Do we still need to build something? Does the Covid-19 experience change what we should build?
A few months into the pandemic we did a review of what we were building and why.
The original top two reasons of the build (the “why") held strong:
We are in a precarious position with our Surrey, BC location (where the Sunday content is captured for all other Sites) because as part of the public school system, we do not know when rentals will be allowed again. Although we couldn't have predicted a global pandemic being a reason we couldn't rent, it's just another reason we are more convinced than ever that we need a Ministry Centre designed for our purposes, that we control. We are doing the best we can with our existing leased facility but we are becoming increasingly disadvantaged not being able to do many things we would be doing now in the new building.
We do have the advantage of enhancing our building design in the area of safety mechanisms, air exchange, and other related systems in order for the building to perform at the top of its class if other health-related concerns hit again, giving us options and the whole community confidence in the “health” of the building.
Where are we at with the Building project?
Many of you will recall that we contracted a study that analyzed the peak parking needs and submitted that to the City for acceptance. This resulted in something called a parking variance that requires approval from the City which includes public consultation. This process has been making its way through the City, slowed because of Covid, but indications so far seem to be positive, and it's now moving into a period of public consultation before City Council can sign-off on it.
We paused the building's detailed design work because of this parking variance issue because it has large cost implications depending on the outcome. It is one of the last aspects we are waiting on in order to confirm the overall costs to a greater level of certainty.
In anticipation of our parking plan being successful, we are now ramping the detailed design drawings phase back up which ultimately results in building permits.
The build itself will take 18 months if we were ready to go today. We are hoping the build could start in the next 8-12 months by completing the parking variance process, finishing detailed drawings, getting permits, and the very important restart of the campaign which provides the funding.
The pandemic will end and so we don’t want to unnecessarily delay.
Where are we with the campaign?
We hit the pause button about 2 weeks into the campaign (March 2020). Even then, about 600 families made initial pledges totalling about $12M.
We are in the beginning stages of unpausing the campaign sometime in the first half of 2021. We don’t think we should delay any further as the building wouldn't be available for another two years even if we started today. The mission of Village will be hampered the longer we wait.
We are beginning with conversations now and moving toward a public campaign (re-launch) before summer 2021.
We are praying that final design/permitting, and getting fund commitments converge at the same time so we don’t need to unnecessarily delay getting shovels in the ground and start covering the costs of the build. We hope we can be at that stage before the end of 2021 or early 2022.
What if I pledged already? Are you expecting my 2020 commitment before the end of the year?
We are encouraging and welcoming any contributions you can make as part of your pledge. However, we understand that life and resources have radically changed for some people in 2020. If you are not able to fulfil your pledge this year, don't feel any guilt or pressure - we understand. Just let us know how you would like to adjust your pledge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the project at Village2021.com
Covid-19 has disrupted all of our lives in some way. How has it impacted the Village 2021 Building project?