From the Steering Committee:
Progress on the renovation continues at a steady, but somewhat slow pace (two steps forward, one step back). We look forward to the day we have a contract signed and work begins in earnest on our building. The asbestos abatement is finished, and by all accounts was performed well. Recent efforts on our building renovation have focused on completing three main tasks:
- Signing a contract with the builder, W. L. Kline,
- Obtaining a building permit from the City of Binghamton, and
- Finalizing a loan to support the project.
The initial bid for the project was two million dollars, while our resources call for closer to a 1.2 million dollar contract. Thus, the architect revised her plans. After more than a month of study of the revised plans, the contractor informed us that he can renovate our building for 1.2 million, if we accept some changes. Based on what we have heard so far about these changes, they sound reasonable. The chapel is still in the project. We will meet with the contractor to review those suggested changes in detail after we know exactly what the city might require us to do in order to meet code and get a building permit.
Right now, the architect and the code officials are negotiating. Things seem to be moving forward well, but we await the city’s okay. (The code officer who gave us a preliminary approval last fall as left the city, and there is a new code officer in charge of our case).
Meanwhile, the committee is poised to finalize our agreement on a loan. The committee has winnowed their choice to one of two lending institutions. The exact loan amount needed will depend upon how much money is paid on pledges in the next couple months. We are sensitive to the changing economic winds, but we sure hope you will pay your pledges as soon as possible. Sending in extra money would be great, too. Thank you.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic may influence our building project. As of a few days ago, construction on projects such as ours has been halted by an order from the governor. Hopefully, this prohibition will be lifted as soon as our other issues are resolved. We are impressed by the cooperation and reliability of the builder and confident that the committees and the architect can get the project off the mark pretty soon. Keep your fingers crossed. Thank you for your moral support. Keep those cards and letters and baked goods coming.