Special August 2015 Splinters from the Board

The August 19 special meeting of the Board of Trustees focused on deciding among the bidders for the contract to renovate the school building on South Pennsylvania in Lansing. Six construction companies received the bid documents prepared by our architectural firm, Studio Intrigue. Two of the contractors decided they were already too busy with work to bid on our project. A third contractor we never heard back from, leaving three bidders for the Board to consider. All three bids came back very much higher than we had budgeted, and all very similar in total amount. An interview was conducted with each of the contractors, and there was discussion about cost-cutting suggestions. The Dream Implementation Team, in consultation with Studio Intrigue, decided to recommend Central Contracting, Inc. for Board approval. The Board unanimously approved a motion to authorize the signing of a “cost plus” contract with Central Contracting, with a maximum budget of $1.6 million. With a cost plus contract, UUCGL can expect the contractor to better control the bids of subcontractors, which will go a long way in helping us stay within our budget. The rest of the distance between our budgeted amount and the high overall bids will be covered by reducing the scope of the renovation plans and/or other options yet to be defined. Well over $500,000 in cost-cutting measures has already been identified.

The required pieces for approval of a $900,000 loan from Dart Bank are virtually in place. Our UUA loan guarantee application was approved, a five-year budget projection was submitted, and we will be closing on the sale of our current building next week.

So, with asbestos abatement in the new building coming to an end, the next step will be for the contractor to begin demolition of walls and ceilings to open things up and make larger spaces for us to use. With the passing of keys to the contractor, we’d like to thank all the people who served as watchers of the building on South Pennsylvania. Your dependable, daily walks through and around the building helped us avoid some issues that, had they not been noticed, could have become bigger headaches.