The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wesley United Methodist Church roof project continues, services return Sept 2


July 12, 2018

Jean Nordine/Daily Globe

This scaffolding has held up the Wesley United Methodists Church roof for over one year. It will soon come down as the truss replacement is near completion.


Ironwood - After 117 years of U.P. winters the Wesley United Methodist Church's roof was on the verge of collapsing.

When the church was built in 1910 with old growth timber, the trusses were not adequately reinforced which eventually led to a crack in the roof.

Over the years the weight of snow build up made the crack travel the length of the roof.

Last fall the members of the church knew that something had to be done, but weren't sure how to begin.

An inspector came in and told them that the building was unsafe for occupancy and the roof could cave in at any time.

In order to save the roof, scaffolding had to be erected. It began in the basement, going through the floor and then continued through the ceiling into the attic, resulting in over 60 feet of scaffolding holding up the roof.

The next phase of the project was to determine how it could be fixed. Usually a roof is removed and cranes are used to put new trusses in place. This was not a feasible option since winter was fast approaching and the cost was too high.

Northland Consulting Engineers came up with a novel plan to build the trusses on site, something they had never done before.

Over this past winter the plans were laid out, funding was acquired and the huge undertaking began in earnest this April.

A hole was made in the roof in order to bring the huge 60 foot beams into the attic. Eight main trusses were assembled in the attic and installed. The smaller trusses were also reinforced so they will not bow.

The trusses are on schedule to be fully installed within two weeks. After which the congregation expects it will take at least a month to clean the entire building.

During construction services have been held at the Presbyterian church. Gary Harrington, Wesley's admin council chairman said the congregation will return to Wesley Methodist Church for services beginning on Sept. 2.


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