Last February, I sent a memo to the Diocese asking if we could engage Peterman & Associates to start designing a storage building, since we had lost four buildings on the high school property. Those buildings housed items for the festival, but also all kinds of machines and tools and supplies for upkeep of the parish and cemetery in general. I was given permission to start designing the building.
Since then, we've gone through a pretty lengthy process of design – which included at one point realizing the building was way over designed, and also realizing that we should plan on sticking with the mini-fest, rather than aiming at growth of the festival to what it was before. Eventually, we sent to five contractors an invitation to bid. Long story short, we're now at the point of asking the Diocese to allow us to choose a particular company for the build, based on all the figures and responses we've received from the five companies whom we contacted. By the time you're reading this letter, I will have explained the whole process and financial figures to the pastoral and finance councils, in order to get their support, before sending the permission packet to the Diocese.
I'm happy to report that, whereas for the capital campaign purposes I was estimating $400,000 for the building, we are now looking at $300,000. We have $240,000 earmarked in the bank for the building – money from the sale of the outbuildings of the school property, from a couple bequests, and from some private donations. From the capital campaign, we received enough cash donations up front (of which we will receive 33% back) to make up the difference. I believe there is no extra, unnecessary feature in the building. We really have tried to downsize and be as frugal as prudence dictates. Furthermore, the particular contractor we want to choose has shown us the actual bids of the subcontractors he would use, so that we can see he would be giving us a very fair deal (not even charging us overhead on those subcontractor costs).
In the not too distant future, we will have a display board on the east side of the gathering space, near the windows, which will illustrate with pictures the need for the building (which I've already explained several times in bulletin letters), and basic drawings. Of course, I'll reveal the contractor once the Diocese accepts our suggestion. As I consider this building project, I once again have to thank parishioners for their generosity. It's amazing what we have accomplished.
On another note, we've been approached by people wondering where their statements from the Living Christ campaign are. We learned from the Diocese that the processing of campaign pledges is backlogged by some three months. We've received nothing back (of that 33% which comes back to the parish), although cash donations started coming in the beginning of August. So, it seems like it must be even more than three months backlogged. I guess we just have to be patient, awaiting those invoices.
On a final note, please continue to pray for God's guidance as we search for somebody to direct our music program. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,