Dear Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Family,
When we designed and built the Cathedral, we intentionally chose materials and construction methods that would last for many years. Our goal was to have a structure that would be beautiful and permanent. One of the elements we chose was a standing seam metal roof, which, if built correctly, will last for decades. I am disappointed to inform you that the roofing sub-contractor did not install certain parts of the standing seam metal roof on the Cathedral according to the construction specifications and further failed to provide the 20-year weather-tight warranty called for in the contract documents.
The good news is that the roofing sub-contractor, under the direction of Merit Construction Inc. and an independent roofing expert, BETEC, Inc. from Marietta, Georgia, will be replacing the standing seam metal roof in accordance with the construction specifications and the warranty requirements of the contract documents. The Diocese and parish will not be responsible for the cost of this corrective work performed.
The project will begin in mid to late November and is scheduled to take 9-12 months, depending on weather and other potential schedule impacts. Regularly scheduled Masses and other Sacraments and activities will not be interrupted during the project. There will, however, be some inconveniences during this time, and I ask for your understanding and cooperation so that we can have a safe environment for parishioners and workers and move forward in a way that is as efficient as possible.
One reason for the duration of this project is to ensure the protection of the contents inside the Cathedral. The work will be performed in phases, and each workday will conclude with sealing the envelope of the Cathedral so that it remains watertight during the re-roofing and does not allow damage to the inside of the Cathedral. The safety of workers and all others on campus is also a priority. I am proud that during the construction of the Cathedral, we did not have a single lost-time accident on the project. I encourage you to pray that we will achieve an equally safe result in this endeavor.
While services in the Cathedral will not be interrupted during the project, certain areas of the campus will be blocked off at times to allow for materials to be moved on-site and for the crane that will be in place. The Cathedral, however, will always be accessible, and sufficient parking (including handicapped parking) will be maintained at all times. Also, the work will not be performed on weekends when Masses, weddings, and other Church activities are occurring.
While this news is disappointing and disruptive, I am grateful that Merit Construction and its sub-contractor are standing behind their work and cooperating with us to resolve this issue. We will be communicating each week to provide updates, progress reports, and information related to changes on campus that might affect parking or access to the Cathedral. I welcome any questions you may have, and I am happy to provide any further information that you feel would be helpful.
Please pray for the success of this project and all of those involved.
Very Rev. David A. Boettner, V.G.
Vicar General –Diocese of Knoxville
Rector – Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Re-Roofing Project Update
- Please see the map below for Phase 1 of the project to see where the construction zone is.
- There is ample handicap parking still available.
- Access to the Cathedral through the transept doors on the north side is temporarily closed Monday through Friday. On the weekends, there will be two pathways on the north side of the Cathedral to the north transept entrance (both highlighted in this week’s video).
- One entrance point on the weekend is by following the pathway along the cathedral hall to the stairs leading to the north transept.
- The alternate entrance will be just by handicapped parking in the north lot. Due to stairs and curb, neither of our new access points will be handicap accessible. Please use the front entrance of the Cathedral if you need a handicapped-accessible entry if you park on the north side.
- To enter the Cathedral at the front, please follow signage placed around the construction area to gain access through the main doors of the Cathedral, or park on the southside parking lot on the #2 side of the church as noted on the map.
- Please continue to pray for good weather and the safety of all workers.
- Please view the video below the map to see weekly updates on the progress. The NEW weekend access points are highlighted in the video below.
- There is a link below for Father David’s original letter to explain our re-roofing project.