Grand Island, NE – September 21, 2009 – Nick Suminski, Paul Davis Restoration of Grand Island office owner and company president, has been named as a 2009 Risk Innovator in Construction and Real Estate, by Risk and Insurance Magazine. Suminski was among the annual award winners who were named for their impact beyond the workplace while benefiting employees, corporate culture and the community at large with commitment and innovation. The project was sponsored by Liberty Mutual.
Specifically, Suminski was awarded the designation for his work to restore a rural landmark church in Tobias, NE, where the population includes 150 residents. “The church restoration at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church went beyond a particular project. We sought to restore the church's 100 year old steeple and bell tower that blew to the ground during a severe windstorm,” said Suminski. “In addition, some of the church structure was destroyed during the storm and from years of deterioration,” he said. “The key to this project was to repair the damage and reconstruct the bell tower, steeple and some of the building without jeopardizing the original design,” he said.
Suminski and Paul Davis construction professionals along with local architects and engineers consulted to research, innovate and rebuild the structure and to get the church cross up to where locals have depended on the view for more than a century. To reconstruct the steeple and bell tower, Suminski and his crew transported the broken structure to their office work site in Grand Island which is located about 90 miles from the project. The devastated materials were used as a template for the tower and steeple which were constructed in two sections.
"Only one course of block which measured approximately eight inches by eight inches by 16 inches was used as a foundation on the project," said Randy Dye, Paul Davis Restoration associate. “Also, the drainage under the old church was poor. There was no solid ground under the foundation to a depth of six to eight feet when it was probed, so part of the restoration involved pouring a three-foot thick concrete foundation over crushed rock to create a solid base for the tower,” said Dye.
According to Suminski, the original steeple was erected in 1907 with horses and a pulley system that hoisted the structure into place. Paul Davis Restoration will fasten cables to the church's interior and use hydraulics to lift the steeple and bell tower into place in order to complete the job.
“We are honored to be named as a Risk Innovator and work hard to earn our reputation for leadership and integrity. Our office continues to win local and industry awards for ethical conduct and excellence in craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.