Update from the Team – January 19, 2016
January 19, 2016
Beloved Congregation Members—
Thank you to everyone who has been so engaged with our Building The Dream process. We have received lots of support and feedback, which is very much appreciated.
There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and we now need to share with the congregation where things stand. During late December, we received cost estimates on our 50% plans that came in higher than anticipated. We were very surprised about the estimates as we were told that this new design would meet our budget. We found ourselves once again in a situation where the plans and our budget did not align. We were and are very disappointed….and we know this will be a disappointment to the congregation as well. We also continued to have concerns on how our project was being managed, including errors, missed deadlines and leadership gaps.
After this situation, it became clear that current efforts are out of sync with our true needs and were falling short of our expectations. After much thought, we made the decision to terminate our contract with KTH, our Architect. This will cause delays and cost us the dollars we will owe to the Architect & Contractor for services rendered. However, we are committed to having the best possible output for our efforts and we know that we could speak on behalf of our congregation in saying that we didn’t want to have a final output that would not make us proud.
So we are pausing again…. and we want take a pause with you – to take inventory of where things stand. Here’s some things that are clear to the Building The Dream team:
· Our vision remains strong – we know we want to unify our campus, enhance our children’s program, and renovate our campus as the beacon of liberal religion in Central Florida
· There has been an amazing response from the congregation with our Capital Campaign. We have pledge commitments totaling $1.32M. There is great potential with this financial commitment. We are so grateful for this support.
· We know we want proactive leadership from whomever we decide to work with. We want someone who will be one-step ahead of us, who will drive this process, and someone who will understand and help us work with our budget. And we want to have a true Design/Build approach with a close eye on getting the maximum results within our budget.
We are having a meeting on Sunday, January 24th @ 12:15 in Gore Hall to provide you with more information and get your feedback.
Our other next steps include:
1. Withdrawing the Conditional Use Permit from the City of Orlando. We will get our application fee back and will re-apply when we’re ready.
2. Revising the RFP so that we can identify, interview and select a new contractor who will lead this process.
3. Continuing to work with the bank to make sure that our financial plan is solid.
It was clear that this project could not continue in the same manner. The BTD team spent a great deal of time working through this decision. At the end of all our discussion there was 100% consensus that this change was required.
We know there will be questions, ideas, and concerns that will need to be worked through. The congregation has been so supportive and instrumental in helping us get this far through this process. We look forward to the meeting on the 24th and hope you can be there to help us turn another page on this project.
From your Building The Dream Team – Thank you.