April 2019 Discussion

On April 7, 2019, the architects, consultants and vestry participated in a discussion about the new kitchen and the capital campaign for all St. Alban’s parishioners. Here are the notes from that meeting with additional questions and answers.

Explain the icons used on the design.
The dish dollies are the fan-like icons under counters. An ice maker is included and is an example of the committee’s work – deciding on an ice maker large enough to meet needs but small enough that ice will not become stale.

Explain the logic used for equipment placement.
This is often influenced by Department of Health regulations. The wall on the left side was moved back into the existing restrooms to give additional counter space. Dish dollies are for storage and different from the carts we use now (and can continue to use) to move food to the Parish Hall.

No windows and no outside door create fire concerns.  More information is needed.
A door and windows would diminish counter and storage space needed for efficiency. County codes do not require windows. Two hoods and new air conditioning will diminish fire hazards. Fire extinguishers need to be available and serviceable. The proposed kitchen is as safe as the kitchen that we currently have.

Don’t we need an outside door to remove trash during events?
The current double windows at the back of the Parish Hall would become a double door and be adjacent to the new kitchen entry door. There is also planned space for multiple trash cans in the design.

Is it possible to add a window over the pot washing sink?

Is it possible to add a window to the left of the range?  How about a door?
A small window is possible. A door is not, as by code it would need to be handicap accessible.  That requires a door almost five feet wide and there is not enough space.

Will coffee supplies be accessible to short people?|
Yes. If you can reach it at home, you should be able to reach it here.

How many sinks?
There are four sink areas. By code the dish-washing sink has three bowls. There is also one hand-washing sink, a coffee-prep sink, and a food-prep-area sink with two bowls.

Has there ever been a fire in the St Alban’s kitchen?
No. This new design is not a fire trap. There is fire suppression in the cooking and dish-washing areas (two hoods). There will be new electrical work which will bring new air conditioning, and the kitchen will continue to be cinder block construction.

Can the range be moved to put in a door?
There is not enough space for a door along the current wall. Putting in a door would require moving out the rear wall. This would require an exploratory site plan; Fairfax Country requires this if the new floor plan exceeds a certain minimal amount of added space. An exploratory site plan is an extensive and expensive process that requires many months and the hiring of a civil engineer trained in this work. The committee did not consider doing this, recognizing that funds are not limitless.

Can a urinal be added to the men’s room by eliminating one sink?
The design meets current plumbing standards where the same number of plumbing units need to be maintained. The county charges a fee for each fixture. If the design is changed, there will be additional fixture charges.

There is a concern that only one, 3-foot door to enter and exit the kitchen will lead to bottlenecks.
Both the committee and design team discussed this aspect of the design and ultimately agreed on the design. Larger kitchens have the same design and it works as people walk in and go to different areas in the kitchen.

What was the primary feature recommended by LEW which the committee turned down?
That’s hard to answer as this work was completed a year ago. Recalling the process, LEW did not dictate details such as type of stove; these were committee decisions. The existing kitchen was a challenge and eventually things clicked into place. LEW is proud of the result. Both the committee and LEW listened to one another and the resulting design reflects that.

Is there a way to compensate for the loss of the pass through window?
There is a large available wall area between the kitchen door and the door to the classroom wing. A long buffet could be built with storage underneath.

If the air conditioning goes out, how can we cool the kitchen without an outside door or windows?
The goal is to maintain the AC, and the stove exhaust system will reduce heat. At present, we do not open the windows.

Will the electrical panel be expanded?
Yes, and this is a significant expense. The exact cost is not known; only when the kitchen floor is dug up will plumbing and electrical expenses be known.

Currently the rear wall, outside in the area of the proposed bathroom bump-out, collects water.  Will this affect a new men’s room?
This will be addressed by LEW’s civil engineer when plans progress for more detailed construction design. Issues like this are why the county requires an exploratory site plan for any large additions. The proposed bathrooms have not been discussed in detail, but the design will make the bathrooms modern and accessible.

Is the bump-out essential?  Can’t the ladies room remain the same?
Yes, it is essential and, again, by code the same number of fixtures need to be maintained and the bathrooms must be handicap accessible.   The Ladies’ Room is far from meeting that standard now.

Are a shower and washer/dryer necessary?
The committee said hypothermia guests and other overnight guests (pilgrimage groups, acolyte training attendees, etc.) would use the shower and it would be available in case of an emergency such as exposure to a harmful substance. One stall is deemed sufficient. Committee members said the washer/dryer could be used for cleaning cloths after parish clean-up day, linens used at parish events, St. Alban’s aprons, choir and acolyte robes, and for clothing of visitors staying in the Parish Hall.