Campaign for the Future - A Chronological Narrative
Three years of careful planning provide the Board with confidence that we will be able to meet the goal of $600,000 to finance the capital improvement plan outlined in the Campaign for the Future. In the summer of 2019, Board President Joe Rollins and Board Secretary Charlie Sheerin determined that the stained glass windows of the sanctuary needed assessment and restoration. Joe Rollins connected with the manufacturer of the majority of windows in Philadelphia, Willet & Hauser, to provide an assessment and estimate of costs for restoration. This estimate was completed in the summer of 2020.
Also in the summer of 2020, several holes in the roof of the sanctuary needed to be repaired. The contractor who fixed the holes made it clear to the Board of Trustees that we should install a new roof as soon as we are able. Additionally, the foundation piers at the north end of the church were discovered to be compromised, the septic tank at the Rectory had collapsed, and a fallen tree punctured a large hole in the boathouse roof which exposed significant rot. These additional capital expenditures made it clear that the Board of Trustees needed to expand their focus of restoration beyond the windows to the deferred maintenance of the entire church property.
In the fall of 2020, the Board of Trustees set about to correct the immediate maintenance needs. They resolved to fix the boathouse, replaced the failed septic system, and reinforced the shoreline which is suffering from extensive erosion. Two of these projects (septic and shoreline) subsequently received grant funds from the Cloudsplitter Foundation, and these initial projects will all be completed by the fall of 2022. Additionally, the Board of Trustees reached out to Amy Catania of Historic Saranac Lake who provided a short list of consultant/design professionals that work primarily with historic properties; the Board inquired with each.
In October of 2020, the Board contracted with Landmark Consulting of Albany, New York to help us research and draft a National Historic Register nomination. The sanctuary and rectory were both successfully listed on the National Historic Register in 2021. We also contracted with Landmark Consulting to complete a Building Envelope Survey and Architectural Condition Report on the entire property in order to have an informed understanding of what needs to be done to restore the church.
In May 2021, the Board of Trustees received the final Building Envelope Survey and Architectural Condition Assessment Report from Landmark Consulting and set about creating a plan to finance and execute the restoration of the entire property. We contracted with Tim Sharp, the principal of TS Philanthropy LLC to conduct a congregational survey and to create a Community and Capital Campaign Feasibility Survey.
In the summer and fall of 2021, the Board solicited rough estimates from two separate contractors to replace the roof and fix the foundation of the church according to the Building Envelope Survey and Architectural Condition Assessment Report completed by Landmark Consulting. We received rough estimates for the roof, masonry, and carpentry work from Dean Montroy Construction in Bloomingdale, NY and Friend Commercial Contracting in Malone, NY. Additionally, following the recommendation of the same report, the Board contracted with Cohoes Design Studio in Schenectady, New York to receive a second estimate and scope of services on the stained glass windows to ensure quality. These estimates and further assessments allowed the Board to create a rough estimate of the total anticipated costs for the restoration of the property. Tim Sharpe presented his Community and Capital Campaign Feasibility Survey to the board in August 2021, which allowed the Board to align the anticipated costs of capital improvement with a realistic financial plan to fund them. Ultimately, the Board has resolved to raise $600,000.
In the spring of 2022, the Board decided to proceed with Landmark Consulting as project managers for the remaining restoration efforts of the church property. Our positive working relationship and their familiarity with the church through their previous work with us made the choice an obvious one. In June of 2022, the Board contracted with Landmark Consulting to draft construction documents for the roof as well as schematic architectural design services for the sacristy and entryway renovations. The Board expects to expand that contract in order to extend bidding and project supervision responsibilities to Landmark Consulting.
It may be worth mentioning that Landmark Consulting has worked over the previous eight years in the Adirondacks on the nomination and rehab of the Hotel Saranac, on the Paul Smith’s Electric, Light & Power & Railroad Company Building (3 Main Street, Saranac Lake), and are overseeing the restoration and rehab of the Dr. Edward L. Trudeau House museum and Saranac Laboratory for Historic Saranac Lake. Landmark Consulting has also been a NYS WBE (Woman-Owned Business Enterprise) since 2009. They come with excellent references and the Board has appreciated our work with them to date.
In the summer of 2022, the Board of Trustees is soliciting pledges from donors in a “quiet phase” of the capital campaign, which the Board has agreed to name The Campaign for the Future. The board resolved to “go public” with the Campaign for the Future on August 26, 2022, having secured more than $250,000 in pledges from board members and lead donors.
The National Historic Register status received in 2021 makes public grants and funding accessible to the church. In tandem with the Board’s resolve to raise $600,000 from the congregation, the Board submitted a historic preservation grant through the New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund for $216,000 on July 29, 2022. These funds could be received in whole or part, to be announced before the end of 2022. If received in full, these funds would effectively cover fifty percent of the costs of the roof, masonry, and carpentry work of the sanctuary. Additionally, the Board intends to apply for a grant from New York State’s Landmark Conservancy on December 15, 2022 to fund fifty percent of the estimated costs to restore the stained glass windows. Depending on how these grants are received, we may also return to the Cloudsplitter Foundation for a third and more substantial matching grant.