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Trinity Tomorrow Update, from the Building Committee

What has been happening behind the scenes?

Since the inception of the Trinity Tomorrow Master Plan, one of the main strategic goals was to:

 “Create facilities that are especially inviting to young families and youth.

  • Plan children’s facilities that are vibrant, inviting to children and visible to visitors.
  • Provide cool, inviting and age-appropriate space for youth to gather/study, commune and play games/have recreation.”

Through much pre-planning work we determined that to build a dedicated place for children and youth of Trinity Episcopal Church, we would need to raise approximately $4,500,000.

The capital campaign received pledges of $2,400,000 and as of July 31, 2016, we have received $1,052,575 into the Trinity Tomorrow Fund. So that we might be good stewards for Trinity Tomorrow, we needed to re-determine what could be built to meet the reduced budget.  We had to go back, literally, to the drawing board in order to replace the square footage that the Atrium Building now provides.

Architect Merriman Holt, who has been working with Trinity Tomorrow from the beginning of the master plan, was issued a contract in July 2015 to provide schematic design drawings to assist in continued review for changes, code issues, etc.  A maximum of $60,000 was approved by the Vestry for this work.

Requests for proposals were delivered to several general contractors vetted by the Diocese during the fall of 2015.  Four general contractors submitted proposals.  The Trinity Tomorrow Building Committee reviewed and evaluated each proposal and selected Paradigm Construction, a highly talented and experienced company whose primary work is to build churches and church schools.


In January 2016, site surveys were completed, including the location of all trees for easier approval by The Woodlands and schematic design drawings were delivered. Community Life and Discipleship Minister Molly Carr and other staff members provided valuable input on building flow and functionality for youth and children.  After several meetings between the architect, general contractor and the Trinity Tomorrow Building Committee, the general contractor provided an estimate based on the schematic design. These meetings included several ways that, through “value engineering”, Trinity Tomorrow could contain building costs, future campus maintenance costs and future utility expenses.  During this time, The Woodlands Design Standards Committee and The Woodlands Fire Marshal reviewed the drawings and sketches to assure that all code requirements would be met or exceeded. They have given their approval.

In July 2016, the Building Committee met with the general contractor, architect and Kilgore Mechanical (the electric/plumbing sub-contractor) to discuss the air-conditioning proposal within the bid.  Results of that meeting were presented at the August Vestry meeting.  Based on the schematic design estimate, the project cost has been reduced from the initial $4.5 million to approximately $3.5 million.  As the design progresses through the next two phases, design development and construction drawings, project cost may be reduced even further.

At the August, 2016 meeting, the Vestry approved moving forward with the design process.  The general contractor will provide another in-progress estimate at the conclusion of the design development plans and specifications.  When the design process is completed and construction drawings are completed, the general contractor will then develop a guaranteed maximum price (GMP).  With this final price in hand, the Vestry can then seek Diocesan approval to commence construction.

With all Vestry approvals in place, we anticipate that demolition of the Atrium building (hooray!) could begin in spring 2017 with project completion within a year.

And where do we go from here?

Here is our target timeline:

December 1, 2016: Detailed design and construction estimate completed.

March 1, 2017: Finalize pledge figures to arrange construction loan.

May 1, 2017: Receive Diocesan approval.

May 31, 2017: Begin construction.

March 2018: Building available.