August 25, 2013.
Dear Grace Friends,
As mentioned in the August 10 update, representatives of our D and D Committee were to meet with Berry Architecture and a leading western Canadian construction company to discuss its preliminary assessment and possible interest in taking on our project. That meeting occurred. The "company" in question was Graham's commercial construction division in Edmonton.
That initial meeting and subsequent discussions between Graham and BAA have been positive but of course are still at the preliminary stage.
The D and D Committee met on August 19 and reviewed all aspects of the project. On August 22 Committee member perceptions and redesign suggestions were presented to and discussed with Berry Architecture in a productive meeting in Edmonton.
While key features will remain, design changes being worked on by BAA will include major reduction in the square footage of the second storey and lower level (basement); a greater focus on multi use space; some reconfiguration and size reduction of some rooms and consideration of some lower-cost building materials. Consideration will also be given to leaving some areas of the building for "future development".
Graham is expected to make a site visit on August 28 and meet with BAA and representatives of the D and D Committee. It is anticipated that before mid September we will have, for congregational consideration, a new project design, a construction timeline and a firm price (within the congregation's budget) from Graham to do the project.
The D and D Committee is recommending to Central Board that worship services resume in the Grace sanctuary as soon as possible in the fall recognizing that the timeline for this return should only be finalized after it is known whether there will be demolition/construction work on site this fall. Once that is known and a return date is decided upon, it will take a few days’ work to ready the sanctuary etc. for occupancy.
While we have experienced some project "turbulence" and delays, maybe that has not been a bad thing. It is too early to know! Stay tuned.
Morris Smith Co-chair on behalf of the D and D Committee
August 25, 2013.