Infrastructure update July 2015—Let the construction begin!!

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The board has approved the go forward plan with a few accommodations. Our current goal is $4.4M and that includes the Seismic work, ADA improvements, Elevator, Women’s/Men’s bathrooms, Kitchen, fire sprinklers and associated electrical and plumbing improvements. This does not include Air conditioning unless we raise another $200K by September in addition to our monthly projected current fundraising goals or if someone wants to sponsor this project and donate directly to install Air Conditioning.
Some of you may have notice this doesn’t match the fundraising goal on the Thermometer in the gym? You are correct. There were a set of ‘soft costs’ (permits, inspections, owners contingency, design fees, Utilities..) that we thought were included in the Construction contingencies. This is an additional $740K to the project costs. I know this is a big miss and personally apologize for this oversight. More importantly, we have put corrective actions into place to prevent this from happening again.
Before we made this decision, the Board weighed several other options: 1) delay a full year, 2) delay 6 months 3) sell existing property. The first option would potentially add another $500K to the construction costs due to sub-contractors inflating costs. This is what we saw over the last year and expect it to continue. The second option would impact Obon and we couldn’t do that, as it could impact our ability to run the church. The last option was not considered, as the only ‘real’ property we have is the Kawakami bldg. We don’t want to sell 4th st or the cottage as are part of the Phase II plans and the 6th st property is used quite often.
The bottom-line line is, if we wait another year it will cost us $500K+ and we will continue to have a seismic risk literally hanging over our heads.
While we haven’t hit our full scope fundraising goal, the Board is optimistic that we will. Our current monthly fundraising average has been $75,000 a month. If we continue on that path, we will raise the balance by time we finish. If we don’t, we will utilize a line of credit for the balance. I want to be perfectly clear here, we will NOT use the line of credit until we need to. If needed, we anticipate the need to be small and will pay it off within 36 months. We ran the numbers and is very doable. This means we will aggressively continue to fundraise. While we have been very successful in raising money to date, we haven’t reached out to the majority of our Sangha yet. We recently put a plan in place to reach out to a 100 sangha members a month, which should keep us on track.
This now should give everyone on the board and in the Sangha a heightened sense of urgency regarding fundraising. I hope everyone will give as much as they can (see the Generations article) and help us get this done for us, our kids and future Generations.
Thanks for reading.
In Gassho,
Todd Tsudama
SJBC Board President