The past 18 months have been a time of testing for the Property Committee and the congregation at Skyview. Our patience, our commitment, and our faith have been tested as we try to navigate the stormy seas of city approvals, land sales, and all the details required to build a quasi public facility.
We have continually had 2 work streams occurring simultaneously and sometimes 3, so although I will show the process as separate segments they have been overlapping and competing throughout the process.
We started this process in early 2015 when we were given the go ahead to proceed with a construction project with a budget of 3.6 million dollars and so the story begins.
The first thing we started was the subdivision of the lot with the intent to realize $1.5 million from the sale of 1.5 acres
Subdivision of land parcel
- Land Surveyed – February 2015 – 1.5 acres segregated
- Property caveat issues – assess and storm water flow. – needed to register an access agreement and a storm water overland flow agreement.
- Delayed until Development Permit tentative approval. The city delayed the release until we had a storm water management plan in place as we needed to release storm water over the adjacent lot
- Subdivision finalized March 2016
- Sale delayed until Development permit issued – because of the issues with the storm water we choose to delay as we felt it would be easier to negotiate any changes if we still owned the land.
Here you start to see the overlap referred to earlier.
- Initial Application July 2015 By September it was looking like we would breeze through this segment, but
- Storm water management issue – October 2015 – City Water Resources advised us that storm water discharge volumes had been reduced from 70 litres per second per hectare to 2.73 l/s/ha. This made it necessary to significantly change the lot design including moving the building north on the lot.
- Tentative approval – January 2016 – We still needed to address a couple of issues before final approval. The main obstacle being the erosion control plan which took almost 9 weeks to get approved.
- Erosion Control Issue – finalized in August 2016
- The Property Committee decided to hold off on finalizing the sale of the newly subdivided lot until we were confident that the new owners could not impact our project by commencing a project on the new lot which might impact our storm water plan.
Sale of Land
- Offer of $1.6 million received October 2015 subject to subdivision
- New lot changed due to storm water requirements – Part of our storm water management plan required a right of way across the new lot and the city refused our request to minimize the extent of that right of way. As a result the usable area of the new lot was reduced and the purchaser could not develop their original project. Fortunately for us they had made commitments that forced them to continue with the purchase. We agreed to compensate them partially for the loss of land and they agreed.
- New price renegotiated at $1.5 million
- Sale completed – September 2016
The property committee wanted to wait for the sale to be finalized so we knew we had the money available for the building before we submitted for Building Permit. With the changing economy, we thought this was prudent.
- Work started in March 2016 - We had been working on the details of the building drawings that are required for the Building Permit as soon as we had tentative Development Permit approval as we need to know the shape and size that we would be working with.
- Permit process ensures that all building codes are met
- Could not apply until Development Permit approved – as noted before we also delayed until we had the sale finalized before taking this next step. Because of the extended time between the initial design, changes we had made during the Build Permit drawing work, and the changes in the economy Ironwood reworked their price for the building and the total cost had increased by about $200,000.
- Updated costs from Ironwood resulted in revisions to save money – We asked Ironwood where we could save money to bring the cost back in line with the original cost and they did some revisions including a significant foundation change. Fortunately, we have expertise on the committee who looked at the foundation change and expressed concern regarding the durability on the design and whether it would even meet building code so we reverted to the original design. We also looked at other areas for savings and managed to reduce the increase by 50% approximately.
- The foundation revisions had to be abandoned in favour of a more durable building
- Having the land sold at a slightly lower price and a slightly increased price for the building along with our promise to stay with in total budget we asked the Board for approval to proceed to Building Permit application. Ironwood believed that if we applied by the end of September and we had a good fall we could pour the foundation before freeze up and start building construction early in 2017.
- Had concerns regarding cost increases and requested Board approval to proceed – The board was very responsive and responded to us with in a couple days giving us approval to proceed.
- Had concerns regarding time required to obtain a Building Permit – We had spoken with staff at the City and they had indicated that 3 months was a minimum and it could take up to 6 months. If we did not get approval for 6 months, the foundation could be left exposed all winter and could be damaged by the ground freezing under the concrete footings. Also, if the weather turned cold before the concrete was poured and set and we were into a winter construction scenario we would spend between $30 and $100 thousand dollars in heating and hording to keep the concrete from freezing.
- Had to decide whether we should start construction or delay until spring – The Property Committee met on October 5th and after prayer, discussion, weighting of options and much soul searching we decided that waiting until spring provided the best opportunity for a quality building and minimized expenditures. This was probably the most difficult decision we have had to make so far during this project.
- Submitted Building Permit application on October 31st , 2016 – We did not have Issue for Construction drawings completed although we had worked at having that work done before we applied but, the new Canadian Environmental Building code came into effect on November first and we wanted to be in the system before that as it could have cost us an additional $20 to $30 thousand dollars.
- Ironwood has received 3 comments back on the Building Permit application. Two of them are very minor but the third is regarding a fire barrier between the basement and the sanctuary floor which will cost us extra. We are waiting for Ironwood to provide costing on the 2 options available to us.
As we wait for the Building Permit to be approved we will continue to work on the final drawing set. Though this exercise we will try to catch all the little things so that we can minimize the number of “change orders” which can be costly and continue to look for cost saving opportunities.
Sign Contract with Ironwood
- We require Issue for Construction drawings before we will sign a contract – This is the set of drawing that will set the final price for the building and we want to have every detail included.
- Had hoped to have these for the Building Permit Application
- Ironwood wants to wait until after the city’s initial response to the application – As mentioned earlier the fire barrier will increase our cost and Ironwood will include that cost in the final contract
- Will continue to work with Ironwood to finalize drawings and reduce costs.
Near Future Work
Would like this to be before the end of the year but with us being into December already it will be difficult.
- Finalize Issue For Construction Drawings
- Sign contract with Ironwood
- Present finishing options to the congregation – Ironwood has put together a sample of the materials that will be used in the building along with a couple of colour scheme options and we will be giving you the opportunity to vote on your preferred option. The materials are at the back but voting has not been set up and this decision does not need to be made immediately.
- Continue to seek cost saving options
- Start Construction – April 2017 – Ironwood is prepared to start as soon as ground conditions permit. Given the dry warm fall we have had ground conditions should be dry so frost penetration should not be too deep which is good thing for an early start. However, Mother Nature can be fickle and this can all change.
- Site works – Landscaping and Parking lot – September 2017 – We are responsible for all the site works and have been getting estimates for deep services, electrical system hook up, landscaping and parking lot grading and paving. As we get closer to that point in the project we will be selecting contractors to complete this work. We are also responsible for finishing the basement for use by our children’s ministry and we are determined to have this done before we move in. We will probably need to do this with volunteer labour to at least some extent so if you have a skill and / or a serving heart this could be an opportunity for you. Come see me if you are willing.
- Building furnishing and finishing November 2017 – We have done some preliminary investigation into possible suppliers, mostly for budgeting purposes. We will provide an opportunity for your input into chair selection, colours and style, as well as tables and kitchen appliances. All this will need to be done with budget in mind. -
- Build occupancy – December 2017 – With God’s help and your prayers and commitment we will be in our new building for Christmas next year.
Currently, we have $472,000 pledged towards our $750,000 capital campaign. Please consider joining us as we build for the future ministry of Skyview Community Church. You can give online by clicking here.