A local church says that it is out $18,000 for a renovation project that isn’t finished, more than a year after it began. They reached out to 10 on Your Side for help.
In May of 2017, the Friendship Baptist Church in Norfolk hired a local contractor to replace the brick on the outside of the church. More than a year later, the pastor can’t get in touch with the contractor, bricks and scaffolding are on the church property, and the job still isn’t done.
“If you pay somebody to do the work, I shouldn’t have to worry about that,” said Pastor Gregory Norris. “I was frustrated, I was depressed and I got a little upset because I know this is God’s people’s money and I don’t want to mishandle that.”
The church hired Muhammad Masonry and Cement Company to replace the bricks on the outside of the church. Both groups signed a contract, saying the work would be completed for $18,000.
Norris said, “We made sure that he could do this with the amount we’re offering and he said not a problem.”
The contract didn’t specify a time limit. After about three months, with the job incomplete, the church sent the company a notarized letter. It was signed by both groups and said the work would be complete by September 2017.
“My church was in disarray,” Norris said. “It was kind of discouraging to me as a pastor to come around the corner and see these things piled up, pallets, and bricks and trash.”
Now, in June 2018, the work has stalled and Norris hasn’t heard from the owner in at least one month.
“I tried to call him several times to tell him to come and get his scaffolds and all of his stuff, he hasn’t even come back and got that,” he said.
A friend of Pastor Norris has volunteered to fix and finish the job, with members of the church providing the labor.
They’re hoping their church renovation frustration will be over soon.
10 On Your Side was only able to reach Mr. Muhammad over the phone. He says that the job isn’t done because he is out of bricks. We reached out to the company he ordered them from and they say he doesn’t have any pending orders.