The Courtyard Committee knows that everyone is getting anxious for the completion of the Courtyard. No one is more eager to see it completed than the members of the Courtyard Committee. As you are aware, construction of any project during the pandemic has been fraught with more than a few challenges. The first challenge we faced was the fact that it took more than a year to obtain approval from the city. With most government offices shut down for weeks, all approvals were backlogged. In addition, the city required us to vacate our current lot lines and re-record our deed. This caused an additional four-month delay.
Although the pandemic is now declining, we are still facing major delays and challenges as a result.
Part of that challenge is a nationwide shortage of building materials. Major shortages of rubber products, roofing materials, computer chips, electrical materials, etc., caused huge delays in receiving building materials, causing many to be placed on backorder. As an example, the windows ordered for the 9 Court Square building took almost four months to arrive. When the company began the installation of the windows, they realized that four were the wrong size and had to be re-ordered. We are now looking at another four-week delay at best. In addition, this shortage also drove up the prices of these materials.
Despite this and many related delays, we continue to plug along. Applying shotcrete to the exterior wall of 9 Court Square was delayed several months because the concrete company was faced with a mountain of backorders that were scheduled prior to our job but were unable to be completed due to the pandemic. Once the pandemic eased, everybody wanted their jobs done immediately. Finding another company that could complete the work sooner was impossible. In addition to a backlog of jobs, construction companies are also dealing with a shortage of workers. If you look around town, every company has a “help wanted” sign posted. Construction companies simply do not have the manpower to get the jobs done.
So where are we now? Next up is painting 9 Court Square, which we hope to begin in the next two weeks. We are still waiting for our light fixtures which have been backordered for several months. These fixtures must be installed prior to laying the sod and setting the pavers, in order to prevent damage to both. In addition, topsoil will be added to the planter, vines will be planted, landscaping completed, and the fence, which has been on backorder for more than a year, will be erected. All this will lead to city approval for occupancy which will likely be delayed, as we just received word this week that our city-mandated outdoor, waterproof exit signs will not be in until August. Without these signs, we cannot receive occupancy approval.
As you can see 2020 and 2021 have been difficult times to construct anything. But despite the delays and frustrations, keep in mind that—thanks to God—the entire project has been paid for through donations and when completed, it will be a wonderful addition to our church and our outreach efforts.
Our committee asks you to pray for speedy delivery of all items and when they do arrive, that we will have the individuals able to complete the installation promptly. Please also pray that other donors will step up and consider contributing to this worthwhile project. Because of the increased costs due to the pandemic, certain items were cut from the project. Additional donations would allow these items to be reinstated. In addition, we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom in ongoing negotiations for the rental of the office space in 9 Court Square. This income will be a huge blessing to our church budget.