Just like any of us who have remodeled a very old home, we are unearthing some surprises in the way our Sanctuary was built and the manner in which it was cobbled together in the decades since it was consecrated.
To analyze how we are doing with the construction budget as we conclude the Bell Tower reconstruction, project leaders have requested that architect Bob Easton, the contractor, structural and mechanical engineers, and other professionals undertake exploratory work on the walls, roof supports and other areas to be addressed in Phase 2 in order to identify likely "surprises" not covered by our original budget and to prepare an update.
"It was only after we removed the old Bell Tower and could peer inside the walls and other structural elements were we able to see just how big a job we face to make our sacred home seismically sound," said Chip Nichols, chair of the Project Facilities Committee, which is overseeing the preservation effort. Other Committee members include Pete Adams, Sheri Benninghoven, Rev. Aimée, Tom Mack and George Writer.
The original project construction budget was "rounded up" and we included a generous 20 percent contingency fund. While we are confident that we will be able to absorb serious surprises which have been unearthed recently, our contingency is designed to handle these types of issues.
"We are committed to making sure we address the needs of the Sanctuary while ensuring we monitor the project, its costs and our budget," said Rev. Aimée. "We have excellent lay leadership working daily to monitor all aspects of this major undertaking. We also have a
stellar team of outside professionals managing the project. The Vestry is updated regularly and we will continue to keep the parish informed," she added. We look forward to presenting more information about all of these developments at our fall Town Hall meeting.