Jane Callahan is the Director of Organizational and New Site Development at Cornerstone Lutheran Church – Fishers. As director, she oversees the development of new sites for the church including policy and planning, building projects, and organizational changes and structure. Jane has been with Cornerstone Lutheran Church for 5 years after a 35-year career in healthcare administration.
We know you chose to use Schmidt Associates Extended Services. Can you tell us why you did this over other methodologies?
We have a long history with Schmidt Associates. The idea that the architect oversaw the people carrying out the plans was huge. We didn’t want to get finger pointing. And we didn’t, so that was good. Our previous experience with Schmidt Associates had been very positive doing renovation work at our Carmel site, so there was a sense of trust.
Who was part of the decision?
The building committee: the Pastors, a few congregation members, our facility manager, and a few others. In the initial bidding process, we interviewed three design/build contractors. This then led to a conversation about the extended services Schmidt Associates could provide.
We weren’t certain of what construction methodology we wanted. We just knew we needed someone who could do the project well. Schmidt Associates provided us options and we interviewed 3 other firms before deciding to use the Schmidt Associates Extended Services.
Would you do it again? Why?
We definitely would. We had someone from Schmidt Associates on-site every day. He was awesome and kept all the sub-contractors in sync and on schedule. Schmidt Associates also had someone come out once a week, Jeff Burnett. We had weekly meetings with Schmidt Associates, the contractors, myself and Gayle, our facilities manager. When there were issues that came up, Schmidt Associates discussed what happened. Our on-site construction administrator from Schmidt Associates was masterful at playing both sides to keep the construction personnel happy, while still holding them accountable. Jeff laid the hammer down. It was a good process.
If you have a design/build company that’s all one firm. They don’t have the critical third eye looking at the project. They are trying to cover their own tracks. Having the independent oversight was good.
One of the best things we did was having a firm out of Fort Wayne come in and evaluate everything that was done. This helped with the building envelope. It wasn’t cheap to do that, but it was well worth the money.
What was your experience like?
Overall it was very good with Schmidt Associates. Our project bid and was built during a very competitive bid time. We had limited options because construction workforces were spread thin. This made it even more critical to have the Schmidt Associates Extended Services there to keep an eye on things.