We had some twists and turns, and it took a few more hours than planned, but I.C. Church now has seating for 600 thanks to our Knights!
Our first challenge was the measurement and layout. Working with the restoration committee, I performed some scientific research and “practiced” with ordinary folding chairs, and carefully mapped out an optimal 40″ spacing and engineered a method for cable-tying the chairs together at the hinge. But when the Monnick rental chairs arrived, they were much smaller than planned. We tested out several other options and agreed on 38″ spacing which bought us three extra rows. We also sat in them and realized these chairs were too small to tie directly together. They needed to be spaced out, but still be rigidly connected.
We adjourned for a time while Chris Lundberg headed off to the lumber yard for 1 x 3 strapping, Mike Cahill went off in search of larger cable ties, and Rich Uber fetched a table saw. We then rigidly connected the chairs with the strapping and cable ties.
This morning, Fr. Steven lead a procession after the 11:00 a.m. Mass in St. Mary’s Chapel, and about 250 people filed into the upper church to welcome the Blessed Sacrament back home. From the choir loft, I watched the people file in, and (I confess) sweated it out for a few moments while the people found their seats and I saw that nobody tripped, no chairs collapsed, everybody sat normally, and when they left, all the chairs were still in their place in neat rows. Whew! We passed the test.
Huge thanks to everybody who turned out and worked so hard: Mike Wells, Chris Lundberg, Rich Uber, Mike Cahill, Neil Cronin, Rafael Johnson and Trevor, Dale Dolesh, our two newest members Deacon Elcio dos Santos with his son Joe, and Kevin Armstrong, and of course, Mrs. Grand Knight, Kathy. The chairs themselves were light weight were not hard to unload and set up, but tying them to the strapping was all done on our knees and was backbreaking work.
Here are some photos of before, during and after.