On Monday, July 15th, construction in Norton Hall officially began. Take a look at the gallery below to see pictures of just how much was torn up in the first days! We are so appreciative of all of you who made financial pledges to the HVAC ASAP fund. With your pledges, Third Century funds, and funds from the St. Paul’s foundation, St. Paul’s will fully fund this $3,000,000 project. We are so grateful for your support. If you didn’t get a chance to pledge you aren’t too late! Additional donations to the HVAC ASAP fund will support ongoing maintenance.

Please be sure to keep updated with the HVAC project by checking here for project news. We will provide updates as well as any announcements regarding event changes due to construction.

You can click the link below to make a pledge or gift online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Background & Specifications

Quite simply, this project is long overdue and can wait no longer.  Anyone who has been in church on a cold winter day with little heat or a hot summer morning with no AC can attest — we must update the heating and cooling system of St. Paul’s Church.  The current HVAC system is well beyond its expected lifespan — some parts are over 60 years old.

  • The system is overly complex with eight major parts and sixteen major pieces of equipment.  
  • Currently, the same pipes are used for heating and cooling, making it very difficult to switch between the two.  
  • The system is costly to maintain; we have spent over $170,000 over 5 years just to keep it running.
  • Components can no longer be easily modified or replaced.  
  • Pipes are corroded, clogged, and no longer up to current codes.
  • The system is loud and disruptive to worship services in the sanctuary.

That is the plan! A new HVAC system will save money in our operating budget in the near-term and the long-term. The system will be more environmentally responsible and will work better for our space and needs.

Short answer — yes. The HVAC Committee started meeting 2 years ago to study the current system, determine best timing for this project, and select designs and architects. The HVAC Committee drafted an RFP (Request for Proposal) to find an engineering firm to design the new system.

The Committee created the acronym SPECS to outline the purpose and priorities for the HVAC project.

Safety — Should be code compliant
Preservation — Protects and respect our historic and architecturally significant church and buildings
Efficiency — Better use of our space, our time, and our funds
Comfort — Provides effective year-round temperature regulation
Sustainability — Applies energy-efficient mechanical and building strategies

After reviewing proposals and meeting with firms, the HVAC Committee selected DesignTech Engineering Services. The firm has experience with historic structures such as Christ Church and Gadsby’s Tavern.

The HVAC Committee was presented with four designs and selected two to put through a life cycle cost study. This study is used to estimate overall costs of project alternatives and to select the design that ensures the system will provide the lowest overall cost of ownership consistent with its quality and function. After the cycle cost study, the HVAC Committee chose a Variable Refrigerant Flow design.

A Variable Refrigerant Flow design (VRF) uses refrigerant as the only coolant material in the system (as opposed to chilled water systems which use refrigerant to cool/heat water that is circulated throughout the whole system). The refrigerant is conditioned by a single outdoor condensing unit, and is circulated within the building to multiple indoor units. In a VRF inverter, compressors can lower power consumption with partial cooling/heating loads. There are several air handlers (indoor units) on the same refrigerant loop and the system has the potential for modular expansion.

Typical VRF System Structure

  • The system is very efficient and quiet
  • Multiple zones will allow heating and cooling at the same time
  • Simplified operation
  • Simplified maintenance
  • Lower cost and life-cycle costs
  • Least invasive for installation


The estimated cost is $3,000,000.

We intend to fully fund this renovation project and take on no long-term financing debt. Here is how we will do it:


We start the project with cash on hand from the Third Century Fund and the St. Paul’s Foundation HVAC Sinking Fund: $1,170,000
HVAC fundraising to date: $630,000
Total: $1,800,000
Fundraising Goal: $400,000
Matching Gift: $800,000

Yes, you read that correctly. Through a generous anonymous matching gift, all donations will be doubled — once we reach $400,000 our donor will double and donate $800,000 and complete our HVAC Fundraising. This is such exciting news.

You can CLICK HERE to make your pledge online.


The project is scheduled to begin in June 2019.

The project is estimated to take 6-7 months.

This project will certainly disrupt life at St. Paul’s. Be sure to check back to our website for the latest information regarding closures. While church services will continue in the sanctuary, Norton Hall will be totally closed off during the renovation. We ask for your continued patience during this time of renovation and renewal. We also ask that you pay close attention to signs and keep a close watch over children while around the construction area.

While the new HVAC system will be the main result of this renovation project, the removal of pipes and equipment will allow for the refurbishment of some existing spaces. Modest changes to the Percy Foster Hall, kitchen, and vesting rooms will help increase the multi-purpose usage of these spaces.