Sacred Places Spring 2013 - Page 22

PROFESSIONAL ALLIANCE SPOTLIGHT (continued) Presbyterian over the course of the project and seeing their growing enthusiasm affirmed Levine’s faith in his team. For some stewards of historic sacred places it is difficult to simply gain access to the roof! Levine encountered an extreme example of this situation at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in North Philadelphia. He explains the complex process of getting onto its roof: “You crawl through little tunnels in attic spaces and finally emerge half an hour later on a little ledge.” When a seasoned professional finds it challenging to reach a roof, it becomes clear why those who oversee building maintenance might not climb up on a regular basis to check for problems. Levine acknowledges that the roof at Our Lady of Hope is especially challenging, combining issues of height, complexity, and inaccessibility that make it “almost unmaintainable.” Though the problem is difficult to correct, it is not impossible, and Levine is using his expertise to assess the situation and get the right people in to do repairs that will help the building thrive for the congregation well into the future. Levine is also the Immediate Past President of the National Slate Association (NSA). The group was originally established in 1922 but disappeared during the Great Depression. It was re-formed in 2002 as a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting excellence in slate roofing practices. To further this goal, NSA published Slate Roofs: Design and Installation Manual in 2010, and Levine was the editor of the book and co-Chair of the committee that wrote it. The manual is a comprehensive technical guide to slate, including design and installation methods of slate roofs and their associated systems. The manual aims to serve as a new industry standard since it provides an unparalleled knowledge base for designers and contractors. The congregation of First Presbyterian Church in Haddonfield, NJ, opted for a complete roof replacement based on the assessment Levine and Company did. Owner Jeff Levine worked patiently with the congregation, assuaging concerns, explaining his methods, and helping it become more comfortable with the process. Photo: Levine and Company. 21 • Sacred Places • • Spring 2013 Historic roofing systems are often complex. Levine notes that complicated detailing makes them beautiful, but also difficult and expensive to repair and maintain. His company strives to provide clients with “the best roof they can afford.” He says, “We are here to work with them to resolve that ‘budget versus scope-of-work’ issue and answer all their questions.” Levine’s assessments always provide multiple options and are mindful of the fact that everyone has a limited budget. Roof repair and maintenance is a daunting task for even the most capable of building stewards, but Levine and Company removes the guesswork and provides the best options while always keeping the client’s needs and priorities in mind.