House Committee

2019-20 Annual Report

In 2019-20 the House Committee and Cathedral Board continued their comprehensive plan at managing and maintaining our building and grounds considering short-term and long-term goals. By recognizing our facility needs, we worked our plan on addressing immediate improvement needs, on-going maintenance, and long-term systems replacement costs. We focused on the identified facility and outdated technologies. We continue to have on-going maintenance plans as well as small and large-scale capital improvements that will be required in future years.

The following summarizes what we accomplished in 2019-20:

Site Maintenance.
In additional to regular maintenance, our site maintenance plans included the following:
• There are some trees in the conservation area that have been identified as diseased and may need replacement. We are working with a conservationist to continue assessing the trees.
• Irrigation was installed at the front monument at the corner of Lake Street and Medinah Road. This improvement will allow the foliage to present a beautiful representation of the Cathedral without the cost of manual watering.
• Pavers were replaced in the parking lot walkways. After 8 years the bricks had started to deteriorate. The replacement was done to protect against tripping hazards as well as stopping further degradation.
• Additional landscaping improvements have been deferred into 2020-2021.

Building Maintenance.
Very few significant building repair or maintenance projects were required in 2019-2020. Within the building, our focus was on identifying improvements needed for updating our security and audio/visual systems.
• Security system improvement. A new vendor and security system were implemented including camera upgrades. The new system and maintenance contract have streamlined security allowing a higher degree of monitoring.
• A new IT company was contracted to replace outdated servers and provide support and maintenance of systems. They also provide routine audits and recommendations for future needs.
• Audio/Visual improvements. Phase I of improvements to our A/V systems were made reprogramming the system and replacing outdated keypads. The new system allows for a reliable and user-friendly system to be used in the Board Room, Dining Room, Bar, and Lodge.
• A new projector was purchased for the Lodge to replace failed equipment.
• A state-of-the-art lighting system was installed to allow the lighting team to preprogram lighting for degrees and enhance presentations with a wide array of colors.
• A vendor was secured to upgrade the phone system and provide support to utilize all the options available.

Future Large-Scale Improvements.
The following improvement needs were identified and scheduled to be completed within the next three years:
• Audio/Visual improvements. Additional improvements to our A/V systems will be made in multiple phases over the next 3-5 years, depending on fraternal needs and equipment longevity.
• Patio slab repair. All options were carefully studied. A cost effective and longstanding solution was determined. The vendor has been secured and will be scheduled in the 2020-21 fiscal year weather permitting.
• Patio wall repair. Proposals have been received to repair the patio wall and cap stones. This work will be coordinated with the concrete slab repair for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
• Parking lot resurfacing. The parking lot asphalt surface is planned to be redone in 2022.
• Grand Hall and Lodge Room repainting. Planned for 2022-23.

Long -Term Budgeting.
The House Committee and Board continue to allocate monies to a Future Replacement Fund to address long-term and higher-cost items. While some of these expenses are anticipated to be several years from now, designating funds for the work now and every year will lessen the financial impact on the larger cost items.

The budgets for future work include:
• Parking lot resurfacing
• Grand Hall and Lodge repainting
• Roofing repairs and replacement
• HVAC and refrigeration equipment repair and replacement
• Carpet replacement
• Technology upgrades
• Landscape improvements
• Lighting upgrades to efficient LED

Brethren, our facilities are healthy with relatively few issues. We believe our approach that focuses on responsible maintenance, regular improvements and long-term budgeting for our facilities will help our building and grounds serve us well for many years to come, and the Valley of Chicago will continue to be the envy of the Northern Jurisdiction.

Thank you to all who have given your time to help preserve and improve our wonderful facilities.



Michael W. Behm
House Committee ChaiR