Project 2020 Narthex Renovation: September 2019 Town Hall Update

Project update

Work completed to date:

  • June 2 General Assembly approved $110,000 for pre-construction work. These funds are currently covering necessary design, permitting, and other pre-construction costs.

  • An architect has been selected: Demetriou Architects. They began renderings and drawings in July.

  • Fundraising continues.

Financial update as of August 31, 2019:

  • Project 2020 funds in hand: $520,801

  • Project 2020 remaining pledges: $67,853

  • Project 2020 expected total: $588,656

  • Amount left to fundraise (to meet our $650,000 budget): $61,346

Other funds include the General Building Fund ($64, 111) and unrestricted savings totaling approximately $465,000. This represents all of the Church’s fund not designated for specific special projects. It includes emergency funds and approximately $100,000 of “seed money” for the Tacoma Greek Festival.

Narthex renovation: Comments received

Between August 18 and September 13, 2019, the Project 2020 Steering Committee invited parishioners to submit comments and questions about the Narthex Renovation design. The information at the town hall addressed these four common areas of concern:

Narthex Renovation Rendering as of September 2019

Narthex Renovation Rendering as of September 2019

Front design: Marble vs. brick

Several comments were received about the initial design, which included marble tile as the exterior front facade. Based on feedback from the parish at the August Town Hall, the exterior design has been changed to brick veneer with accent trim to more closely align with the existing structure.

Windows: LIghting & Security

In keeping with Byzantine tradition, no new windows are planned in the Narthex. Indirect natural light will come from the Sanctuary and stairwell spaces. To monitor the outside for security purposes, there will be peep holes in the main entrance doors. Electrical conduits will be included within the ceiling framing to accommodate future camera monitoring and sound systems, if desired later.

New ramp

A new ramp would have to extend across a large portion of the exterior of the upper hall in order to not be too steep. This would intrude into the space take up by the current ramp. Tearing out the current ramp would be required. That would, in turn, force a partial remodel of the upper hall. Since we hope to renovate the upper hall in the future, a new ramp could be added then. Adding a new ramp now isn’t feasible because the work is not in the current scope and budget of the Narthex Renovation. Furthermore, it would require the parish to pay twice for the same work—as part of the Narthex Renovation and as part of an upper hall renovation.

New Furniture and arrangements

Several comments included suggestions about new furnishings or arrangement of existing furnishings. Specific suggestions included adding an adult baptismal font, relocating the greeter’s desk, and moving the candle stands from the front of the Sanctuary into the Narthex. While changes to the arrangement of existing furniture can certainly be considered, design work at this point is focused on finalizing plans for the Narthex building structure. The Narthex Renovation does not include any “built-in” furniture, such as an adult baptismal font, nor does it include purchasing new furniture. If parishioners are interested in donating to purchase new furnishings, they are welcome to speak to any Project 2020 Steering Committee member about the possibility.

Project 2020: Cost Estimates

The Project 2020 Town Hall also shared the detailed cost estimates for the essential items necessary to completing the Narthex Renovation, as well as cost estimates for non-essential but highly recommended items.

Click here to download a copy of this detailed cost estimate summary.

This estimate covers the design and contingency costs for the Narthex Renovation. It does not include sales tax, which has been factored into the overall budget as a $35,000 line item.


next steps

  1. Site Upgrades & Permitting: The civil engineer is meeting with the City to understand what’s required for permits. The City requires us to make some site upgrades (repairing sidewalks, curbs, adding a planting strip) in order to get the necessary building permits. This next step is budgeted at $140,000, and we expect to begin the permitting process in late October.

  2. Next Town Hall: The next Project 2020 Town Hall on October 20, 2019, will share the information from these meetings and outline the plan for site upgrades that we must make to comply with the City.

  3. Next General Assembly: The next General Assembly is on November 3, 2019. At that time, the Project 2020 Steering Committee and the Parish Council will seek final authorization for the funds needed to begin construction.

when will construction begin?

The tentative date for beginning the bidding process is February 2020 (after permitting approval). This is typically the best time of year to receive competitive bids from the owner’s standpoint. The timing also allows 2-2.5 months to get contracts in order and give the awarded general contractor time to pre-plan, procure materials, and get started when groundbreaking takes place shortly after Pascha 2020.

See the full presentation

Click to download a copy of the full September 15 Project 2020 Town Hall presentation.