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4 July 2017

Refresh: an update on timings

Steve Williams Steve Williams Refresh Project Leader
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Time for another update from the land of Refresh. The current position reminds me of a couple of sayings.

  1. ‘Patience is a virtue,’ meaning to wait for something without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality.
  2. ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,’ meaning that no matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.

Yes, our plans may go awry, but God’s plan is perfect and we know that His timing is better than ours.

Why am I writing about old proverbs? Since the last update we have finalized the designs, drawn up plans and documents, and invited tenders for the work from a number of contractors for both the lift and the stairwell/atrium. We have received their replies and assessed them, and selected our preferred contractors.

So far, so good. However, there are three challenges to overcome before we see work on the ground:

  1. The contractors are not available to commence work for some months, so the objective of completing the work over the summer months is dead in the water.
  2. The costs quoted exceed the estimate by a significant margin, mainly due to desirable extras being added in as the designs were refined. Also the estimate was prepared over two years ago and, whilst some allowance price increases was allowed, evidently it was not enough.
  3. We have not received the landlord’s permission to carry out the work. This should not be an issue and with a new landlord’s agent in place we anticipate we will receive this without any major problems.

The Leadership Team has agreed to delay commencement on site until May 2018. This may be a little disappointing and frustrating, but there are some significant benefits. It will allow time for us to negotiate with the contractors over timing and price. It provides an opportunity for us to apply for grants to help cover any shortfall in funds. And it gives time for the landlord’s permission to come through.

Remember the two sayings I started with. We can be patient and we can take changes to our plans in our stride because we trust in a God who is sovereign and who knows what is best for us.

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