When Independence Boulevard Christian Church members shelled out thousands of dollars to repair a sagging floor, they thought the issue was resolved. While the top layer of engineered wood flooring still looks like new, the sub-floor underneath has started to deteriorate.
The area most compromised is just outside the church’s kitchen, where groups of volunteers walk back and forth, serving hundreds of meals each Monday during the church’s Micah Ministries outreach program. Sheets of plywood and orange cones serve as reminders for those who need to traverse from the kitchen to the dining room to walk with caution.
“Right now, we’ve got three sheets of plywood across there, just to give that area some stability,” stated Rev. Mindy Fugarino. “It’s an area that gets a lot of foot traffic.”
The floor on the church’s lower level was first repaired a few years ago. Termites had compromised the original wooden floor, dating to 1905 when the church at 606 Gladstone Blvd. was built. In the contractor’s estimate, the repair costs included a layer of three-quarter inch plywood but it was discovered when the floor developed “soft spots” that the new subfloor was actually a less durable chipboard. The contractor has refused to remedy the issue; additionally he has other judgements against him for disputable work.
The projected cost of removing all the affected subfloor, putting down plywood, and replacing the flooring is $14,000. Fugarino set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover the costs on December 8.
“We had an engineer who volunteered to prepare the scope of work, so that saved us from paying for that. We have volunteers from KC Faithworks and (Church of the ) Resurrection teams lined up to come in and do what they can, so most of the funding we’re seeking will only need to cover costs of the materials.”
Through the online campaign and checks mailed in, Fugarino stated they had enough funding so far to begin work in mid-January to tackle the most dangerous area. Additional funds raised will address the remaining areas before they become a dangerous situation as well.
Like many other Historic Northeast church structures, maintenance issues are sometimes a surprise financial hit outside the normal operating budget. In addition to the flooring repairs, the church was struck by lightning two months ago, which left them without phone and internet service for several days. The outage also affected their elevator, which hasn’t worked quite properly since.
“We’re hoping our insurance coverage will cover getting that working again at 100%”, explained Fugarino.
Donations and volunteers also support Micah Ministries, which serves 500 to 700 meals every Monday evening, offering fellowship and other services to the less fortunate. Fugarino hopes that the repair work won’t affect the program too much during the projected two week timeframe, shifting what they can to other areas while the repairs are completed.
“It’s pretty cool to have volunteers step up, and it’s encouraging that the community wants to help,” remarked Fugarino.
Donations are still being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-the-floor-where-we-assemble-700-meals-a-week
or a check can be mailed to Independence Boulevard Christian Church, 606 Gladstone Blvd, Kansas City MO 64124. Please note the donation is for floor repairs. All donations will receive a receipt.