails for every 10 by 10 foot area you see up there."

Others are grinding out the mortar joints, and re-pointing every brick with fresh mortar.

Some members of the crew worked on the first phase of exterior renovations and they're back to complete the job.

"You're up there. You have the views. Sometimes you see the sun set, other times you see it rise, see the Fed-Ex plane fly over at the same time every morning. You really get into a nice rhythm here," said Tim Winther, Senior Project Manager with Dominion Traditional Building Group.

"It's an honor to be entrusted with the work," he said, "it really is."

The second phase of renovations will cost about $4 million. St. Andrew's has raised most of the money, but continues to accept contributions for the project.

The Durable Slate Company, and Dominion Traditional Building Group will work through the year, until cold weather arrives. And they will return next year to finish the job.