By Commander Pete Krawitz and Quartermaster Harold Rodenberger
If you refer to the 2018 Q4 newsletter, you’ll recall that the post membership voted to work with consultants from a local architect firm to review the current state of our building. While there have been a few minor updates in the subsequent newsletters, Comrade Quartermaster Rodenberger and I wanted to provide the post members with a more comprehensive update on the current state of this project, which is getting closer to completion.
First off, we’d like to thank the house committee for their hard work (Doug Maines, Jordan Houghton, and Aly Teeter-Baker). These individuals dedicated many additional hours of their free time over the last few months to help see this project through. These individuals have acted as a critical advisory and steering committee for our hired consultants.
During this period, the house committee has monitored the development of four tentative options, ranging from minor, mostly cosmetic improvements to sale or redevelopment of the property.
As these options have been fleshed out, we’ve visited venues in central and north Seattle to see how other owners manage meeting halls and rental spaces. At the same time, a focus group composed of house committee members plus some volunteers from our post and auxiliary have met with the architects to furnish input and give feedback to help them aim the options toward our goals as a growing and modern VFW post.
To aid with planning we met with the city planners for guidance on how an old building such as ours can be updated to meet current usage and code yet meet fiscal constraints. We’ve also had a hazardous materials survey done to find out what we don’t know about the existence of asbestos, lead and other toxic materials in some of the old building materials.
Finally, the architects will provide us with some “rough order of magnitude” estimates for the costs of the various options.
Once the consultant’s work is completed, what’s next? Well, we know this will help us answer three questions that have been a central theme during our work with the consultants:
- How can Post 3063 maintain a physical presence in Ballard so that we can continue to serve veterans, their families, and the community?
- How can we reduce and/or eliminate any risks associated with failing building systems?
- How can we reduce ongoing building operating cost AND increase rental income?
Bottom line, we don’t know exactly what the “how” will look like just yet. There is still a lot of discussion and analysis that needs to take place within our post, however, we are confident that our current and future members and leadership teams will be equipped with information that will allow us to be more proactive rather than reactive about our building’s future.
We look forward to providing you with additional updates in the coming months.