The first indication of a problem came in early September when parishioners noticed a sagging bump in the ceiling of the church. This lead to an investigation that concluded that one or more of the center roof trusses were failing.
The above image shows a model of one of the roof trusses in the Stark Union Church. This model was built by Trustee Bill Joyce to help people visualize the truss structure.
In analyzing this model, the weight of the roof is transferred to the outer edges of the truss by the two triangles formed by the vertical queen post, the horizontal 8" x 8" beam, the outer rafter, and the 6" x 6" support brace located just inside of the outer rafter.
Looking at the outer end of the truss, you can see the 8" x 8" horizontal beam is notched to fit over the top wall plate. This means that the loads from roof truss are all being transferred to the outer wall through only half of the horizontal beam (4" x 8").
After decades of stress, the horizontal beam developed a crack from the inside of the notch back towards the center of the beam. This crack is about 4' long and 1.5" wide.
The crack has caused the bottom of the horizontal beam to drop down forming a sag in the ceiling. This sag was the first indication of the the truss starting to fail.
In September of 2021, the Pew Owners Association made the difficult decision to close the Stark Union Church due to the possible failure of one or more roof trusses. Since then, several experts were hired and temporary repairs have allowed the church to re-open. Also a long-term plan was developed to make permanent repairs. We are now kicking off a fund-raising campaign to raise the money needed to complete the repairs.
04/02/21 – Consulted with Jan Lewandoski (owner of Restoration and Traditional Building in Greensboro Bend, VT) who is an expert in the repair and restoration of historical buildings. He determined that at least two of the trusses had failed to the point where they needed to be repaired before the church could be opened again.
10/12/21 – A Pew Owners Association meeting was held and a decision was made to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the situation and make recommendations for repairs.
11/05/21 – Annette Dey, a structural engineer recommended by NH Preservation Alliance was hired. She designed a plan to support the truss that was in the worst condition.
11/16/21 – USA insulation removed the insulation from the church attic.
12/02/21 – Inspection of all roof trusses determined there were other trusses that needed repairs.
01/17/22 – Annette Dey provided a detailed plan to repair the trusses. She also requested that the attic insulation be removed so all of the trusses could be inspected.
01/26/22 – Contractor J.H. Graton was hired to install a temporary support under the failing truss. Once this support was in place, the church was reopened.
Estimated truss repairs (J.H. Graton) $97,000.00
Repairs to ceiling, walls or floors that $30,000.00
must be opened up to do truss repairs
Total Remaining Repairs $127,000.00
Funds raised to date (As of 10/8/22) $60,500.00
Work done to date -$11,100.00
Funds on Hand (As of 10/8/22) $49,400.00
Remaining Funds Needed $77,600.00
Many of you, as well as your friends have donated to help us solve issues at the church in the past and we really appreciate your generosity. If you have any suggestions to help us meet our fundraising goals, please use the “Contact Us” page on our website.