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Yarmouth church is latest recipient of at-cost weatherization

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Yarmouth church is latest recipient of at-cost weatherization

YARMOUTH — After a successful retrofit of a Falmouth Church, a Wilton-based builder is working with the First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth to solve its weatherization problems.

Last winter, as a part of Upright Frameworks' RaiseME Up campaign, a program where the company did 100 percent of its work at cost, the Foreside Community Church solved an ice dam problem with a weatherization retrofit.

“Right after the project they said everyone is thrilled and they said the year went fantastically,” said Josh Wojcik, founder of Upright Frameworks. “I've only heard good feedback.”

Bill Hubble, a member of the church and Wojcik's contact last year, said that the 200-year-old church needed the repair and that even though winter has barely started, the congregation immediately noticed an improvement.

“We did notice a very obvious change in the climate in the church,” Hubble said. “The ambient warmth in the church immediately increased.”

He said he believes that if we experience a winter “like the one four or five years ago,” the church has done a very good job protecting itself.

The project at Yarmouth's First Parish Church is along the same lines, with subtle differences, Wojcik said.

He said he was contacted by Liz Rensborough, a congregant of the church, this fall because the building was experiencing heating loss through the attic.

“We're working mostly on the attic and it's a different scope (than the Foreside Community Church) because the attic is very different, but it's a similar project,” Wojcik said. “We're going to be installing a pressure barrier over one wing of the church.”

The pressure barrier, Wojcik said, will resolve a lot of the heating loss that is occurring in the newer part of the building, which he said is in worse shape than the original building built in 1868. Wojcik said this is not surprising because new energy codes do not include requirements for the air sealing, so “new buildings can be very, very leaky.”

Although the RaiseME Up campaign has ended, Wojcik will still do the retrofit at cost for church, he said, because he feels it is important for pillars of the community to be maintained.

“I did the original RaiseME Up campaign as a way to raise awareness, but I'm a business and I can't do profitless work forever unless I convert myself into a nonprofit,” he said. “But I do want to keep the program going for organizations that I feel are important for our community. Churches are nonprofits and regardless of your religious bent, they are community centers and pillars in every community.”

He said he will keep the program going for nonprofits and so far has worked with several historical societies and other churches in addition to the 25 projects completed by the RaiseME Up project last year.

“We're trying to help groups that are going to have a ripple effect in the community, so I'm trying to connect with those organizations that I don't want to see go under because they can't afford to take care of problems,” Wojcik said.

Work on the church was supposed to begin before Christmas, but weather and the holidays delayed the start date until early this month. Wojcik said he expects the work to take around two weeks.

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.