The Cornerstone to Come

1960 laying 1from the FPCE archives, “The Laying of the Cornerstone,” February 14, 1960 ….

Some of you have been asking questions about the schedule for construction of the new building. This is natural because we’ve been conducting ceremonies related to the dedication stones of past buildings and are looking forward to a similar ceremony at the future building. So what happens between session approval of construction drawings and dedication of a new cornerstone?

I am learning that there is a series of steps that our design-build team takes to get us from here to there. I’m not an expert in architecture or engineering, so some of these things are beyond my ability to understand in depth.  Still, for the sake of all who are wondering, I’ll attempt to describe some steps from my amateur perspective.

One step is a review process with our design-build team and the city planning and zoning department, during which time the new church design is measured against building codes and a development code known as the “I-55 Corridor Plan.” There is room for different interpretations of the same code language, and dialogue eventually leads parties to agreement. Changes are evaluated in terms of design aesthetics and engineering functionality.

A second step is development and circulation of “requests for proposals” from our design-build team to potential sub-contractors for project components, and evaluation of each proposal for soundness and value. This process leads to revision of previous pricing estimates, and to further discussion with our Construction Readiness Committee about potential additions and subtractions. Eventually, the church and the design-build team arrive at agreement about any change to the GMP (guaranteed maximum price).

Yet a third step involves refining the financial plan so that when construction begins, we are reasonably confident that we can pay all invoices that will arrive during the following months. As you recall, our plan calls for a construction loan to “bridge” the time between when payment is due, and when funds are received from the sale of our current campus.  As soon as the amount of the GMP is known, we will quickly complete our request paperwork to potential lenders.

When these pieces are in place to the satisfaction of the Construction Readiness Committee and the Session, the path forward is relatively straightforward. Our design-build team procures sub-contractors, materials are ordered and delivered, and site preparation begins in earnest. The land is properly graded, a building pad created, and utility connections ordered.  A corner layout is plotted, and preparations made for footings and foundations. Near this time, a cornerstone is prepared and a dedication ceremony takes place.

While I am not yet able to specify a date for the cornerstone ceremony, we know it will happen, when the time is ripe. Please pray for your church’s leaders and all who are working to prepare a new home for mission and ministry.

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~ by JohnH1962 on March 21, 2017.