Construction Update Addendum 3/15/18

As we described in the March 15, 2018 letter to parishioners from Fr. Crispin and the Executive Committee, the following is additional information on the progress of the campaign, construction and planning:

By September of 2017, the Parish had raised $2.7 million of the overall stated goal of $3.266 million. With confidence that we would raise the goal amount, we began plans for the construction. The following steps were taken:

  1. A Building Advisory Committee (BAC) was formed. The members are :
    • Frank Feeman, Executive Committee Member
    • Pablo Kelley, Assistant Principal
    • Dani D’Amelio, PAA
    • Rob Bombino , Professional Engineer
    • John Moran, Architect
    • Other participants in the steering committee’s work include:
      1. Kevin Broderick, project architect
      2. Ed Foster, Archdiocesan Director of Property and Construction
    • Broderick and Associates were authorized to prepare more detailed plans to support the permit application process.
    • We sought advice from Larry Brouse, an experienced project manager and PAA at St. James Cathedral.
    • We convened the first meeting of the BAC. In addition to the members identified above, George Williams (long-time parishioner and experienced project manager) and Larry Brouse joined the meeting. The unanimous recommendation to retain a project management consultant to manage and control construction activities was accepted by the Executive Committee and Fr. Crispin. This approach was communicated in the Fall Campaign Update.
    • Five project manager candidates were identified through a competitive process. References were checked and company materials were reviewed. Two candidates were unable to propose due to availability. The BAC (supported by George Williams, Kevin Broderick, Larry Brouse and Ed Foster) interviewed three candidates and unanimously recommended Falkin and Associates be retained. The recommendation was presented and accepted by the Executive Committee and Fr. Crispin.
    • A contract was prepared for Falkin, reviewed by the Archdiocesan Office of Property and Construction, and signed. The contract allows for early termination or deferral in the event of project delays.
    • Falkin assisted us in soliciting bids from general contractors. We experienced the impacts of the Seattle construction “boom” first hand. Although bids were solicited from a number of contractors, we received bids from two qualified companies—Chinn Construction and LZL Construction. Detailed bids were prepared and reviewed by Falkin, the BAC and the Executive Committee. Presentations were made by both firms and references were checked for both companies. Selection of Chinn was recommended based on its relative size, the number and quality of staff assigned to the project, and a competitive fee structure. The recommendation was made to Fr. Crispin by the Executive Committee and accepted.
    • A preconstruction contract with Chinn was drafted, reviewed by Archdiocesan Property and Construction, and executed.
    • A lease for Fr. Crispin’s rectory on 80th Street with an option to purchase for $650,000 was reviewed by the Archdiocesan legal counsel, recommended to Fr. Crispin by the Executive Committee, and executed.
    • In November and December, a structural engineering firm was retained to assist with developing detailed designs required by the permitting process. Broderick held meetings with the city.
    • The campaign continued to generate pledges reaching $3,290,000.
    • It became clear that:
      1. Proceeds from the campaign were sufficient to support completion of the projects based on original budgets, but increased costs required additional sources to be identified.
      2. It is reasonable to assume that the red-hot construction market in Seattle will continue and costs will escalate. Leadership believed completion by the start of the September 2018 school year was the best course.
    • The total budget for the project has grown significantly. The total is now $4,445,000. The reasons for the increase are the following:
a. General inflation of construction costs $398,000
b. Additional energy and other requirements resulting from change in use of facilities $781,000
Total $1,179,000


  1. General inflation of construction costs—includes increases in the original budget based on Seattle market conditions. Delaying construction until substantially all pledges are collected in 2020 is more expensive than incurring interest now and completing projects in 2018.
  2. Secondly, requirements imposed by the City of Seattle permitting process, new energy code requirements, and code requirements resulting from changes in use were not anticipated in original budgets.
  3. In addition, the decision was made to borrow construction funds and repay the loan with amounts collected from pledges. This borrowing will result in approximately $325,000 in interest costs. However, we believe that delaying the projects until all pledges are collected or staging the projects in some other way will increase costs in amounts far in excess of this cost.
  4. The estimates above have been completed based on detailed designs and drawings, estimates from sub-contractors, and review by Chinn, Broderick and Falkin. Review by the Archdiocesan Building Commission is underway and should be completed soon.
    1. The design for the four classrooms, school entrance, and offices has been modified in order to reduce costs. Without this change, the overall costs would have been higher.
    2. Amounts have been included in the budget for some items that may not be required by the city. In the event they are not, the overall budget will be reduced.
    3. Additional estimates are underway for the budget impacts of the clay tile construction of the rectory and additional shear walls in the school.
  5. We realize that the time to complete these projects is NOW, not later!
    1. Sooner or later our portable classrooms will need to be replaced. A delay in this project will only increase the cost.
    2. Our campus has limited expansion space. The opportunity for us to repurpose and update the rectory and Quigley is only going to become more expensive and difficult. Fire and seismic updates to Quigley and the rectory will be necessary regardless.
  6. The original budgeted amounts from the campaign were prepared by our architects and subject to confirmation by a construction contractor. It is clear that assumptions about code and change in use requirements were too optimistic.
  7. We have carefully evaluated the revised budget, the results of our campaign, our ongoing operating budgets and the needs of our parish and school and have recommended the following to Fr. Crispin:
    1. The entire capital project should move forward without delay. Spreading the project over a period of years will only increase costs.
    2. The Parish will continue to ask new families to participate in the campaign.
    3. We will continue to work toward savings in construction costs with Chinn and Falkin.
    4. The Parish should defer purchase of the Rectory house on 80th street and instead continue to rent it.   Eventually, we should purchase it for the agreed upon price of $650,000.
  8. The parish will fund the additional costs of the project as follows:
    1. The parish has available reserves for working capital. The original plan was to leave these reserves intact. Staff and the Executive Committee have carefully evaluated these accounts and have concluded that $714,000 of these balances can be utilized to fund project costs. Some of these balances can be replenished through ongoing operations of the parish and school over time.
    2. We will borrow the remaining $890,000 from the Parish Revolving Fund. In 2022, that balance along with existing parish borrowings of $575,000 will be combined into one 30-year loan from the Parish Revolving Fund. The resulting annual payment on this loan will be approximately $15,000 higher than the present payments required on the existing loan.   This amount can be managed within our existing budgets.
  9. These recommendations have been made to Fr. Crispin by the Executive Committee and he has accepted the recommendation.