Pastor Bob's Building Blog
June 11, 2016
Just before heading off to two church events I want to bring you up-to-date on the progress of the Project Management Team. Oh, as to those events: first Kathleen and I will be at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies Gathering of Presbyterian Women. She is leading a workshop on Reiki and I am leading one called, "What God Taught Me Through Studying Evolution." And then we head to Portland, Oregon for the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). I'll be there as stated clerk of our Presbytery and she'll be there as a loyal Presbyterian. By the way, I hope you know that our own Sandie Hanna is one of the two Ruling Elder Commissioners from our Presbytery this year.
But back to the building: over the last two weeks the Project Management Team interviewed three prospective General Contractors and will soon select one. We want to get the General Contractor on board early in the project so that design and engineering development will be coordinated with construction planning. This is a difficult choice: all are reputable, have a good record, have worked closely with Alley Poyner Macchietto Architects, and have good thoughts about our project. Once we decide, we'll make a recommendation to Session to sign a contract with them.
Mike Thompson of Alley Poyner Macchietto has presented us with drawings that specify demolition, construction, replacement, electrical, mechanical, and so forth; the Team is meeting with him soon to clarify some points about those so his firm can prepare the next phase of drawings. We are still on track for a September groundbreaking. When we have a clearer picture of what will happen first and the general timeline for the work, I'll let you know. The contractors asked us about our worship schedule and events, and office hours, and such; we told them, "We are prepared to be inconvenienced." Trust me: we will all be inconvenienced by this project, and it will be worth it.
You know that we have raised about $1,230,000 in pledges for the project. This will be expensive: lots of people need to be paid and we understand that the cost of some of the materials has recently gone up. I am so glad we engaged the Steier Group to help us with fund-raising; the amount we raised over what we did in our last campaign exceeds their fee by hundreds of thousands. Their professional guidance was invaluable. The Church's Treasurer, Eric Bremers, has consulted with the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program and with two banks on securing a loan for construction. He will complete an application and, with preliminary approval, will present it to the Session and ultimately to the congregation for approval.
We're off to a good start on our Second Fifty!