UPDATE AND RECAP OF RENOVATION OF SAINT SAVA CATHEDRAL NYC

The scope of work for the Cathedral from end of 2017 through the present was focused on Enclosure and Stabilization.  As such, the total effort encompasses all the work needed to stabilize the structure and protect it from the elements including but not limited to:

  • Assessment of structure post fire, steel framework stabilization, removal of temporary structures and pre-fire wood roof and floor supports, demolition and removal of rubble, structural monitoring and protective fencing
  • Steel roof, masonry repair/replacement/stabilization, scaffolding, associated carpentry, steel infrastructure, installation of associated supporting electrical including main feeds
  • Roofing – glue down asphalt membrane sheathing, prep for permanent slate/shale roof
  • Installation of steel cross beams and fireproofing for flooring
  • Concrete floor pours
  • Repair of drains and hook up to main sewer
  • Plexiglass window enclosure and steel doors
  • Collection of associated architectural and construction drawings, insurance, permits, inspections, contract reviews and negotiations
  • Setting up of alarm systems

Note: An architectural proposal for preliminary occupancy was drawn up but due to the scope of recommended work and associated cost, the Board of Trustees (BOT) postponed this portion of the effort as needing to be part of the next phase of work to be reviewed and approved by the parishioners and the Board Elect.

The construction phase for Enclosure and Stabilization was completed in August 2020.  We lost some time from March through June owing to the extraordinary circumstances associated with COVID-19, and mandatory work stoppage in NYC.

Post-August 2020, we have been working with the architects, engineers and the general contractor on reviews and approvals of the work completed, as well as with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) for certifications. Due to COVID-19, the NYC DOB is not at full speed yet and the work needed to lift the vacate order is still ongoing.  At this point the Cathedral stands secure from further deterioration.

From Jan to Sept 2020 the BOT worked with a sub-committee to write up a Request for Proposal (RFP) and have had initial discussions and walkthroughs for the next phase of work with NYC Landmarks recognized architectural firms.  On Sept 20th the BOT provided an 18 page RFP with the following recommended priorities to the Board Elect to be validated with the parishioners:

Based on our familiarity with the site and community feedback over the years, the BOT believes that St.Sava Cathedral and the campus can become a spiritual, cultural, social and educational center for the Serbian community in the NY metro area, the diaspora in the Americas and drive outreach with Serbia.  Overall objectives, the Scope of Work (SOW) in the RFP, specified for:

  1. (MP) A phased Master Plan including a gathering space within the campus with highlevel cost estimates
  2. (CO/TCO) Design through Construction buildout for Certificate of Occupancy
  3. Re-establish celebratory services through achieving a CO/TCO
  4. Rectory/Church Office CO
  5. (MC) Miscellaneous consulting services, namely:
    1. Identify priority items to be addressed to reduce costs – e.g. removal of                scaffolding
    2. Address Landmarks requirements for long term brownstone restoration
    3. Address Landmarks requirements for long term slate roof restoration
    4. Address Landmarks requirement for skylight restoration in Rectory/Church                Office
    5. Assist in final      stages of Air Rights discussions – determine hold back sqft amount
    6. Identify a path   to leverage the campus for ongoing financial sustainability

Please let us know if there are ways in which you may be able to assist in this effort such as fundraising, organizing parishioners for discussions on priorities, charity mission, outreach and other vision building.

On Feb 16, 2021 we, the BOT, re-activated communications with 6 NYC Landmarks approved architectural firms asking them to revise their proposals for the items outlined above.  We have scheduled walk-throughs and expect replies for the RFP by March 19th 2021.

Our goal is to review these responses in a two-week timeframe with the Assembly by conference call to down select the firms and make a final selection approximately two weeks after that – targeting on or around April 19th.  To that effect, the Budget 2021 is being updated to propose a $200k spend as a placeholder for the initial work and to hire an Owner Representative agent who has broad experience with construction, bid documents, RFP work and project management.  Of course, we are not able to proceed beyond the proposal stage without the approval of the Assembly owing to the significant spend entailed in the next phase.

Yours in Christ,

BOT of the Cathedral of Saint Sava NYC

 

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