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St. John's Episcopal
Tuesday, July 21 2020


Project Plan Under Permit Review
As of July 1, our project plans are under review with the City of Olympia, a process that should take from 4-6 weeks. Once approved, we will have the building permit required to begin construction. Our plan is to extend that 6-month permit one time, probably in December, so that construction can start in late spring 2021. This schedule aligns with our capital campaign, planned for the fall, and with seasonal dry weather for the re-roof and exterior seismic upgrades.

Construction Cost Estimates
KMB Architects has shared our final building plans with FORMA Construction for review and input on work sequencing and cost-savings. They sent me some initial cost ranges with caveats, but construction forecasting is proving difficult in the current economy. Rather than share those “soft” estimates here, I’d rather wait until they’ve completed that review and nailed down the pricing. I hope to have solid information for the Vestry and The Chronicle in August.

Hazardous Materials Abatement
We’re still working to identify the extent to which we must abate asbestos-containing materials (ACM). There’s a saying in construction about ACM – “If you touch it, you abate it” – and we’ll touch a good bit of ACM with Part I’s structural upgrades. For example, anchoring right-angle steel plates along concrete wall-to-column joints will require removing up to 28 strips of surface material, each one measuring at least 30-feet by 10-inches (about 700 square feet total), from the walls. We’ll abate ACM where the new roof joins the tops of the walls too.

Our plan is to do minimal ACM abatement in Part I to save money. KMB and FORMA are working now with Advance Environmental, the firm that did the February “hazmat” survey, to identify the most feasible, cost-effective ways to perform the abatement work. In addition, they are looking at possible options, and associated costs, for doing more than minimal ACM abatement.

ACM abatement entails certain set-up costs - such as erecting scaffolding, installing a pressurized enclosure, protective equipment for workers, etc. – no matter how much ACM will be removed. Given these unavoidable costs, we may have an opportunity to abate more than the minimum ACM in Part I at a cost-effective price. This would allow us to avoid those same set-up costs again in Part II, when we’ll likely need to abate more ACM. It all depends on the incremental cost increase – we’ll know when we see the numbers. If affordable, there may be a good argument for abating all ACM in Part I.

It’s worth noting that beyond simple cost considerations, we may wish to consider the exposure risk and our comfort level with leaving known, friable ACM in place until sometime in the future. 

Another way we can save money on abatement is to hire the abatement contractor ourselves, rather than through the general contractor, which typically adds a 10% markup on sub-contractor work. For example, we could save about $11,000 per $100K of abatement work by contracting directly. (I am not saying here that the abatement work will cost $100K; we don’t know that number yet.) We must do abatement before the other Part I work starts, but do not need a city-issued building permit, only a state permit from the Department of Ecology. 

Please let me know if you have questions about this report.

Respectfully submitted,

Lou MacMillan

Chair, Renovation Committee

Posted by: Lou MacMillan AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email