An informal architectural analysis

Categories:Details, Space
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Last weekend, we walked through Huss School with an architect (a friend of a friend) to get an informal but professional opinion of the building. The good news: the building is structurally very sound. The bad news: the building needs new mechanical systems and presents a number of architectural challenges. We learned a lot from the visit and it was good to have our overall suspicions professionally confirmed.
The biggest mechanical item that we’ll need to replace is the 90-something-year-old boiler. Replacing the heating system for a building as large as Huss will be a significant expense and will take quite a bit of planning. We also will need to address the current electrical system–which has been cobbled together over the years and stands in need of updating. Another big ticket item will be replacing the windows and creating a better envelope for the interior (so heating and cooling won’t escape as readily).
So … those are the big things we’re going to need to address in renovation. Before we can get started, we need to have an official feasibility study done to determine potential and concrete next steps. Unfortunately, a feasibility study will cost a good amount of money in itself. We’re working to find grants that might cover the costs of the study; in the meantime, we need to get the point where we can pay our monthly expenses.