We Gave...So What's Next?

by Tiffany Thompson


The BOF Committee is comprised of three active members, all experienced with managing major design and construction projects: Mr. Randy Jackson is the Committee Chairman and now acts as BCF’s General Contractor. Mr. Jackson is responsible for acquiring sub-contractors, submitting their cost analysis, bids and contracts to the Board of Directors and overseeing the contracted work. Pastor Rick is the Project Overseer/CEO. Ms. Vanessa Young Richardson is the Project Manager and is responsible for conducting necessary research, assisting where needed and making recommendations to Mr. Jackson and Pastor Rick.

During the BOF giving campaign, we received over $309,000. Once it ended, the BOF Committee immediately went to work, having the necessary documents and plans completed and obtaining the building permits. The next step was to receive cost analysis from outside General Contractors for the renovation work.

Ultimately, three contractor bids were considered and their fees and mark-ups, alone, totaled more than $350,000! It is important to note that we are renovating a 4,000+ square foot space. At a minimum, the “normal” suggested cost to renovate a space this size costs a few hundred dollars per square foot, bringing “normal” estimated costs upward of $1.2 million!

Rather than accept the original bids, the BOF Committee decided they would revisit and revise the original design concept to bring the costs down. Once again, they accepted price analysis from the three outside General Contractors and their bids were still unacceptable.

After many discussions and consideration, the Holy Spirit lead Mr. Jackson to bring his 60+ years of General Contractors’ experience out of retirement and he now serves as BCF’s General Contractor, working on behalf of Berith’s interest, to acquire sub-contractors who are willing to work with our current budget, on our terms – which is a stark contrast from an outside General Contractor. Utilizing Mr. Jackson in this capacity allows Berith to cut out the middle man, eliminating the outrageous fees and mark ups, and now we are close to our budget and the work continues.

Although the design plan was revised, the rendering that was presented to our congregation has not vastly changed. Most of the cost-effective changes are happening “behind the scene” and may not be noticeable to the untrained eye. For example, rather than totally gutting our existing office space and building from scratch, the new concept will, instead, keep some of the existing ceilings, walls and design elements. Additionally, they opted to recycle some of the elements from the new space, further cutting costs.

“We will have the same look – at a lower cost – which gives us more bang for our buck”, Mr. Jackson reported.

As I report, work is underway to combine the existing Administrative office and our newly acquired second space (formerly Play Café). The demo and framing work on the second space is underway. Mr. Jackson reports that once the framing and demo work is complete, there are several sub-contractors ready to work on the next phase of the project which include the installation of the mechanical system, dry wall and fire sprinklers (which needed to be reconsidered due to the new plans) and the storefront/glass.

All this work will be done at a 1/3 of what the outside contractors wanted! And every favor is granted on our behalf which results in more cost savers. What a harvest on our sown seed!

“Our main goal is to complete enough of the work (within our budget) so we can move in. We will continue the work once we relocate, but it’s time to move!” Pastor declared.

I agree!