Raising the Roof: An Update on the Roof & Terrace Project

If you’ve been to the Chanhassen Campus this summer, you can’t help but notice the work taking place on the roof and terraces. Over the past several years, the building had been experiencing water seepage due to design deficiencies and drainage failures. Repair work began in June to correct the issues. It’s a big job, but progress is being made. The work on the roof is done! The terraces are scheduled to be fully completed by late September/early October.

With many contractors on site each day, Westwood staff have taken the opportunity to be a blessing. It isn’t uncommon to see our receptionist wheeling out lemonade and ice water and our food services manager bringing out brownies. Roofing Team Leader, Nate, dropped off a thank you note on behalf of his crew saying, “It was a pleasure to spend time with you and get to see your community in action. It is truly a special one and that is a testament to the individuals that comprise it. I know it is rare to receive such exceptional treatment at a job site.”

Here at Home We Need Your Help

At the Annual Business meeting, we let the congregation know of a significant expense that was ahead of us. It involves correcting design deficiencies and affecting repairs on both the roof and the east and west terraces of our Chanhassen Campus. A Task Force has been meeting with our architect and contractors, researching solutions, and conducting a scale pilot of the terrace repair plan. Their careful, diligent work, as well as insurance payments, have reduced the cost by $930,000, with remaining costs of $2,100,000. We must move forward with the repairs this spring and summer to avoid even greater expense in the future. By doing both projects at the same time we can minimize costs and disruption to ministry.

At a special business meeting last spring the Leadership Board received permission from the congregation to refinance our debt (resulting in significant interest savings) and to secure a credit line large enough to cover the anticipated repairs on the roof and terrace. The degree to which we cover this one-time expense through credit, however, we increase our long-term debt, which we want to avoid. We are coming to you with a bold request. During the month of May, would you make a one-time, above and beyond gift towards the repair of the Chanhassen facility? This is an investment in our home base for ministries here, near and far. Your generosity at this time will:

  • Allow the repairs to move forward
  • Maintain ministry momentum
  • Protect a prudent cash reserve
  • Minimize the debt burden on future ministry budgets
  • Return the terraces to useful spaces for ministry

Thank you in advance for your faithful support of Westwood Community Church.

What exactly is the issue with the original Chanhassen building roof and terraces?

  • After an extensive study over the course of 2+ years, meeting with several consultants, subject matter experts, contractors and engineers, we have identified that the overall design and construction of the terrace and the roof, is allowing for the ability for water to infiltrate into our facilities. The original construction of the terrace drainage system has failed and water is now seeping into the lower level of the facilities, impacting the classrooms and storage areas on the first level. In addition to the drain issues, the waterproofing of the multi-layered system has failed. The roof system has also failed from a waterproofing standpoint, damaging ceiling tiles and leaking in several offices. In addition to roofing shingles, several layers of waterproofing and insulation must be removed and replaced. The roof will be insulated to an R-15 to R-30 level which will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the building. We also need to repair the soffit and roof cap ventilation systems to ensure we get adequate airflow and minimize ice-dams.

$2,000,000 is a lot of money. Why is it so expensive?

  • The expense is due to the scope of work as outlined above. Because of the depth of the removal of concrete on the Terrace, this will require replacing the railings as well as work to be done with the columns and the stonework façade.  We are committed to maintain the aesthetics of the facility while eliminating the issue with the water infiltration. This, unfortunately, means that the project will be more costly than typical construction. When completed, we’ll have a system that works! The concrete will have a greater pitch to allow for better drainage, and we will have a new internal drainage system, a new railing system, a complete, solid waterproofing system and restored stonework on the façade and columns.  Carpentry and flashing around windows and main building columns will also be improved. This winter we conducted a successful test of the new design in the southwest corner of the Terrace.
  • The roof is simply a very large area, which makes this portion of the project costly. However, our work with the roof is more than a typical residential-level re-shingle. We must rework both the insulation and the overlayment systems and the waterproofing in addition to replacing the soffits and roof vent.

How long will the new roof last?

  • Due to the high quality of the roofing system and the selection of a qualified installer, the new roof will come with a 20-year full labor and material warranty. The next roof project should be limited to a re-shingle process only.

The terraces are over rooms that are used as kid’s classrooms and Westwood Preschool rooms. Are these rooms safe to use now? Can those rooms be used while the repairs are going on?

  • The rooms below the terraces have been inspected and maintained throughout the time frame we have experienced infiltration and conducted assessments. They have been safe for use throughout. If they were not, we would have been proactive to shut down this area and move more swiftly towards resolution. Structural engineers have studied sections of the construction and have deemed these areas safe and not required to be replaced.  The construction phasing is being managed in a way to minimize construction work while those classrooms are in use.  A majority of the work will take place over summer, while pre-school is on summer break.  For safety, the rooms will be closed during phases of the major construction stages.  However, rooms can be used when construction is not ongoing during weekend services.

Will the staff that office at Chanhassen be displaced while the repairs are going on?

  • Staff will be able to work at the facilities during construction.

What if we don’t get the whole $2,100,000 in during the month of May. Will we still move forward, and, if so, how will we pay for it?

  • Yes, this project will still move forward if we don’t raise the entire $2,100,000. Our strong preference is to raise the full amount to avoid incurring additional debt. We’d prefer to keep our debt to a minimum and invest resources into 10/10/10. By adding debt, we only raise costs in financing projects of this magnitude.

Why weren’t the repairs included in the Annual Budget?

  • The refinancing package presented at the May special business meeting was inclusive of these costs. The good news is the original expected budget was $3.0M. We were able to manage the scope of the project, and bring in multiple bidders in order to bring the total cost of this project down to $2,100,000.

What do we gain from this investment?

  • Maximizing the use of a facility that our congregation has built and invested in is the #1 gain of this investment. We have so many phenomenal ministries stemming out of the Chanhassen campus, we want to make sure we protect the Chan facility for effective ministry release for decades to come. We will also revitalize the terrace area to provide additional community and meeting spaces. The roof will allow us to lower operational expense by improving our energy efficiency of the overall facility.

What role did the original architect and contractor play in the roof and terrace issues when the building was built? Shouldn’t they cover some of the expense of the redesign and repairs?

  • Our team met with the original architect and contractor to discuss the issues with our facility. Those meetings were collaborative and helpful to identifying what happened during the course of design and construction. Many facts were established, however, due to a change in leadership of the construction team and merger of our original contractor, some facts were lost.  Because of the timeframe of our meetings, the statute of limitations was no longer on Westwood’s side to claim fault, nor did we want to pursue legal action for these issues.  Some issues were impacted by some value engineering decisions made during our original construction. The original architect offered a discounted rate for solution design efforts, however our team elected to choose the architect we worked with for the Chanhassen Phase 2 building and the build out of the Bush Lake campus.

Will there be energy or cost savings that result from this work?

  • The roof construction cost has been offset by an insurance payment due to hail damage. This offsets our costs by nearly $180,000. We also are doubling the overall roof insulation which will improve the energy efficiency of our existing facility.

What’s the timeline of the project? Will ministry be affected by this work?

  • The terrace project is estimated to take place over the course of 5 months.
  • The roof project is estimated to take place over the course of 3 months.
  • Ministry will continue unabated during the time of construction. We will be diligent concerning on-site safety and daily and weekly clean up.
  • Construction may be deferred during the week of VBS to ensure we can maintain safety during this peak ministry time.

What can we pray for during this project?

  • Good conversation, communication and openness around this initiative with our fellow Westwood attenders/members
  • Open hearts to give generously, as you have always have, for the funding of this project to keep us moving forward on 10-10-10 vision
  • Safety of the construction teams working on the various projects and for those on campus at the time of construction
  • Wisdom and leadership for the Westwood team as any unforeseen issues arise- that they are handled professionally and with a united spirit.
  • Gratefulness for the generosity of an awesome God- who has provided so much to us including faithful people, a great facility, volunteers, and generous givers to help make this project possible.