Strategic Stabilization at the Grande

This month, thanks to the generous donors of our fall GoFundMe campaign, the Friends of The Grande and Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church were finally able to engage contractors for roof stabilization.

Job#1 has always been to maintain access to the areas were ingress to the ballroom floor and roof had been compromised by debris. This was mandatory for easy and safe movement of labor and materials to those levels of the building. Fortunately, we have had limited snowfall this winter and our contractor, CGA, completed 90% of the required work just before the second significant snowfall of the season. As evidenced in these photos, CGA then completed their spectacular job of removing or displacing a significant amount of detritus. Blue tarps are now covering the concrete or steel stair treads to help protect them from additional debris, snow and ice.

Next Steps

  • Stabilize the brick roof access cupola –  The “little shack” that protects the roof stairs is compromised and needs repair. The critical steel stairs are now free of debris and are in relatively good shape.
  • Roof platform – It will next be necessary to lay down materials on the surface of the roof to allow safe transit from the access cupola to the repair areas of greatest concern. This step will likely require a hydraulic lift apparatus. A safe platform on the roof will allow for ready inspection by engineers and roofing contractors. Given a budget, patchwork repairs of the roof could proceed (Weather permitting) as the first steps towards sealing and drying the building.

Much thanks to Rev. Smith, Deacon Johnson and Deborah East at CHMBC for this collaborative help in moving the Grande forward.


Leo Early – Friends of the Grande – January 2020




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