Your Sacred Space Team (SST) has been working with Pact Design Studio to interview contractors who submitted bids for our church project.
The bad news is that all of the bids were way over our budget. The national pandemic has caused limited building supplies and because of that, massively increased costs of construction materials. Out of eight contractors who submitted bids, we chose three to interview. These three were given 36 items from our building plans to show us what cost savings we would receive by downgrading some of our plans.
Our architect was blown away by the amounts of the bids being so much higher than would have been the case last year.
The SST has worked diligently to plan for intentional building to encompass our UU values. Although we might not be able to have everything we wanted in our new facility, we did not envision having our budget exceeded by about 1.4 million dollars. Original estimates of savings by contractors for cost-saving options range from about $600,000 to about $1.3 million (original highest bid of the three). However, higher savings figures pushed many needed expenditures over to our responsibility, so the savings figures were not without flaws.
The contractors we interviewed had many great cost-cutting options. Although they were able to reduce costs substantially, it was not enough. They are going back to submit more cost-cutting options.
One item the SST has discussed and seemed in consensus with: We can postpone for now many items in our plans that we can later add to our facility. For example, we can add a labyrinth later at the site planned by our landscape architect. We can wait to finish out certain low-use areas. The cuts we need to make now may be possible in the future as our congregation grows in numbers and generosity.
One thing the SST has consensus for: we do not want to place a mortgage on the property that we may be unable to pay. It is my understanding that fund-raising for the new Church will be underway soon. This could help. I hope that UUCBV members and friends will step up and volunteer to do some landscaping and other chores that would reduce the cost of paying workers.
More info will be coming as is available. I understand the BOT is planning to go over figures and a Town Hall will be presented in the near future.
-Kathy Wheeler, Chair, SST of UUCBV