Building Project Update from Town Hall on April 22, 2018

Building Project Update from Town Hall on April 22, 2018

Do We Still Have a $17 Million Project?

Yes, that is still our objective.

Our partner, BNBuilders, sent out our construction drawings to subcontractors for bidding in March.  The bids were returned in early April.  UUC and BNBuilders are now reviewing bids to settle on a guaranteed maximum price for the project so we can sign a contract for construction.

We are currently managing several risk factors to our budget that will influence our ultimate cost.  These are items that developed through our permitting process with the City and are as of yet unresolved.  Together, these factors represent a potential added cost of around $500,000 to the original $17 million budget.

These factors include:

Energy Efficiency for the Sanctuary – The city is requiring us to make the sanctuary meet additional energy efficiency standards.  This is challenging given that we are restoring an existing structure rather than changing its construction.  And given that the sanctuary is constructed like a barn, there aren’t a lot of additional options available to us to improve its efficiency.  We are exploring a couple of options including installing new storm windows outside the clerestory stained glass to reduce energy loss.  Another option is installing solar panels on the roof, although that may prove to be too costly.  The architects are working with their consultants to find the right solution for us.  PSIT will seek the lowest-cost solution that the City will sign off on.

The Brick Houses – If you had a chance to read the article that PSIT posted in the Gateway in March, you will recall that the City of Seattle will not let us pursue our original plan of removing the houses because it considers the houses to be single-family residences, not church buildings, and therefore they can not be replaced with “non-required parking.”   We spent a good deal of time with the City to find a path forward.  In the end we a) filed for a change of use on the buildings from single-family residences to accessory church buildings, b) filed for a change of occupancy for the buildings from residence to storage, and c) established a revised parking lot design that retains the three buildings.  We believe this is the most cost-effective path forward.  At this time, we still don’t have a price tag for the work on the houses, because we need information from the City about what codes the storage buildings must meet before we can make make cost estimates.

35th Avenue Paving Project – If the City’s re-paving of 35th Avenue in front of the church building is complete before we complete our sidewalk or street cuts, we will be required to repave the entire block at our expense.  We have met with the Department of Transportation to inform them of our construction project and ask for a coordination of schedules.  We will try our best to work through their channels to increase the likelihood that we will complete our street work before the City’s construction.  Two factors that could work against us are the schedule of the City’s construction company and any potential delays to our schedule as a result of re-purposing the brick houses.

In conjunction with our work with the City on the code issues, the team has been making design and materials tradeoffs to manage cost throughout the design process.  While there are design compromises still available to manage risks to the overall cost, they would be more impactful to the overall design.

PSIT will do everything we can to keep you all informed as these decisions unfold in May, and we’ll have an update at the annual meeting in June.  As always, any questions can be submitted to our question form on the church web site.  We keep the Q&A catalog up-to-date with answers to everyone’s questions.  Team members are also available at coffee hour on Sundays.