“Breaking Down Barriers”
Thank you for your support of St. Luke’s Episcopal church, our “cathedral in the community” where we are joyfully seeking and serving Christ. In January 2015 we began the planning phase of our “Breaking Down Barriers” capital campaign and with your help and many other members of our parish we have been able to make significant progress against our goal of providing access to everything in our church. Our prayer when we started the campaign was to help us to be good stewards and to assure the future of this place as a “Cathedral in the Community”. We received a total of just shy of $1.25M in pledges (including grants from the diocese).
The purpose of this letter is to update you on the financial investment our Parish family made in our “Breaking Down Barriers” campaign. We have much to be proud of.
The following two pages provide a summary of the work completed to date along with projects underway and planned projects. Through careful bidding, selection of contractors and close construction management, we have been able to bring the projects within their initial estimated amounts despite a number of previously unknown structural and electrical challenges associated with the nearly complete bridge/connector project. However, you will note that some un-anticipated expenses have arisen since the inception of the campaign, including raccoon damage in the third floor of the Parish Hall and the need for more extensive roof repairs than originally anticipated. There are also a number of other serious major maintenance and capital improvement project needs – such as masonry re-pointing of the Church, stained glass restoration and protection, first floor Rectory reconfiguration, additional Church HVAC (to name a few) – that the Parish might otherwise wish to consider, but that are not currently deemed feasible with limited anticipated funds.
Based upon our current best revenue and expense projections (including deductions for unfulfilled pledges), we believe that there will be approximately $105,000 in remaining available funds at the end of the campaign (April 2021).
Apart from the other possible major maintenance and capital improvement projects just mentioned, one of the key projects planned in the campaign was for an elevator that would provide barrier free direct access to our second floor where our mission-aligned, expense-reimbursing “tenants” have workspaces, third floor where we have Choir practice, robing and sheet music storage, as well as the Church School. Our third floor is our most underutilized space because it is so difficult to get to. Estimated costs associated with the construction of an elevator would be approximately $250,000 – $300,000 leaving us with an additional need of approximately $175,000+ (even if we do no other projects). We are planning to soon reach out to all members of the St Luke’s parish family and other potential funders in the wider community to help us meet this remaining need and decide whether we could fund additional projects. In all of this we are endeavoring to be good stewards of allour spaces within an older and oftentimes challenging physical plant.
The transformation that we have seen already is incredible as is the generosity that made it happen. Our community of faith continues to grow and completing full access will allow us to serve more people in different ways. We urge your prayerful consideration of fresh, renewed or continued Capital Campaign support as we keep moving forward with the physical improvements necessary for our continued physical and spiritual growth.
Our campaign ambitiously aims to raise $2.1 million to provide accessibility for everyone, to ensure our future, and to be welcoming to all. We have several projects that we hope to complete with these funds. For greater detail about the phases of our campaign and our progress thus far, please see pages 30-32 of the St. Luke’s 2016 annual report, which can be viewed by clicking here.
As part of the protocol to move forward on any of the outlined projects, we must provide public access to all documentation. The page will regularly be updated with proposals, protocols, and other public materials.
As of the end of third quarter 2019 (September 30, 2019)…
- Sidewalks Replacement
- Roof Repairs Phase 1 (North Transept/above Chapel)
- Roof Repairs Phase 3 (above new Sacristy/Flower Guild Room)
- New Sanctuary lights and sound system
- Rectory third floor bathroom
- Roof Repairs Phase 4, including interior repairs/painting (Parish House flat roof)
- Second Time Around Shop Refresh – Old shelving has been removed, also the old dressing rooms, and a new dressing room installed. The walls/ceiling are being repaired as necessary and everything will be freshly painted for The Shop re-opening in mid-November.
- New Shop Door on Union St. – The Montclair Township Zoning Board of Appeals approved our plan on September 18. Our architects are completing biddable drawings at which time we will issue an RFP for this project. We expect work to be done in the spring 2020.
- Parish House Attic Raccoon remediation – Remediation of the racoon-caused damage and preventative measures were completed in August. The ruined soft ductwork will be replaced with hard ductwork, and we are soliciting additional bids for this work.
- South Entrance restoration – The south entrance doors to the Church have been stained to match the main (west) doors. We are soliciting bids for repair of the roof over this entrance, as well as restoration of the stained glass in this vestibule. Once the roof is repaired, the interior of the vestibule will be restored. We expect this work to be completed spring 2020.
- Undercroft Accessibility Plan – We have engaged our architects for ideas to make the Undercroft accessible and thus open additional space for Parish use.
- Bridge/Connector – We are awaiting PSE&G to install our new electrical service, which is the last item of the Bridge/Connector project. We have designed this upgrade to future-proof our electrical needs, including for the planned elevator in the Parish House. We expect this work to be completed before the end of the year.
- Organ Upgrade – The organ CPU and display will be replaced, and all connections rewired, so that all software/functionalities are updated to most current available. Future changes then will be plug-and-play.
- Roof Repairs Phase 2 (rear Parish House third floor)
- Roof Repairs Phase 5 (South Entrance)
- Parking Lot/Drainage/Sidewalks
- Security System
Campaign Phase 2 Project:
- Parish House Elevator
Capital Campaign Update #16
Raccoon remediation is scheduled for July 23, 2019. At that time the Committee will ask the pest control contractor for an additional bid for preventative work (screening, etc.) to keep the raccoons out in the future, which we expect to be well within the Committee’s authority so this additional work can be scheduled at mutual convenience. And we have one bid for replacing the ruined soft ductwork with hard ductwork, but as it exceeds the >$10K threshold set forth in the Protocol for Procurement, the Committee intends to solicit at least two additional bids. (Neither the preventative work nor replacing the ductwork will delay roof repair and interior ceiling/wall repairs to address water damage from the flat roof leak.)
Roof repair phase 4 (flat roof above the Parish House third floor corridor) is scheduled to be accomplished in early August, 2019. The Capital Campaign co-chairs approved the bid of Bay Roofing the week of July 15, 2019. We expect to approve the bid of a drywall for interior repairs (ceiling, walls, painting) which work will be accomplished also in early/mid-August as soon as the roof repairs are complete.
Capital Campaign Update #15
At its July 16, 2019 meeting, the Vestry voted to amend the Protocol for Procurement, in accordance with Section 3.12[f] of the Parish’s Bylaws, to redefine “Intermediate Purchases” to those of $10,000 or less and “Major Purchases” to those in excess of $10,000. The effect of this amendment is to establish a new threshold to trigger the Open Solicitation (a/k/a RFP) process set forth in Sections 6-11 of the Protocol from >$5,000 to >$10,000 consistent with current norms. This would be a default threshold requirement, but per Sections 3 & 4 of the Protocol either the Committee or the Vestry could require an RFP process at a lower level if individual circumstances warrant.
Capital Campaign Update #14
Plans for the new Shop entrance were reviewed by the Montclair Township Development Review Committee July 11, 2019 and are scheduled to be review by the Historic Commission on July 25, 2019. The Parish’s request for a zoning variance is expected to be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals in August, 2019. If approved by the ZBA, final biddable drawings will be completed by our architect and the Committee will issue an RFP for the work in early autumn.
Capital Campaign Update #13
At its May 21, 2019 meeting the Vestry voted to authorize the Committee to undertake Phase 4 of Roof Repairs. At its December 2019 meeting, the Vestry previously authorized an RFP to be issued for roof repairs over the bridge between the Church and the Assembly Hall. At this time, it is unclear whether such repairs need to be undertaken. However, additional roof repairs do need to be made to the Parish House in the area below the flat roof (i.e., between the stairwell and the third floor classroom hallway) as that roof area continues to leak and damage is ongoing. The Vestry modified its prior authorization to redesignate such Parish House roof repairs as Phase 4 of Roof Repairs for which an RFP (if required) may be issued by the Committee.
The Vestry also voted to authorize the Committee to undertake an assessment of whether the Undercroft may be made available for expansion of Toni’s Kitchen backpack program, further authorizing retention of our architect, Sionas Architecture PC, to undertake the preparation of a feasibility assessment, including sketches &/or preliminary architectural/engineering drawings for a new entryway (including grading, retaining wall(s), drainage, etc.), with the costs of this retention to be paid by Toni’s Kitchen. (This is a Toni’s Kitchen project, to be funded by Toni’s Kitchen, but supervised by the Capital Campaign Committee.)
Finally, the Vestry voted to authorize the extension of the Capital Campaign with the designation of a “First Priority” Project. Specifically, the Vestry authorized that the Capital Campaign may be extended up to two (2) years, until year end 2023, at the discretion of the Committee, and for new funds pledged and received from this extension, the Vestry designated the Elevator Project as the “first priority”. While the designation of the elevator project as the “first priority” does not irrevocably commit the parish to this project – approval of such project would need to be made by the Vestry after recommendation by the Capital Campaign Committee subsequent to an RFP process – it does signal the Vestry’s present intention in this regard.
Capital Campaign Update #12
The new sanctuary sound system, as authorized and funded by the Committee, and donated in part and installed by Stefan and Roxi Zeek, was completed January 2019.
Capital Campaign Update #11
At its December 18, 2018 meeting, the Vestry voted to authorize the Capital Campaign Committee to issue RFPs (if required) for Parish House attic raccoon remediation (including remediation, preventative measures and replacement of the ruined soft ductwork with hard ductwork). Work is expected to occur in the spring or early summer. The Vestry also authorized the Committee to issue an RFP (if required) for a new security system for the Parish House.
Capital Campaign Update #10
At its November 20, 2018 meeting, the Vestry voted to commit the new Shop door project – to create a new Shop entrance accessible from Union St. — to the Capital Campaign Committee for supervision, authorizing our architect Sionas Architecture PC to complete biddable drawings, and authorizing the Committee to issue an RFP once these are completed, with costs to be borne by the Shop.
Capital Campaign Update #9
At its October 16, 2018 meeting, the Vestry voted to authorize the Capital Campaign Committee to issue one or more requests for proposals (RFPs) for Phase 2 of Roof Repairs, the rear of the Parish House including but not limited to pointing. The Committee expects to issue the RFP(s) late in 2018 or early 2019 with work to be scheduled in the spring of 2019.
Capital Campaign Update #8
At its September 18, 2018 meeting, the Vestry voted to authorize the Capital Campaign Committee to issue one or more requests for proposals (RFPs) for replacement/resurfacing of the parish parking lot along with curbing and adjacent walkways and for repair/replacement of the drainage system under these areas. The Committee expects to issue the RFP(s) late in 2018 or early 2019 with work to be scheduled in the spring of 2019.
Capital Campaign Update #7
On May 15, 2018, the Vestry authorized the Capital Campaign Committee to issue an expedited Request for Proposals (RFP) for repair of the roof above the old organ pipe shaft room which will be the new Sacristy and Flower Guild room. This was necessitated by identification of water/moisture damage indicative of ongoing leaking in the roof. The Committee issued an RFP (2018-6.0) on May 16 and four (4) valid bids were received. However, the bidders each proposed differing repair solutions. The Committee therefore issued a modified RFP (2018-6.1) further specifying the repair solution that is to be undertaken. Three (3) valid bids were received in response to the modified RFP. Upon evaluation, the Committee recommended the retention of Stoddart Assocs. Inc. to undertake the necessary repairs, with a contract price of $12,600. The Vestry approved the recommendation.
Capital Campaign Update #6
Having received six valid bids in response to the parish’s RFP for the bridge/connector project, on February 20 the Vestry approved the Capital Campaign Committee’s recommendation to retain Stoddart Associates of Caldwell as the contractor for this project, authorizing an expenditure of up to $450,000 plus permitting fees. Work is expected to start after Easter.
Capital Campaign Update #3 – Architectural Plans – Contract Awarded to Sionas Architecture P.C.
In October of last year, the Capital Campaign Steering Committee released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the preparation of architectural plans for the bridge/connector and the elevator projects. Four firms responded and the Committee met on February 12 to review and score these proposals, recommending the retention of Sionas Architecture P.C. On February 21, the Vestry approved this recommendation, and authorized the expenditure of up to $102,000 from Capital Campaign funds for these purposes.
Capital Campaign Update #2 – Phase 1 of Roof Repairs – Contract Awarded to Alpine Roofing
On October 3, the Capital Campaign Steering Committee issued an RFP for the first of four phases of Roof Repairs (the North Transept/Chapel area roof). (Subsequent RFPs for the other three phases will begin being issued after the winter.) Three valid bids were received and on October 23, the Committee evaluated the bids and forwarded its recommendation to the Vestry. On October 30, the Vestry approved the recommendation to retain Alpine Roofing. The base amount of the bid is $32,300. The Committee also recommended, and the Vestry approved, an extended warranty option for an addition approximately $545. Because we do not know the condition of the wood roof beneath the slate tiles, there is a contingency to effect any necessary replacement. Therefore, the Vestry approved an expenditure up to $36,000 for Phase 1 of the Roof Repairs Project. Work is expected to be completed before the winter.
For questions, please reach out to our Breaking Down Barriers Steering team Co-Chairs. Thank you!
Breaking Down Barrier’s Steering & Volunteer Team
Tom Cochran, Campaign Co-Chair – 973-545-2108
Sue Villarosa, Campaign Co-Chair – 973-652-6790
Stuart Christie | Tom Cochran | Gordon Frey | John Ginocchio
Will Hobbie | Timothy Mannion | Harry Mayo | Andy McBride | John Mennell
Anne Mockridge | Stuart Perry | Greta Peterman | John Raposa | Jinni Rock-Bailey | Sue Villarosa