New Building Update from Mike Bondi - July 11, 2019
We had a meeting this afternoon with Project Architect, Mike Shea, and the County Facilities Staff to review the latest developments with the Extension Education Center project. As you know, we have been working on and waiting patiently for the Land Use Approval—a process that began in mid-May, 2018. The Land Use Approval is required before we can receive building permits.
After 14 months of review, changes, alterations, and relocations, the Land Use Approval was received from Oregon City on July 1. That’s the good news. Interestingly, this approval is considered “conditional” with 37 conditions that must be met as we go forward. Twenty-two of these conditions must be met before building permits will be issued. And, another 15 conditions must be met before occupancy permits will be provided once the building is considered complete and ready to move in.
Today’s meeting addressed the 37 conditions and most are pretty straight-forward, in our minds, and are doable to be met. However, there is one significant exception—moving the building for a second time…and, now, another 3½’ to the East. Mike Shea is working on this to determine if we can get around this requirement and not have to lose any more parking places.
That said, here is what the next steps might look like so you are well aware of where we are going with this project:
- Mike Shea believes he can address all of the conditions by the end of July.
- Building permits (and, there are many) are being filed now—at least for the ones immediately needed.
- The County expects to be preparing for the public bidding process during August with hopes of publicly advertising by the 1st of September.v
- The bidding process will be open for 30 days. Once a contractor is selected, we should be ready to break ground—sometime near the end of the year—like November.
- Breaking ground in the winter is not what we were hoping for, but does appear to be the schedule we are on. As a result, the initial ground work will be slow and dependent on the weather. Regardless, by Spring of 2020, the building should start coming out of the ground and starting to look like something. Build out—from this point forward—should be relatively fast and ready for move in as early as the calendar year end of 2020.
Of course, this is only a potential schedule. All of this is the good news…the not so good news has to do with the revised building costs. Our $10 million project now is looking like a $14+ million project, all in, according to the cost estimator. That’s an increase of 40% or so. I suspected our final cost would likely go higher than the original estimate presented at least 2 years ago—especially due to the increasing construction costs in the Portland metropolitan construction market—about 10-20% per year. Everyone’s been talking about a cooling off in the economy and housing market, but I guess we might be missing on that, too. Maybe our bids will come in much more reasonable. Also, we now have the SDC (System Development Charges) from the City for public infrastructure upgrades of about $600,000. This number wasn’t in the original estimate, either. Building permits will be about $325,000.
As you can see, our $3 million fund raising goal won’t come close to moving us into the new Extension Education Center debt-free. But, reaching this goal will be even more critical for keeping our mortgage for the building down to a minimum. The wood product cost for the building is estimated to be $1.3 million, alone, so we do hope to whittle that number down with donations.
We will continue to work on the building plans and getting ready for the contract bidding process, awarding of the contract, and ground breaking. Again, I’m not quite sure when this will be, at this time, but we are projecting year end sometime.
In the meantime, the Extension BBQ during County Fair will be Thursday, August 15 from 5:00-7:00pm in the Grove. I hope you can join us. The building and final plans will be on display. Mike Shea plans to be there to talk about the building. We’ll have the final design and rendering drawings, too. And, we should have a better idea about the timeline for the construction.