As we have throughout this process, the Standing Committee and the Accessibility Building (ABP) Project Team would like to give you an update about the status of this exciting and important project.
We recently received three bids for the project but, unfortunately, all are above our $550-600K project estimate and budget. However, the initial bids lacked itemized detail that we requested which creates a challenge to thoroughly vet the bids and negotiate with the contractors. Therefore, the Standing Committee and the ABP Project Team are recommending that the project not start this July as originally discussed.
Delaying the start of construction gives us the necessary time to make a detailed recommendation to the congregation about the budget and to bring on a contractor to do this work. Importantly, it also provides more time to engage you in the details of the work and to prep for the start of construction in the late spring of 2018.
As such, there will be no vote needed at the Annual Meeting on June 11th regarding the ABP. A future vote will be scheduled in the fall/ winter of 2017.
So, what’s next-
- ABP Team engage contractors in further discussion this summer to review bids and discuss costs.
- ABP Team and Standing Committee re-engage the congregation in project discussion this fall.
- Discuss as a Congregation the pros and cons of either a) holding the project budget between $550-600K by making cuts or b) expanding the project budget to accommodate additional needs.
Finally, some great news. The ABP has been approved by the Chelmsford Historic Commission, a big step with moving forward. And, as will be discussed at the Annual Meeting, we are recommending that acoustic panels be installed early this summer in the Chapel as part of our overall accessibility building program. The panels will greatly enhance the sound quality in the Chapel, making the space a better experience for worship, meetings and gatherings for all.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you! Tom Coffey ABP Project Leader