Update on Lighting 2017

In my last update on the church lighting project I relayed the decision to install the new lights down the center aisle instead of their present position. The benefit of this decision was that we would be able to use the existing catwalk in the attic of the church for servicing the light fixtures, instead of building 20 new catwalks that would have reached out to the present light locations. Upon further study we learned that the existing catwalk is not centered, and as such, would be in the way of the new lights. This means that some modifications will have to be made to the catwalk to allow sufficient clearance for the new lights.

A meeting was held at Saint Andrew for all the companies that were bidding, to go over the plans, and to do a walkthrough of the main church, the attic and basement. Three companies submitted their bids, each with different estimates on cost of materials and installation. The lowest of the three bids came in at $250,000, which is $100,000 more than what was originally estimated. While that may sound like bad news, there is a reason for the higher cost, and there’s actually some good news to share as well.

As is often the case with any remodeling, whether it is a church or a home, there are additional costs that were never anticipated when preparing a budget. These are the “oh no” moments that happen when you finally get a look behind the wall, or under the subflooring. Such was the case with the church lighting as I mentioned with the catwalk. But, it also meant that other modifications were going to be necessary. There is a steel framework that holds up the church ceiling. One of the discoveries we made was that the light fixtures would not fit into the existing steel framework. Modifications will need to be made to the steel framework to allow for the lights to be dropped into their new location. So between the catwalk and steel framework modifications, as well as removing the old light fixtures and covering up the holes, there is a significant amount of construction work that needs to be done. About $72,000 of the total $250,000 is for this construction work alone. If it weren’t for this additional work that needs to be done, the bid would have been very close to the original estimate.

As I mentioned though, there is some good news. While this project moved at a slower pace than we had planned, it has actually worked to our benefit. If you remember when we had the ceiling tile fall in the church, our insurance company was advising that we have every tile physically inspected. This was projected to be a huge expense. With the passing of time our insurance company no longer feels it necessary to have every tile inspected. Instead, when the old light fixtures are being removed, only the old tiles immediately around the fixtures will be inspected, as they are the ones that would most likely be in need of repair. This new plan will save us a tremendous amount of money.

The Finance Council has been updated on the status of the church lighting project and on the $250K bid and the reason for the higher cost. They


have recommended that we move forward with the project. The rational for this recommendation included the fact that we need to show progress soon on this proj


ect to help keep the momentum of the capital campaign. And secondly, we may find that the cost of one of the other projects may come in less than we estimated, which would offset the higher cost of the lights.


The Archdiocese of Chicago has approved the project, both the scope as well as the funding. I hope to receive a contract for me to sign within the next few days. Once that happens, it will be about 8 weeks for the light fixtures to be delivered. Our plan would be that the new lights would be installed before Christmas.

Thank you to all who have contributed to our capital campaign, Enrich-Expand-Grow. Please keep those redemptions coming. The faster they come in, the sooner we will be able to get started on the other projects. If you have not yet made a pledge to Enrich-Expand-Grow, it is not too late! We need your help. You can still participate and help us achieve our goal. For more information please go to www.saintandrewchicago.com and click on the Enrich-Expand-Grow section for more information, or contact Julie Richards at julierichards@saintandrewchicago.com.

-Fr. Sergio Romo

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