1719 East 29th Street
Bryan, Texas 77802
Property Progress Timeline
305 Welborn is sold to TxDot.
UUCBV rents from Hillel at TAMU
1719 E 29th Street property lowers asking price by $91, 000.
2018, December 17
Earnest Money Contract submitted towards 1719 E 29th Street
1719 E 29th Street property purchased.
Veronica Morgan, Civil Engineer, and Bryan Gibbs, Architect, hired.
The AIA (Architect’s Contract) and the Design Addendum are signed by both Pact Design Studio and UUCBV.
Soil samples and tree survey completed.
Plats/plans approved by City of Bryan.
Construction bids arrive, much higher than anticipated with Covid-19 increase in supply costs.
Contractor Keyes & Walsh selected.
UUCBV vote to approve construction.
To all Donors,
Thank you for your contribution towards our church home. All are welcome.
Sacred Space Team
Kathy Wheeler, Chair
Rev. Christian Schmidt
Our Path to our New Home
In November of 2016, after congregational approval, we sold most of our Welborn property to the Department of Transportation as eminent domain. We moved to the Hillel Center as renters in January 2017, with the hope of having our own building in a couple of years. Immediately, the Board appointed a Property Acquisition Team, now known as the Sacred Space Team.
The team solicited input from the congregation on the type of properties it should look for -- land with a building, land without a building, land in College Station, land in Bryan, etc. With these preferences, they went searching, under the guidance of church member and former real estate agent, Mary Bryan. After making several offers on various properties, finally everything fell into place. We were able to purchase a vacant wooded property of just under 3 acres on 29th street in Bryan close to Blinn College in just under 18 months after we sold the Welborn property.
Now let’s build a building! After sending out bids for architects, reviewing eight bids, and interviewing three firms, the Sacred Space Team recommended that the Board hire Pact Design Studio just over a year ago. Under the guidance of the architect, more meetings were held with the congregation to solicit “wish lists” for the building. Pact Design took our ideas, created floor plans, worked with various engineers (HVAC, MEP, landscape, civil, etc.), dealt with the City of Bryan, and did whatever else architects do. Finally, In late spring/early summer of last year, we were ready to solicit bids for the construction with a budget of $1.7M (of the $2.1M remaining of the proceeds from the sale of the Welborn property).
Many of us were shocked when we received bids ranging from $3.1M to over $4M. Of course, we had no idea the impact COVID-19 would have on the cost of building materials and our future building plans. And, we had no idea how we would move forward. Our architect guided our way.
He suggested that we narrow down the list to three contractors and to solicit their suggestions on how we might reduce costs. Pact Design had identified some possibilities of cost savings and the three contractors suggested others when they submitted their new bids. While the costs were lower, we still did not have a bid that fit our budget.
Our architect recommended that we select one of the three with whom we would continue negotiations. The SST team interviewed the three contractors and recommended to the Board that we continue negotiations with Keys and Walsh Construction. The Board approved this recommendation at its September 8 Board meeting.
By this time, the architect, the contractors, and even the SST team had accumulated nearly 40 ways in which we might realize some savings. But how would we decide which ones? The SST and the Board agreed that it was time to go back to the congregation. The SST developed a feedback survey listing the possible saving options (known as “value engineering” options) and asked the members of the congregation to tell the team if they favored the savings, opposed the savings, or were neutral about it. The SST discussed some of the saving options at the Town Hall meeting and mailed the survey and options lists to each member providing a due date for completion by October 7.
The small group sessions with the Board revealed that most of those attending were eager to proceed with construction even with the elimination of some features and were willing to contribute time, talent, and treasures for our new home. Some expressed concern that so much money would be spent on a building and believed we could build a less costly building that would meet our needs.