Tongue in cheek, I can say we are in the calm before the storm. I say this because the current action of our preservation project takes place behind the public scene. Let me explain what I mean.
This month, Westfield Architects collected pre-qualification forms from the potential contractors involved with Phase I of our project. Following this, Westfield Architects called for references and sent them for approval by the New Jersey Historic Trust (NJHT).
As soon as the NJHT approves the bidder’s list, the bidding documents will be distributed. The bids are due in the second half of March. If all goes according to plan, our Consistory will vote on particular contractors in April. At the same time, our Preservation Team will want to coordinate our choice of contractors with neighboring Christ Episcopal Church. Cooperating in this way, we hope to be economically more efficient. Phase I construction is scheduled to begin during the second half of May. This is when the public will notice progress.
Since our grants from NJHT and from the City of New Brunswick will be paid by reimbursement, there will not be much news prior to the beginning of the construction. The exception is, of course, our reimbursement for previous construction under the NJHT grant. This depends now on recording an easement on our buildings with Middlesex County. NJHT is currently drafting this document, but Consistory will have to approve it before we can bring it to the county office.
There is some development regarding the state grant covering the cost of remediation for our former underground oil tank. The grant has been set aside by the Department of Environmental Protection, but requires review by the NJ Economic Development Authority who will have the final decision.