In Nov 2017, the committee was told by the Park District the Tabernacle wasn't structurally sound and that bats and raccoons had made it unsafe to be in. We were told the cost to clean it was 32K and that Dewberry Inc. a company hired to do a plan for the building would not enter the building without cleaning it.
Luckily an alternative was found and in Feb 2018, Fehr Graham was hired to do the structural evaluation without the cleaning. The full report and a video taken at the time are linked below. They found the building to be in very good condition for a 105-year-old building.
These are quotes from the Fehr Graham report.
“The roofing is supported by a large, metallic space truss. The truss consists of metal double angles and plates connected at joints with both rivets and bolts. There are no significant signs of corrosion or deflections in the steel members or connections.”
"Overall, the building has several structural concerns that should be addressed. The holes in the building's siding and roofing allowing animals inside and allowing water damage should be repaired immediately. If these immediate repairs are made to the building, the building could remain vacant without any further repairs for the next 5-10 years."
From photographs taken in Nov 2017, you can see how animals have been inside the building. The Save the Tabernacle group fought for quite some time to get the Park District to close up the holes where the animals and water were causing damage. Thankfully most of the holes in the siding and the roof have been repaired now.
Click here to read the full Fehr Graham Structural Audit: https://freeportparkdistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Oakdale-Auditorium-Structural-Audit.pdf
The summary of costs related to the repairs is included. The report states that it would cost between 127K - 147K to repair the four footings, replace 4 feet of siding and replace the roof sheeting and shingles.
However, we recently obtained a new roofing estimate of $48,904 from Mas Roofing which is approx. $13K less than what Fehr Graham used to make their estimate. So the costs could not be lower.
$1.3 million is a figure that Dewberry came up with for a full historical repair of the Tabernacle. This number was perpetrated by a nonbinding referendum the Park Board put on the ballot in November 2018.
No one from our group has ever believed that 1.3 million dollars would be necessary for the repair of the Tabernacle. We feel entering into either a public/private partnership with the Park District or leasing or selling the building to our nonprofit group would be a far better choice for our community. It would allow us to tackle the cleaning and repairs using a combination of monetary donations, volunteer labor, and grant money. We have already received offers for the roofing labor from a local roofing company. We have also received offers from many contractors and laborers that want to help. We feel we can have the Tabernacle open and in usable condition possibly as early as the Summer, 2020.
Click here to view the video taken of the inside of the Tabernacle in Feb 2018 by Fehr Graham: https://vimeo.com/290984240 We are sure after you view this video that you will agree with us that the Tabernacle is still in really decent shape.