Building Update – December 7, 2018

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In our meeting with Highland Builders on Thursday, Nov. 29, we were given the date of Jan. 18 as the completion date for the building. This assumes no more lost work days due to weather. We may need to wait a few days beyond Jan. 18 to get the final occupancy certificate (OC) from the city of McKinney. However, we have been told that even if we don’t get the final OC on that date, we could get a TOC (temporary occupancy certificate), which would allow us to move all our furniture and equipment into the building. We just won’t be able to work from the building until that final certificate is obtained. We have tentatively chosen Monday, Jan. 21, as our move-in date. We would appreciate your prayers that all goes well.

Even as I write these words, it seems unreal that we are almost done! This has been a long project, which has taken almost three years. There were a number of challenging days along the way, but now it seems that all our efforts are about to come to fruition. Ever since we began this project, we have sought God’s support and His blessing. This year, after beginning construction in January, we have clearly seen God’s hand in the project. Each time there was an obstacle, an answer was provided. It seems as though in a building project like this everything can be fixed with money! Some of these additional expenses were created by the city of McKinney, and others were caused by our desire to upgrade from the original plan. Our goal from the beginning was to pay for the building with a mortgage and with cash that we had in the building fund and our reserves. Amazingly, even after paying for all the upgrades and the requirements from the city of McKinney, our reserves are virtually the same as they were on Jan. 1 of this year, and we have taken nothing away from our approved budget for 2018. I am amazed myself as to how that actually happened. Of course, a big factor was having a year-to-date increase of 9 percent over our income in 2017.

The building itself is completely enclosed. The interior walls have been painted with a primer coat, and the final coat will go on in the next few days. There is only one section of stone that has not yet been installed on the outside. The steel canopies over the front entrance and the side entrance have been installed, and in a few more days the steel canopies over the back, outside the two break rooms, will be installed along with the canopies over the windows on the west side of the building. Each of these is custom-made and requires a reinforcing of the building at the location where it will be hung. And next Tuesday the black tile will be installed on the seven pillars that surround the lobby, and the concrete for the sidewalks around the front entrance will be poured. A week from now, the front entrance will look noticeably different!

There is still a lot of work to be done in the studio, the lobby, the conference room and the two break rooms. The cabinets for the break rooms have been built and are on-site, waiting for installation. Some of the interior doors have arrived and will be installed after the painters are finished. The ceiling tiles have been installed, and just today (Dec. 6) the ceiling inspector from the city of McKinney gave us a passing inspection on the ceiling. And, yes, McKinney has a different inspector for each facet of the building. I believe they have more than 100 inspectors on their payroll. Next week the fire marshal will inspect the interior sprinkler system. If that passes inspection, then all the walls can be closed in and the remaining ceiling tiles can be installed.

Our biggest challenge remains the studio. The original plans, for some reason, called for minimal soundproofing. We are convinced that if we had constructed the room as drawn on the plans, we would have major issues with any recording done in the studio. After hours of discussing, we now have a plan to remedy the problem. There should be no additional delay as far as the completion date, but it was a bit frustrating, time-consuming and more expensive than we thought.

We are now interviewing moving companies to help us with the move. We have been pleasantly surprised to get quotes from three companies. All three were about half the price we anticipated, and all three, after inventorying our equipment, concluded they could make the move in one day. That means disassembling all our desks and office equipment, transporting it the 6 miles or so to the new building and reassembling everything, all in a 24-hour period. If this does work out, we may only lose a day or two in making the transition. At the present time, it does appear that we have an excellent chance of making a seamless transition from our 8,000 square feet of leased space in Allen, Texas, to our 17,000 square feet of new office space in McKinney, Texas, by the third week of January. What an exciting time that will be!

We have some new drone footage posted with this update. If you have been following the construction story via video, I believe you will recognize some major changes in the latest video. Please continue to pray that all will go well with the completion of the building. Three years is a long time for one project! It is hard to believe that we are almost there!

Jim Franks