The SST recommended and the BOT approved the contractor Keyes & Walsh to build our new church. We were blessed to have excellent contractors from which to choose.
I have talked to Briana Strictland (our civil engineer) and Ronnie Keyes (our contractor) Wednesday Sept 16,2020. Their take is to have us prioritize our cuts following our Town Hall Oct 4, 2020 and give them time to study the list. Then both firms (Pact Design & Keyes & Walsh) will participate in a (second) Town Hall to present another Value Engineering (VE) plan (with price savings) based on the prioritized cuts we supply them. Pact Design is willing to participate in this Town Hall, Keyes and Walsh are to be invited. The two firms are both consistent in feeling this is the best path forward. I suggest we cooperate with our experts.
I believe the SST can plan a meeting within a few days following the Oct 4 Town Hall to go over the results of the survey and produce a prioritized list of cuts based on the survey from the Town Hall. The results can then be sent out to the Congregation and our two participating firms in preparation for, we hope, final approval of the finished VE. We should be ready for some substantial cuts in order be successful.
We cannot spend all we have in our Fidelity account. We will have additional expenses, some dedicated funds, and some unforeseeable expenses. Brian Gibbs put our budget for the contractors as $1.7 million. If that goal had been met, we would have had a decent cushion. Our lowest initial bid was around $3.1 million. From there we have been undergoing VE to look for savings. Why the discrepancy? Concrete and building material costs have skyrocketed during Covid. Suddenly buyers are buying houses at low interest rates that need remodeling (using up building materials when some suppliers have had layoffs and closures due to Covid.). The economy has gone crazy. Were we overly zealous in our desire for a nice Church? Perhaps. The cost per sq ft of the building (originally $250/sq ft) has increased substantially since we started. The building costs are not forecast to go down much in the near future.
We of the SST would like to build smartly with an eye towards the future. If we cut expenses in areas that can be finished later; if the Congregation will pitch in with their time and talents; if we pull together, we can have a facility that will grow with our Congregation.
UUCBV Members, watch for your copy of mailed &/ or emailed surveys forms with explanations for the Oct 4, 2020 Town Hall.
-Kathy Wheeler, Chair of the SST of the UUCBV