By Michael Fassbender
For many, the parking lot at St. Isidore can be a source of frustration. It’s bad enough when parking spots become scarce or the exodus after Mass becomes congested, but we have also had some real hazards. Inadequate lighting has left some parts of the lot in total darkness during the early winter nights, while drainage difficulties have left substantial standing water during spring thaws and heavy rains. This summer, St. Isidore has performed some major renovations to address these needs.
In July, the focus rested on updating the lights. As Director of Operations Dan Tobin reports, photometric photography was employed to analyze light patterns and ensure the best placement of the new light fixtures, which will now stand at the perimeter of the parking lot. This offers the additional benefit of eliminating the four poles that were occupying parking spots in the middle of the lot, easing the difficulties of parishioners parking in adjacent spots and of the plowing crews after winter snows. The principal goals here are safety, security and energy efficiency. The new lights will surround the lot with light while lowering costs and energy consumption at the same time.
The next project was the renovation of the ten drains underneath the parking lot. Each drain needed to be opened so that the natural deterioration inside could be repaired. Fortunately, no more than a five-foot hole was necessary for each one, and the drains were repaired sequentially during the week to ensure a minimal disruption of weekday parking and none at all for the weekend. The completion of this project hastens the flow of water, clearing out the parking lot more quickly.
Resurfacing is not a part of this summer’s plan; that is intended as the July 2016 project. The sealcoating of the two chapel lots is a separate matter. They were resurfaced last year, as a part of the work done in the Capital Campaign. In the main church lot, some patching will be performed as necessary, but true resurfacing will take place next year. This year’s work will certainly lay the groundwork for the resurfacing, but more importantly, it makes the parking lot safer and more energy efficient.