St. Philip’s Buildings & Grounds Committee works continually year in and year out all around the special place that is St. Philip’s. We work under and over it too, in highly visible places, places few people ever see, and even off campus! We are responsible for the walls, the roofs, all the mechanical workings, pipes, plumbing and irrigation systems, hot water and appliances, the cool water flowing in our fountains, signage, and the church’s unique gardens and special ambiance. If we do our job well, you shouldn’t notice what we’ve done, except, of course, for the solar panels! We are assisted by the St. Philip’s Phixers, who work every Monday at the never-ending, often invisible, but important small tasks required to maintain and repair our almost-80-year-old historic church.
B&G undertakes big projects, such as overseeing installation of the photovoltaic system (solar panels), rebuilding the Plaza fountain, and planning and installing the labyrinth. We plan and build additions, like our Archives Safe Room and the Portico on the east side of the Murphey Gallery. Another important project we accomplished was the design and installation of a new state-of-the-art sound system in the Church.
At parishioners’ and staff’s request, B&G recently refurbished the bathrooms in the Bloom Music Center with new tile and water-smart faucets and toilets, and did some general spiffing up in the Bloom Music center itself. The old Church sound system has found a new home in the Music Center.
We take on smaller projects, too. Using the new way-finding maps designed and produced by the B&G Signage Subcommittee, visitors find it easier now to get around the campus. We attend to the health of our venerable old trees, remove bee hives, and fix safety hazards. Members of the committee, parish volunteers, and students from the Gregory School spent several Saturdays cleaning up the desert area outside the Great Window this past spring. Refreshing exterior walls, installing new bulletin boards around campus, and cleaning and refurbishing the Columbarium are a few of the upcoming projects B&G intends to start in September of 2015.
Certain projects sometimes have to be postponed until other projects are completed, so the B&G committee proceeds as and when it can. We find ways to replace and modernize where appropriate. We update as needs arise and funding becomes available. We pay attention to and appreciate the comments and suggestions we receive from parishioners and users of our campus.
Serving on the B&G committee gives us the opportunity to use our individual skills and interests on behalf of our spiritual community. Our commonly shared dedication helps us work together to take thoughtful and loving care of our historic church and its setting. B&G’s mission is to keep our spiritual home in good condition and to help meet the needs of our parish and those other groups who use St. Philip’s facilities. B&G works hand-in-hand with the Vestry, the Preservation and Endowment Foundation Board, the Reserve Study Team, mission commissioners, and clergy and church staff. B&G guides the planning and programming of all future needs.
We gather September through May on the third Tuesday of every month at 3:00 p.m., generally in La Paz. We invite anyone who has an interest in St. Philip’s earthly presence — or is curious about what we do — to join us for a meeting or two. Perhaps you will find the work we do on the Buildings & Grounds Committee to be one of the ways you can help do God’s work in the world. As an added bonus, our skilled and faithful secretary Georgene Foust bakes something fresh and tasty for us every time we meet!
Great article, Carmen! B&G and Phixers do such wonderful & important work. I’m especially appreciative that you guys keep the fountain by the front driveway going, and I also love the restored fountain in the Quiet Garden.