by the Rev. David M. Rider, President & Executive Director
Amid record-breaking heat, seven different trades make progress at Port Newark International Seafarers’ Center, moving toward a partial reopening of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) East Coast mariners’ hospitality center around Labor Day.
Roofing and mechanical systems now are complete along with most drywall and fireproofing. The building’s new elevator soon begins operation, and the restored terrazzo floor gives a pleasing look to the interior. Outside, a new parking perimeter has been established, while brick masons create a beautiful new entrance walkway and space for future landscaping.
Our construction wildcard lies in the installation of a new transformer by PSE&G, the New Jersey energy services company currently coping with power outages connected to the heat wave. Once the transformer arrives, electricians can complete the facility’s power grid and begin testing the massive ventilation systems. More than anything else, this installation drives the final weeks of Phase I construction. Stay tuned.
In the coming days, ceramic tile installers outfit five restrooms. Once floor repairs are complete, millwork specialists begin their magic while electricians install light fixtures. Afterward, painters will add bold hues of blue, red, and yellow.
As technically challenging as the project continues to be, it’s all a means of serving seafarers, port workers, and truck drivers who count upon SCI’s hospitality for generations to come. Combined with this hospitality—embodied in our port chaplains, receptionist, drivers and facility team—Phase II of the renovation project (a newly restored chapel, recreation space, communications center, and wellness facility) welcomes guests, too, with resources that meet the distinctive needs of port life.
While the project nears the home stretch, it continues to tax SCI’s financial reserves. On behalf of seafarers, port workers, and truckers who call SCI’s International Seafarers’ Center their home away from home, I solicit your support—gifts large or small—to aid the rebuilding effort. Please click below to review a new brochure describing our final fundraising efforts. Gifts payable to the Seamen’s Church Institute can be mailed to 241 Water Street, New York, NY 10038. To discuss gift possibilities, please contact Associate Director of Development Jennifer Koenig at 212-349-9090 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org