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Category Archives: Physical Plant

Post-storm Update #8: Heating up in Chelsea Square

The latest from GTS — don’t forget about next week’s Library Book Sale, starting Nov. 12…and now for a warm word from our Dean.

Friday evening, 9 November 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We are now 11 days without heat in most of our buildings. The geothermal system that heats Dodge and Kohne is functioning, and the Keller Library, which draws heat from the Chelsea Enclave system, is warm. Each room in Seabury has its own heating unit, so our offices and classrooms are comfortable. On the rest of the Close, we are making due with space heaters. Anthony Khani spent much of the weekend driving from Home Depot to Walmart to any other outlet he could find Upstate, and he secured plenty of heaters for us. In our homes, we’re not toasty, but neither are we shivering. In the two large common spaces — the Chapel and the Refectory –, however, it has been very cold. We are lucky that temperatures are rising in New York, as Google shows.

We are even luckier that Mr. Khani has secured for us a portable boiler, which is currently being connected into our heating system. Through contacts in his previous position with a large corporation, he was able to secure a portable system for us from Tennessee. Late this afternoon, the truck carrying the boiler arrived. Right now, workers are connecting it into our steam-heat system. Our apartments will be overheated and our radiators will be clanging sometime this weekend. In other words, it will be like a normal New York winter.

The City gave us a permit to take up parking spaces for the truck that houses the boiler. That meant that all the cars parked along the northwest edge of our property – 21st Street just east of 10th Avenue – had to move. Two days ago, as the law requires, we posted signs asking those parked in those places to move in anticipation of the arrival of the truck. All but two did, and we had the legal right to tow those two cars. (We towed them just across 10th Avenue.)

To tow neighbors’ cars is not a good way to make friends and build community relations. Neither is it good to import noisy equipment. So we decided to go door-to-door in the neighborhood and have a conversation with those who answered and leave a letter for those who did not.

[An excerpt from the letter] . . . We have been unable to secure replacement parts for two other geothermal systems. Most significantly, the oil-fueled boiler system that heats many of our buildings was significantly damaged when sixteen feet of water poured into the basement of Hoffman Hall, the building on the southeast corner of 21’t and 10th. You have probably seen the huge boiler through the ground-level windows. The seawater devastated the electrical controls, and we do not know when we can repair them. Buildings all over Manhattan are facing similar crises, so laborers are stretched thin and parts are impossible to secure. Most of us at General Seminary are living in unheated apartments. Our chapel and dining room are so cold that we must wear coats, hats, and gloves to tolerate being in them. We cannot continue this way. We have been very fortunate in securing a mobile boiler and the necessary DOT permits. Realistically, it may be many weeks before we can switch back to our own system.

I spoke to many of our neighbors, and only one said a negative word. The rest were kind and encouraging. One, who got the note but did not speak to me, sent me a follow-up email, and she has given me permission to share it with you.

I am so sorry to hear about all the damage in our beloved seminary. I wanted you to know how glad I am that you were able to get a portable system to see you through. We lost heat and hot water too and I know how hard that must be for your residents!

. . . The noise is not disruptive. Hearing about your trials and tribulations bothers me much more. Please be aware that you have this longtime neighbor’s total support. I hope all is repaired soon! Stay warm!

We need to foster such relationships with all our neighbors, and we are on our way.

Right now, technicians are working to connect our heating system to the external boiler. Some of that work is being done on the street. The steam will be piped in overhead, so people can walk between the truck and Hoffman Hall. The trees on 21st Street are getting in the way, but the workers are making good progress is maneuvering around them.

In the boiler room, other workers are making the connections between the temporary exterior boiler and our campus heating system. It is impossible to say when all of this will be wrapped up and the clanging of the radiators will begin again, but it will surely be this weekend.

All of this is happening just in time for the football team from VTS to arrive for tomorrow’s game against us. After the game, students from GTS and VTS will go together to Fulton Houses, the public housing just south of us on 9th Avenue, to continue the ministry that our faculty and students began there in the aftermath of the storm. The students from VTS will be spending the weekend on sofas and blowup mattresses in student apartments and dorm rooms here at General, and our community will be caring for them as well as we can.

Reread that last paragraph, and you will know what wonders can emerge in the midst of what seems like a disaster and nothing more. It is a disaster, indeed, but in the midst of it, those who can see something more, will see something more. Now that we are getting back to some kind of normalcy, I will not have many more opportunities to write these memos – which some have called “pastoral letters” – to keep the GTS community aware of what is happening here in a land without electricity and heat. We who live on the Close and we who assemble here for study and prayer and a shared life are grateful for all the comments and gestures of support that have come to us as a result of these updates.

Many in our area are still without what have become basic necessities, some are living with illness and injury, some are facing death, and many are mourning the loss of those who already have died. We at GTS have been fortunate to have one another. The goodwill and charity, the self-control and forbearance on Chelsea Square have been stunningly beautiful. I am proud to have been part of it, and humbled. I know I am not alone. We are a community renewed by enduring a shared trauma in a context of compassion, hope, and trust.

Again, Psalm 133: Oh, how good and how pleasant it is!

Your brother, Patrick+

(The Rev.) Canon Patrick Malloy, PhD

Post-storm update #7: As it stands today

The latest word from Dean Patrick Malloy. Please note that the library webpage may not be accessible off-campus – use these helpful tips in the meantime. We hope that the webpage access might be restored soon.   7 November 2012 Dear Sisters and Brothers, Yesterday at Morning Prayer in the Chapel, we returned to somethingContinue Reading

Post-Storm Update #6: Back to the (New) Normal, Tuesday, Nov. 6

Post-Storm Update #6: Back to the (New) Normal, Tuesday, Nov. 6

A message from Dean Malloy with a post-storm update and news about the Paddock Lectures. (Please see note below Dean Malloy’s letter for the most recent information about Library online systems.) 5 November 2102 Dear Sisters and Brothers, Today was pivotal in General’s return to normal. The staff, faculty, and administration were onsite — thoseContinue Reading

Post-Storm Update #5: Library is open, no classes Monday, Nov. 5

The Keller Library has light and heat and will be open its usual hours on Sunday, November 4, though there still is no access to the online catalog or databases and the website’s still down. Originally classes were scheduled to resume on Monday, November 5, but due to the continued effects of the storm onContinue Reading

Storm Update #4: The Keller Library is open even in the dark

Now that the subway is back (at least partially), your reference librarian was able to get down to the Keller Library and check on things. Here’s some visual proof that the Library has survived and that the good folks on the Close are making do the best they can. The Library webpage still redirects toContinue Reading

Storm Update #3: A Letter from Dean Malloy

As of the morning of All Saints Day, November 1, the GTS website is back online, but the Keller Library webpage redirects to the main GTS website. Please continue to pray that the good folks at the seminary have lights and hot water soon, and that our servers survived the storm with data intact. FromContinue Reading

Post-Storm Update #2: GTS Update from our Dean

We are posting this message in its entirety because phone lines are down and it’s hard to get information to and from the Close. Note that the Keller Library will be open limited hours for those who are nearby, although the power’s out. Please spread the word! Dear Sisters and Brothers, I hope that youContinue Reading

Post-Storm Update–The Keller Library has survived the storm

The Close is without power, and your reference librarian can’t get anywhere near to see for herself, but we have it on good authority from our fearless Library Director Drew Kadel that the Library has survived the storm just fine. We are not open for business per se, as there’s no power or internet andContinue Reading