Finally, after 18 months of slow-grinding bureaucratic starts and stops, we have received all our remaining necessary County permits to begin construction of The Gathering Place! We are now able to begin some preliminary construction, although the speed with which we can progress will be determined by COVID-19!
The first step of the construction phase is completion of the fire suppression system, which includes construction of a new pump house building and installation of a large-capacity water tank. As a safety precaution, County Planning requires this work to be completed before we begin hauling in more building materials. This phase qualifies as an essential critical infrastructure for the church property and fire mitigation during subsequent construction so we may begin work immediately rather than waiting until the current work stoppage order is ended. This allows us to take advantage of this time to engage workers who might otherwise get backed up with competing projects once the order is lifted or modified. Please be assured that we are very aware of the health risks and will take all necessary steps to meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures as defined by the County and State.
While this critical work is being done, we would typically be requesting bids from sub-contractors in order to develop a specific budget and building timeline. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has impacted that process as well, since sub-contractors needed for the new building are not able to provide reliable bids and sufficient time estimates during this uncertain phase of the Pandemic.
So, although there are many uncertainties in the future, we are proceeding with faith and finding ways to keep moving forward. Thanks to all who have supported us and kept the faith with us!