The Temple gets a Facelift - 2021 photos
First an announcement:
The temple grounds will get some TLC on ‘karma yoga’ day Saturday March 25, 2023 from 10AM to 1PM by “Friends of the Stupa.” Please come and join us as we oil the prayer wheels, clean the Tara shrine, wipe down surfaces, remove cob webs, pull weeds and trim hedges. See the contact page for more information.
A report on major work at the temple to remediate damage:
The second half of 2021 saw major work to upgrade and fix damage that occurred in the last 10 years. $60K was spent on the effort, money that was gifted by the estate of my father, Richard Swain Fitts via inheritance by me.
Charles Cahill did the bulk of the work, the same individual that was instrumental in the buildout of the temple more than 15 years ago.
A list of work performed:
The flagstone slate tile surrounding the marble stupa had failed and was crumbling. A poor choice of materials in retrospect. This was ripped up, the concrete surface ground down, and new 3/4” porcelain tile was installed. A major job in and of itself.
The cedar shingled roofs of the pavilion and the prayer wall were replaced or refurbished.
The prayer wall made of sturdy ipe wood was painted brown instead of stripped and resealed. The epoxy sealant had corrupted with spotty mold, was unattractive and was too difficult and expensive to deal with.
The Tara shrine got an upgrade, removing the round columns, installing gold dental molding trim and carved golden dragons as faux support.
The granite stone pathway behind the Tara shrine had fallen apart due to monkey pod tree roots. Tiles were replaced. New grouting was done where previous seams had degraded, on the granite stupas as well.
The pavilion got a new coat of paint and the ceiling painted rather than stained as before.
new 2x2 granite pavers were installed, five of them in front of the Tara shrine and five of them surrounding the round granite stupa behind the Tara shrine.
Two new Tongan rock walls, each 50 ft long were built to help direct pilgrims from the parking area to the temple. Cost for both walls was $13k.
Lastly, the flagstone steps down to the pavilion were refaced with granite.
A report on major pig damage:
In late 2022 all the grassy areas at the temple were dug up by feral pigs. In previous years any pig damage was slight and was remediated without too much trouble. This time due to drought and the temple being heavily irrigated, the damage was unmanageable. It was disheartening to say the least. A lot of time, effort and money was spent fixing the problem regrading the site and installing a new electric fence. Adding insult to injury there were two times that pigs broke in after the fence was installed and much of the work had to be re-done!
Thankfully, with further fence upgrades the pigs have been kept out. Unfortunately, the threat of future pig damage will always be there in the event of failure of the all important fence.