Steeplejacks were busy repairing the weather vane atop the First Congregational Church last week, fabricating a shiny copper cap along with a 23-karat gold leaf arrow, which is expected to be both functional and eye-catching.

The previous weather vane on the 185-year-old church sustained damage after a particularly strong windstorm in October 2017.

“We lost the weather vane then,” said Dan Nichols, vice chairman of the trustee committee. "It was springtime before the steeplejacks retrieved the pieces.”

The project was expected to be completed late last year, but dates were pushed back, according to Nichols. “It took a while to get on the steeplejack’s timeline,” he said.

The new weather vane was fabricated by Mid-Maine Restoration in Waterville. Manager Andrew Wilcox showed a piece of broken center mast from the old weather vane. “The old pole was rusted, hollow and bent in the windstorm,” he said. “I honestly don’t know how old it was.”

The new weather vane, Wilcox said, is made of a solid piece of cold-rolled steel. It will fit into a tailor-made hole and will slide down through.

“It is weighted and design to point to the wind,” he said.

The new weather vane, he said, will last 70 to 80 years. “We will all be underwater” by the time this fails, he added.

Wilcox said their outfit had previously repaired the louvers about 12 years ago and sided the steeple six or seven years before.

The weather vane is not the only project underway at the church; a new 30-foot extension of the existing building is starting to wrap up as well.

The new section will house a nursery, Sunday school classrooms and an ADA-accessible elevator. Nichols said the building will also have an emergency generator and will serve as a warming station in the event of an town-wide power outage.

“The project initially started because we needed an elevator,” Nichols said, and grew from there. Currently the walls are up in the addition, but inside still needs to be completed. Pieces of the elevator are coming together, but the “elevator guys need to get in there,” he said, “and the sprinklers have to be installed.”

The entire project, Nichols said, has a budget of $400,000, which has been raised by donations. The work is expected to be completed later this year.