Temple Israel has a rich history that began in 1966. In April 1975, a ground breaking ceremony took place at 1301 Prince of Wales Drive, and construction began on the first permanent home for Temple Israel. In 1980 more than 80 families celebrated Temple Israel’s first permanent home on Prince of Wales Drive. In 2018, with a membership of roughly 300 families, Temple Israel undertook an assessment of the almost 50-year-old building to identify the essential improvements to refresh and upgrade the facility to meet current requirements for safety, security, accessibility and aesthetics.
A bright and welcoming new main entrance is part of a two-story annex at the parking side of the building. The lower level of the annex will feature an entry hall with two sets of doors for security screening, known as a secure vestibule. Our building will have enhanced accessibility via exterior ramps and elevator and will include a bimah ramp in the sanctuary. Accessible washrooms are housed in the new construction with a universal washroom on the entrance level. The school is fully accessible from the new main entrance.
- A safe drop-off area and accessible parking offer visitors ready access to the new main entrance.
- The social hall and sanctuary benefit from increased natural light, and new chairs, carpeting and refreshed interiors. There are new movable room dividers.
- Reception or lobby areas on both levels to provide people space for when the sanctuary chairs need to be reset quickly for social events.
- The school retains seven classrooms and an office in a new lay-out, with security enhancements, and is fully accessible by elevator and outdoor ramps. Natural lighting will brighten the central general purpose area. When needed, this space can be used for special synagogue events.
- An enclosed library space (designated Library room) in the school provides a home for books and reference materials and could be used for small group study.
- Administrative offices are relocated but remain on the upper level and benefit from additional storage space and improved lay-out. More storage space is provided in the social hall / sanctuary for chairs and tables.
The total cost is estimated at $4.3M when completed. This includes about $200,000 spent to date. The breakdown of costs is:
- Construction budget – 60%
- Other hard costs – 6.8% (Allowances for security, audiovisual/internet upgrades and sanctuary chairs replacement, ie costs directly related to the physical construction of the building as opposed to soft costs unrelated to construction)
- Soft costs for consultants, legal, permits – 15%
- Specific to Temple soft costs: 5.3% (bridge financing, fundraising, relocation)
- Prior project costs – 2% (early project costs for vision and design ideas)
- Contingencies – 10.7% (see below for breakdown of contingencies)
We are looking to raise $1,600,000 in addition to the $2.7 pledged or already donated by 15 families. While we hope for support from the larger Jewish community, the majority of this is expected to come from Temple members.
Our building will be closed to normal use for 9 to 10 months. During this time, school programming will take place either virtually, as is presently the case for Wednesdays, or offsite. Some Shabbat services will be offered only virtually, others will be offered offsite at locations to be determined. It is not known if we will be able to stream from these alternate spaces. Staff will continue to support members while working from home offices.
There will be 31 parking spots, including two accessible spaces when Temple Israel’s renovation is complete. During special events where additional parking is needed, Temple Israel will establish alternate solutions which may include negotiating access to the Hellenic or other nearby parking locations, recommending car-pooling, or arranging for pick-up and drop-off by mini bus.
Temple has received donations or pledges for $2.7M from 15 generous member families. As the total Building Project costs $4.3M, we plan a pledge campaign involving about 300 member families, previous members, and members of the Ottawa Jewish community to raise the remaining $1,600,000. Our Door to the Future campaign launches in October 2022, with the objective of contacting everyone in the following months. We have engaged a fundraising consultant and plan to recruit and train a volunteer team to tackle this challenge. To take advantage of the construction window of summer 2023, we seek to receive pledges by early winter 2023. The shorter the time frame to receive pledged donations, the lower the borrowing and other costs are likely to be.
Yes, we anticipate needing to borrow in the short term to cover costs of some bridge financing to meet project expenses until pledged donations of the four-year campaign have been received. Assuming a successful campaign to raise the $4.3 million required for the project, there should not be a need to borrow over the long term.
The forecasted cost of bridge financing is approximately $120,000 and included in the project budget. This amount was calculated as follows:
Colliers Project Leaders provided Temple with a forecast of expenditures over the course of the project on a monthly-basis, from start to finish. Temple’s Building Renewal Action Committee developed a forecast of donations based on a four-year capital campaign which assumes 30% of revenues in each of years 1 and 2 and 20% of revenues in each of years 3 and 4. The Committee then compared monthly expenditure requirements to forecasted revenues to identify gaps in cash flow to meet project costs and, based on a forecast of interest rates, calculated costs of borrowing./
There are several approaches under consideration to ensure cash flow requirements are met:
- self-financing from Temple reserves
- a low or no-interest loan from benevolent friends of the congregation
- a secure line of credit and/or a bank loan.
The sooner Temple receives pledged donations, the lower the financing costs for borrowing.
If the capital campaign fails to raise the $4.3 M in time to begin construction, we could use some of Temple’s reserve funds for this purpose. As these funds are required for the future financial viability of our synagogue, ongoing fundraising over a longer timeline would be necessary to replace the reserve funds.
Temple is fortunate to have a positive financial situation: we have no debt and a modest reserve fund in the bank. A general rule for non-profits is to have at least three months of operating funds on-hand as back-up for unforeseen circumstances. Temple has performed above and beyond this standard. Temple has managed its funds wisely over several decades and, with the generous support of the community, has acquired the equivalent of approximately 12 months of operating funds on its balance sheet. However, the organization must remain diligent in how and under what circumstances these precious resources might be utilized.
We could also sell the adjacent residential property, the ‘bayit’. These strategies combined could cover a shortfall of $900,000 or 20% of the 4.3M target, assuming the remaining $700,000 is raised and the 2.7M pledged is realized.
Under the current project plan, resources might be used to help cover cash flow requirements, however there is no plan at this time to utilize any of Temple’s existing resources to fund the building project per se. The expectation is that the necessary funds will be raised through the capital campaign.
If we still cannot raise the needed funds, the Board would need to suspend the project and establish a new building renewal team. This would require new leadership, new mandate and resources (people and funds) to develop a building facility proposal to address accessibility, safety, aesthetics and affordability of our future accommodation.
The operating & maintenance (O&M) budget of Temple Israel consists of a variety of expenses including heat, hydro, water, insurance, and repairs and building maintenance. Colliers, in collaboration with Temple volunteers and staff, has developed an O&M budget estimate for the renewed facility. The estimated total increase for fiscal year 2023/24, once the building project has been completed, is $15,500, representing about 15% increase. Given Temple’s congregation of around 300 families, this cost translates to approximately $50 per family to cover the additional O&M expenses.
Prior to the pandemic, attendance at services was 30-70 people, usually higher on Shabbat morning services. High Holy Days varied from 300-750 and special services at Temple attract 80-100 participants. Maximum capacity is around 235 when both the sanctuary and social hall are used for a single event.
Temple membership has been stable around 300 member families for the past number of years. The size of the Jewish community is similarly stable in our region with our aging membership reflecting regional trends. For these reasons, we expect to accommodate a similar sized community, possibly growing by 10% over the coming decade. The renovated building will easily accommodate a 10% increase in Temple membership. [source: https://jewishottawa.com/ottawa-jewish-archives/faq].
Through several consultations with various community stakeholder groups, Temple developed 21 design priorities. Top priorities include: accessibility (elevator, ramps, safe drop offs, washrooms), refurbishment of the Temple school area, security enhancements, improvement to entrance and lobby space for welcoming, reception and transition space when the sanctuary is being setup for social use. The building design addresses all 21 priority requirements.
Yes, regarding heating and cooling, but not in excess of building code requirements.
- The kitchen remains largely as is; lay-out may change with detail design plans.
- No parking has been added.
- No expansion of the sanctuary.
- Property owned by Temple adjacent to the facility remains undeveloped with the bayit (house) intact.
The 2-story addition adds approx. 1500 sq ft on each level, thus 3,000 total compared to the present 13,000 sq ft or 6500 each on lower and upper levels. The new construction represents about 25% increase in square footage overall.Lower Level
Existing Area (ft2): 6500Expansion (ft2):1500
New Total: 8000Upper LevelExisting Area (ft2): 6500Expansion (ft2):1500
New Total: 8000
Total construction cost is 2.1M, including fees and contingencies. The new construction budget is approx.$1.2-1.5M at an estimated cost per ft2 of $4-500 / ft2 and the renovation budget is about $400,000.
Costs have increased by 2.2M, as the original estimate was 4.3M, now 6.5M. Most of these costs relate to construction costs. Construction was 2.8M of the 4.3M original project budget, and is now 4.7M of the 6.5M total project budget, an increase of 1.9M. The 300,000 remainder relates to non-construction costs, principally borrowing costs.
Generally speaking there have been several factors causing the increase in cost all of which we read and hear about every day: Covid and related supply chain issues, scarcity of materials, labour shortages, inflation and rising interest rates.
More specifically there appear to be three main drivers:
1. Increased cost of labour and materials.
a. Scarcity of skilled tradespeople and many large public sector projects are driving up labour costs.
b. The industry is seeing dramatic increases in the cost of a variety of subtrades’ work. For example, concrete formwork prices have doubled in the last 9 months.
c. Curtain wall building structure components involve an aluminum and glazing and prices have doubled in the last year.
d. Structural steel components have experienced large increases, almost twice, in the last year.
Overall, construction costs have increased at a much higher rate than general inflation rate.
2. Increase in anticipated duration of construction from 23 to 40 weeks. This is due in large part to the difficulty in obtaining materials and assembling tradespeople. Time is money, the longer the schedule the more costly the project.
3. Unforeseen project cost items. For example, the geotechnical investigation revealed a need to deal with potential liquefaction of soils in the event of an earthquake, requiring additional work to densify existing subgrade materials. Building code analysis revealed the need for a fire separation around the stairwell between the upper and lower level, triggered automatically in the event of a fire. A fire alarm upgrade to the existing building is also required.
In summary, price escalation coupled with unforeseen additional cost items are the main factors contributing to the significant increase in the project budget. Further analysis may reveal other contributing factors.
19. What are the other sources of revenue, e.g, government grants, Jewish foundations. Has TI tried these sources even if unsuccessful?
Temple received $96,000 from the Ontario Safer and Vital Communities Fund in 2021-22. These funds are applied to enhance security features that remain relevant in the renovated building, e.g. installing a video surveillance system, enhancements to our fire alarm and 911 “panic button” systems and secure windows in the school.
We have explored other sources of funding to date without success, such as a federal grant under the Enabling Accessibility Fund for Mid-Sized Projects in 2021. Yasir Naqvi, Temple’s Member of Parliament has been contacted for assistance. We have researched possible foundations for potential grants and are reaching out to members with experience to share their knowledge.
Our thanks to Kim Doran, a member of Temple’s Giving Committee, for her help in identifying government programs. If anyone knows of other relevant sources or can offer grant writing help, we would be grateful to follow-up.
Temple has a Grant Application policy and process as part of the Fundraising Policy. See this policy.
We explored adding a floor to our present building as part of this Building Project. Since Temple’s original construction in 1975, Building Code requirements have changed. For example, there are more restrictions regarding earthquake mitigation. A second floor would add additional load to the foundation. The architect advised us that adding a floor would require very expensive reinforcement to comply with current Code, for example: reinforcing the existing building and sinking additional concrete foundations below ground. As a result, the option of expanding upwards was not considered cost effective.
We explored different options for the building entrance but determined that ground level location at the rear is the most cost effective.
There is no space in which to do so at the street level. This is because of the property line limits and setbacks due to the Prince of Wales sidewalk and bicycle path. A safe drop off for people with mobility issues could not be accommodated in the small space available. There would not be sufficient space for accessible parking as well as a drop off area. Moving to the street level would also require the Ottawa Hydro Transformer and electrical service to the building to be relocated, which would be expensive.