House Committee

2023-24 Annual Report

My Brothers of the Valley of Chicago-

In case you didn’t know, our “new” Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago campus officially became a teenager. On March 18, 2024, the building entered its 13th year. And just like our teenage children, teenage buildings require a lot more attention. They truly are not “new” anymore and they do start showing their age. Building systems begin to break down and some components become out-of-date in the first 10-15 years. They also make bigger demands for our pocketbooks. The good news is that the Scottish Rite Board of Directors started thinking about our building’s future several years ago. We put a plan together and started saving for annual maintenance and upgrades that we thought may be part of our future needs. Through the diligence of the Board and the Leadership of the Valley, we have been able to fund over $1.1M in maintenance and capital improvements over the past 5-1/2 years – all without a negative impact on our overall financial well-being.

This past year, the primary mission of the House Committee was to address some of the changing needs within our Theater so we can continue to produce exceptional programs for our fraternity. We funded significant improvements to our Theatrical Lighting, Audio-Visual, and Technology systems, and continue to work on improving A/V communications throughout the Theater, Lodge Room, Dining Hall, and exterior spaces. In addition to upgrading the performance of interior spaces, we also considered how we may want to better use our exterior spaces while making sure that our buildings and grounds are safe. Last fall, we began the first phase of replacing the paver walkways and parking areas that have deteriorated due to age. Phase II is scheduled for this fall.

The most important thing the House Committee took on this year was to update our Long-Term Capital Plan and Budget. With the help of our building management group, Hamilton Partners, and the Board Finance Committee, we created a new living document that projects work and costs for major capital and maintenance projects over the next 30 years. While this planning document is just a guideline for future improvements, it is a great starting point to assist subsequent Boards to better understand the probable future needs and financing for the Valley. The current Board is already utilizing this document to prepare for future expenses.

I would like to thank all members of our Board of Directors and Scottish Rite Leadership who have been very supportive of the House Committees, and me personally, over the past six years. Without the diverse talents and perspectives, dedication, and willingness to candidly challenge each other, I doubt we would have found the best options for our facilities, and many of the improvements may not have been realized.

I am happy and proud to say that “Your House is in Order”.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Michael W. Behm
House Committee Chair