Thick drops of rain fell from the ceiling of the hall and water stood on the parquet flooring: the 24. September 2019 is something michael brendan will probably never forget: the 30-year-old is janitor and cobbler of the catholic parish of hammelburg. The serious water damage in the parish center has kept him busy every single day for almost five months now. After several months of drying out the building substance, interior work on the hall has recently begun again. The plan is still for the parish center to be usable again by easter. "But we cannot guarantee the date", brendan clarifies.
Around 2000 liters spilled
A special feature of the parish center is that the heating system is located in the attic above the hall. The heating system has an automatic feed system, which means it is connected to the drinking water network. For reasons that are still unclear, a filter cartridge burst right at the transition point, and an estimated 2,000 liters of water seeped through the concrete ceiling, soaking the insulation, all the plasterboard and the parquet flooring and running right under the screed.
The only good news: "it was fortunately immediately clear that it was an insurance case", explains brendan. The catholic church’s framework agreement for the whole of bavaria fortunately limits such damage. The first estimate of the damage was half a million euros. "I think it will be between 250,000 and 280,000 euros," says brendan, says brendan about the current status. The companies had already worked with foresight during the dismantling, the stage and ceiling construction, for example, were preserved. With other materials, on the other hand, the parish played it safe: "no one can tell if a dried plasterboard slab won’t fall off at some point, janitor brendan gives as an example. All electrical lines also had to be replaced as a precautionary measure.
Parish hopes for donations
Despite an insurance claim, the parish is still stuck with some of the costs: although the parish center is only ten years old, the fire protection is now being upgraded right away. Pastoral officer markus waite reckons with around 20,000 euros. "That’s a lot of money for a church foundation", says the 56-year-old and hopes for donations. In addition, the closure means that rental income is missing, which had contributed to covering the costs of the parish center.
"Not as painful as feared on the other hand, waite emphasizes that the project was a cut in the life of the community. Only a few offers were completely cancelled. It turned out to be a stroke of luck that the protestant community had just inaugurated its new community center in the summer: catholic groups were able to move into the new and old protestant community center. He simply met with confirmands directly in the church, and the city helped out with the market hall.
From top to bottom
After drying by the end of november, the parish first had to wait for approval from the insurance company, and the tendering process also took longer than expected. "As a precaution we have cancelled everything until the end of april", reports michael brendan. The hall has recently been refurbished. Now the old condition is being restored from above: insulation, ceiling cladding, painting walls, laying parquet flooring: these are the rough trades. According to waite, the neighboring group rooms, which were previously partially usable, will also have to be closed after carnival. However, the parishioners can move into the neighboring vinzenz-koch-haus.