Protect Lombard's History
Fire Sprinkler System for the Maple Street Chapel
Work is almost done!
We have not completely met our fund-raising need, but we have decided, rather than waiting another year, to "borrow from Peter to pay Paul", using money from other funds (such as the painting fund) to finance the project.
Our chosen contractor is Chicago Fire Protection. They have demonstrated a strong commitment to providing a state-of-the-art sprinkler system while minimizing the impact on the aesthetics of this historic landmark.
Most of the work "behind the scenes", i.e. pipes in the basement, walls, and attic, have been installed. The sprinkler heads had to be measured and special-ordered. The holes in the ceiling were drilled, the measurements were taken, and the heads have been ordered and will be here soon. Besides installing the heads there are a few more places piping must be done. The system will not become operational until it has undergone a stringent pressure testing and inspection by the village.
Our current estimate is that the entire project will cost $150,000. The basic bid from Chicago Fire Protection is $130,000, but there are several costly things that are our responsibility to finish after their work is done.
Far too many historical landmarks have been lost to fire.
Your donation will be matched, so every dollar you donate will result in $2 in the fund.
There are two ways to contribute to this project:
Whichever way you donate, a receipt will be mailed to you, which you can use to support a tax deduction.
The Maple Street Chapel was built in 1870, as a replacement for its predecessor, which burned down in its first year! For 145 years the Maple Street Chapel has escaped this fate. But let's not leave so much to chance any more!
About the Project
A huge cost saving has been realized by basing the design on leveraging off of the existing sprinkler system of First Church of Lombard. This can be done because First Church is still the owner of the chapel. This has eliminated the need to break into the water main in the street and for some very costly equipment such as a fire pump
Representing the interests of the Maple Street Chapel and First Church of Lombard depends heavily on relying on the expertise of the independent engineer we hired to create the plan and the village of Lombard engineers reviewing the plans. Is there adequate water flow? Is every square foot of the building on every level protected?
The main way we are actively monitoring the project is to ensure that the best possible is done to minimize the visibility of the system and protect the aesthetic beauty of the chapel. The ceilings of the sanctuary and the Reade Room will be outfitted with "concealed sprinkler heads" in which the only visible thing is a 3" diameter flat metal disk. We are having those pre-painted in a custom color that is as close a match to the color of the wood as possible. In some places it would usually be considered impossible to conceal pipes, so we will remove sections of walls and ceilings to allow the pipes to be installed inside, then repair the openings that were created.
Interesting Facts You May Not Have Known:
- The initial design of the system was done by an independent non-installer. That way when we were
comparing installers we're comparing apples to apples and didn't have to worry that corners were
being cut to come in with a lower bid. This independent engineer will continue to oversee the project
and verify that the system is being installed correctly.
- The primary supply pipe will run through the attic, supplying water to sprinklers that will spray in'
the attic space itself, and in the ceilings of the sanctuary and the Reade Room. For that reason that
portion of the system will be "dry" (no water in the pipes). Instead of the pipe having water in it, it
will be charged with compressed air. If a sprinkler is triggered, it will release the air, and a special
valve in the basement will detect the pressure drop and send water into the system.
We've already had some problems ensuring that the boilers do not freeze during temperature setback.
So we will have to add thermostats to the basement.
- When the sprinkler system is activated, it operates under city water main pressure, about 55 PSI,
at which a sprinkler head will deliver about 20 gallons per minute. One of the first things the
fire department would do when it arrived on the scene would be to attach a hose and charge the
system to 150 PSI, causing it to deliver water much faster and in a finer mist which is more effective.
Watch this space for continued updates!
|220 S Main St. | Lombard, IL 60148 | WebMaster@MapleStreetChapel.com|