Since our last update on the FUMCFW Building Committee’s work on the Focus First objective of expanding our physical facilities to connect our faith community at its core and facilitate growth in our ministries to meet the needs of those we serve, work has continued in refining the Next90 Building Expansion Project architectural plans.
To date, the plans have been presented to and approved by both the Fort Worth Design Review Board and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Design Committee — with high compliments on the integrity of the architectural aesthetics and how well this design complements and continues the historic design of our church, as well as the Downtown Fort Worth cityscape.
Barry Hudson, Chair of the Building Committee, says that the process now is devoted mainly to delving deeper into the less glamorous aspects of the project, such as moving an existing sanitary sewer line, building an additional utility vault required by Oncor, and evaluating options for space programming for the new kitchen, and an assortment of other crucial yet invisible decisions that have to be made in order to drill down to specifics on costs and options.
“Of course, there are always surprises,” he says, “Sometimes they’re good and sometimes they’re not so good. Right now, we’re evaluating all the information we have and looking for ways to maximize the good and mitigate the less good in order to control budget and achieve our long-term objectives.”
The architects, HH Architects and their consultant team, have recently completed the Design Development (DD) phase in which design details are considered, evaluated, established, and finalized in order to get a more precise cost estimate. The design team is now working on Construction Documents (CDs) that reflect the decisions being made now and will yield new updated cost estimates this summer.
“Design development has yielded some higher cost estimates that showed us we had more work to do to find good design solutions that will meet our goals and our projected budget,” Barry explains.
Barry says that even though these details are generally the kinds of things no one really wants to hear about or think about, these are also the particulars that can make or break a project. “I’m so thankful for the committee’s expertise and intense focus on working through these items and finding best solutions as issues arise or are anticipated,” he adds. “There’s just an outstanding wealth of experience and expertise offered up by our Building Committee that we all need to be grateful for!”.
As the architects and sub-consultants proceed with Construction Documents, the committee’s attention is now also turning to the mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing and foundation design of this project. “Again, these are not terribly exciting details,” Barry quips, “but they are terribly important, and I really am continually impressed with all the great minds we have working on this project from so many different angles.”
Next steps will be further examination and evaluation of details on the rotunda, the multipurpose space, the kitchen, the children’s areas, the children’s playground, the new small prayer chapel, and other features that each need to be assessed with a fine-toothed comb. Look for future updates with graphics detailing some of these areas of focus as they come before the committee — and if you see a member of our Building Committee, be sure to extend your appreciation for their hard work and selfless contribution to the success of the Next90 Building Expansion Project.