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  March 26, 2007VOL. 45, NO. 6Oakland, CA

articles list

Cathedral finance chair delineates project costs

Pope’s exhortation on Eucharist includes Mass suggestions

Vatican criticizes liberation theologian, issues no sanctions

Scripture, song and prayer mark religious involvement in anti-war protest in D.C.

Catholic educators told school choice is becoming less of a partisan issue

Gethsemane to Golgotha: A Lenten Journey

Cal student’s spiritual search leads to baptism

EWTN to air
special programs
for Holy Week, Easter

Cross Walks to be held on Good Friday in Pleasanton, San Ramon

New SJND principal

New De La Salle president

Documentary review
'Journey of the Heart: The Life of Henri Nouwen' airs on Easter Sunday

‘Into Great Silence’ is a quiet meditation on the Carthusian life

Christopher Awards present honors to best in films, TV/cable, books

Outdoor Rosary set
for Rose Bowl

Learning to pray with St. Teresa of Avila as our guide

Two grumpy old men offer insights into spiritual maturity

Father John Dollard, founding pastor of St. Charles Parish in Livermore, dies at 88

Sr. Estelle Mary Hains, SNJM

Sr. Gabriel McCarthy, OP

Sr. Alphonsus Nishikaze, OP



























Cathedral finance chair
delineates project costs

The cathedral sanctuary is taking shape at the corner of Grand Avenue and Harrison Street. High above the sanctuary floor, a steel oculus is being welded together. The skylight ceiling will be assembled on top of the oculus ring.
This artist rendition shows the completed cathedral with the grand staircase leading to the sanctuary from Harrison Street. To the left is an entrance to the conference center. Parish offices are to the right of the staircase.
Over several weeks construction workers built a giant shoring tower of scaffolding over the sanctuary floor and circular altar. The oculus roof is assembled at the top of the tower and the rest of the cathedral superstructure will be built from the roof down.
The catafalque area for funeral services in the mausoleum is directly under the altar. Light enters through the oculus of the cathedral and continues through the transparent glass floor of the altar into the mausoleum.

Within the past few weeks several letters have appeared in The Catholic Voice regarding the cost of the Cathedral Center. I would like to provide additional information about its scope and budget.

As Bishop Allen Vigneron has shared previously in The Voice, the Cathedral Center is a pastoral response to the needs of the diocese and community. The many volunteers and professionals contributing to the project have worked diligently to realize this vision in a responsible manner.

As the project has progressed through each step of design, engineering and construction, the budgeting information available to us has improved as preliminary design estimates have been replaced with actual construction drawings and contracted costs. This has required a restatement of the project budget.

The project scope, that is, the major components planned for the Cathedral Center, includes the cathedral and organ, public plaza, mausoleum, conference center, parish offices, parish rectory, bishop’s residence, parking garage and Chancery offices.

The master plan for the Cathedral Center site includes a bell tower and daily chapel, but these components are not part of the project scope and will not be built at this time.

The project budget for the Cathedral Center has increased from an early estimate of $131 million in 2003 (based on very early conceptual plans that contained assumptions and allowances for costs not yet known) to a current estimate of $190 million in January 2007.

The current budget estimate includes all costs associated with the Cathedral Center, including insurance, property taxes, fundraising, diocesan administration, financing and other “non-construction” costs.

In 2003, only two percent of the project costs had been bid out and priced. Several experienced construction estimating firms were used to help establish the initial $131 million budget estimate, but actual pricing could not be obtained until design and construction drawings were completed and submitted to contractors and suppliers for bids.

The unique design of the cathedral, which employs state-of-the-art technology, did not allow the use of comparable costs from other construction projects for estimating purposes.

The organ and mausoleum were not included in the $131 million budget estimate, even though they have always been part of the project scope, because separate funding sources were planned for them.

An unintended consequence of separate budgets for the organ and mausoleum has been confusion about the cost of the project. In an effort to avoid further confusion between project scope and project budget, the $190 million estimate includes the organ and mausoleum.

Bishop Vigneron’s message in the January 8, 2007 Voice noted that the conference center was not included in the project budget when construction began in 2005. Finishes, furniture and equipment for the conference center were deferred until future funding (such as unused project contingency) became available.

However, because of the conference center’s important role in supporting the mission and activities planned for the Cathedral Center, the full cost of the conference center has been included in the $190 million budget.

The $131 million budget estimate at the time construction began in June 2005 was comprised of the following components:

Land costs - $32.7 million

Design, project management and other professional fees - $12.8 million

Construction costs - $67 million

Furnishings, fixtures and other equipment - $5.5 million

Financing costs - $3 million

Fundraising, administration and legal costs - $4.7 million

Contingency - $5 million

The $190 million budget estimate contains the following additional costs:

Mausoleum (previously in scope but separately budgeted) – $13.1 million

Organ (previously in scope but separately budgeted) - $4.0 million

Conference center completion - $2.4 million

Unforeseen site excavation conditions and weather delays - $2.7 million

Inflation - $5.5 million

Miscellaneous design revisions - $3.8 million

Additional design, project management and professional fees - $3.2 million

Additional insurance, inspection and permit fees - $1.1 million

Additional furnishings, fixtures and equipment - $0.7 million

Additional financing costs - $8 million

Additional fundraising, administration, legal and taxes - $3.7 million

Additional contingency - $10.8 million

Some of these costs, such as design, project management and other professional fees, insurance, inspection and permit fees, financing and administration have increased in part because of higher construction costs and extension of the estimated project completion date from late 2007 to the third quarter of 2008.

Contingency is an allowance for costs that may not be incurred, such as construction delays, design problems, unforeseen permit conditions and other challenges typically encountered in construction projects of this complexity.
Contingency is not expended unless needed and unused contingency will reduce the final project cost.

Because the project is now 50 percent completed and 95 percent of the total construction cost is priced and under contract, the Project Finance Committee believes that further budget increases are unlikely.


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