After 30 years in the same location, LCS has relocated its headquarters to a new site in the city. Our new 6,000-square-foot building has allowed LCS to consolidate its offices and serve more people better.
The Campaign was created to acquire and renovate the 6,000 square foot building at 2809 Baynard Boulevard as the new agency headquarters. The search for a new building began three years ago, when in the wake of unprecedented demand for its services, the LCS Board of Trustees included in their startegic plan the need for a new, larger and more modern headquarters building. That way, LCS reasoned it could both continue its current services and expand them. Then two years ago, as this initiative began to gain momentum, our landlord sold the building we occupied and we lost our lease. At that point, LCS started to lay the groundwork for a capital campaign, which began in earnest in June 2014. In September of that year, ground was broken and renovations began. In April of 2015, the LCS staff moved into the building.
The project involved complete renovation of the building, furnishings, and landscaping. At the end of 2015, at which time the project was virtually completed, the project cost was approximately $2.1 million, up from the $1.8 million that was originally estimated. The majority of the overage was the result of construction expenses that could not have been foreseen, expenses inherent in retrofitting an older (this one is from the 1970s) building. These expenses included asbestos and mold abatement, the replacement of rusted framing, unanticipated mandates from the City, and the removal of a large rock formation in the elevator pit (scroll down for photos). This last item - removal of rock in the elevator shaft - is the largest in the list of added expenses, as it was done by hand, without the benefit of blasting. It virtually used up all of our contingency funds and then proceeded to form a substantial overage.
To date, the Capital Campaign Committee has raised $1,600,694.57. It is remarkable that individual donations have so far totaled over $600,000. The way Delaware's philanthropic community has supported the project with donations of nearly $1,000,000 is also remarkable. Foundation support includes Longwood, Lutheran Home and Hospital, Welfare, Crystal, Laffey-McHugh, Chichester, Marmot, and Crestlea. PNC and WSFS have also pitched in. In 2016, we will apply to additional local corporations and private foundations. In order to acquire and renovate the building, LCS obtained short-term debt from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, which it hopes to retire through fundraising. LCS's annual budget is designed to accommodate funds for overhead, including maintenance, utilities, etc., but not for a large monthly mortgage payment.
In October of 2015, a $35,000 Challenge Fund was raised from members of the LCS Board and the Capital Campaign Committee to expand individual donations even more. During the last quarter of 2015, many donors had their donations doubled by receiving a match from the Challenge Fund that resulted in approximately $17,500 in donations, leaving about $17,500 in the Fund. The deadline to be eligible for those funds was originally December 31, 2015, but it has been extended to June 30, 2016.
To complete the funding process, we need to raise an additional $500,000. We hoping that the incentive provided by the Challenge Fund will stimulate more people to give to the campaign if they have the capacity to do so. If you would like to give, please click here. As we near the end of this, our first-ever Capital Campaign, we look forward to returning to client services full time. And we thank all those who were able to help in both large and small ways.
Below are photos from the rennovation process, plus videos from our groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies.
Thank you to Bancroft Construction for our amazing building!
The exterior is almost done. - March 2015
Working on the masonry. - March 2015
Drywall being installed. - March 2015
We encountered a large slab of Wilmington Blue Rock in the elevator shaft. Workers had to break it apart.
And then cart it outside.
Digging an irrigation trench.
Volunteers from Bank of America spent a Saturday in April cleaning the grounds of the new building.
Four tractor loads of debris were removed from the grounds.