Welcome to the Congregation Or Hadash building web page! This is the place for news, information, photos and discussions about our new home. Together, we are building our first permanent home. Comments are welcome, leave yours today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What’s happening with our building? - Looking ahead to Sunday, February 27

What Will I See at the Town Hall Meeting?

This Sunday’s Town Hall meeting will be the first opportunity for many Or Hadash members to see the innovative and exciting vision for our new synagogue. Our architects (Brian Bell and David Yocum) will  present floor plans, elevations, sections and 3-D views which illustrate the overall look and feel of the proposed design, show each space in the building, and define the relationship of these spaces to one another. Their design transforms a utilitarian building into a beautiful, spiritual, welcoming Jewish home for our congregation.

Estimating the Cost of Construction

Brian and David have also been considering what materials, building systems, lighting, acoustics, fixtures, and landscaping to use in the new building. They have met weekly with the Building Committee to share,  discuss, and evaluate each of the many details of the design. And to help estimate (in advance) the cost of building a new spiritual home, all of this information, the Schematic Design package, was submitted to Gay Construction (http://www.gayconstruction.com).

The Board selected Gay Construction to provide construction cost estimates at critical stages of the project, Schematic Design being the first, and to help identify areas where we can save money without sacrificing quality. An established Atlanta contractor with many years of experience working with synagogues, churches, schools and other non-profit organizations, Gay Construction has completed a number of adaptive reuse projects similar in scope to ours.

The Schematic Design documents provided to Gay Construction several weeks ago included essentially every building requirement, wish and dream that the congregation provided to Brian and David during the programming phase. What we learned at this first pass at cost estimating, is that we would all like more than we can afford.  So for the past couple of weeks, the Building Committee, architects and contractor have been working to create design scenarios that more closely match our budget. This is hard work and involves compromise on all sides. It also involves a little bit of predicting the future of our congregation: How much more money can we raise? How fast will we grow? How much will the design of the new building affect our growth and the lives of our members?

Where Are We Now and What Comes Next?

From the outset, we have been seeking a delicate balance between what we can afford and what must we do to make the potential of a new congregational home a reality. To meet this need, Brian and David have been exploring a variety of options, options that range from less elaborate building features and finishes all the way to a phased building program, where we build what we can afford now with a clear master plan for the next stage(s) of building.

The architects will develop these alternate schemes through the next phase, Design Development. At that point the Board will determine the Total Project Budget. The total budget must allow for the purchase price of the land, and the cost of building construction, landscaping, building permits, fees, and fixtures, furniture and equipment. This dollar amount will represent what the Board determines to be a prudent and reasonable expenditure for our congregation. Once all the information is at hand, the Board will make a decision as to which path to take.

Throughout the process, the Building Committee and the Board have been delighted by the innovative, vibrant, and creative designs Brian and David have presented to us. We look forward to sharing their ideas and plans with you at our Town Hall meeting this Sunday, February 27, 9:30 AM.

The Building Committee
February 23, 2011