May BSC Building Updates

Boulder Shambhala Center Building Updates

by Eileen Malloy, Director of Operations

First, the raven’s nest has three or four mid-sized raven heads peering out from under our third-floor gable. We should be able to see them starting to fly soon.

The roof replacement project is proceeding apace. We intend to select a contractor by June 8. Then, if all goes according to plan, we will begin work by mid- to late July. The main shrine room is going to be a noisy place for a month or so.

The steel tariffs are said to be increasing our materials prices by 20 to 30 percent, so as we wait for bids to come in, we are examining the scope of work to see where we may need to make adjustments. While the roof is under construction, we would like to complete several related projects besides the roof replacement itself, such as moving the access hatch to a more accessible location on the west side of the roof; installing permanent safety tie-off stanchions; and installing new snow guards to keep snow drifts from falling onto pedestrians and cars below. In addition, one of the tser-togs (steeples) has a worn spot in its gold leafing that needs to be repaired.

Some of these very desirable and necessary improvements may need to be cut if the price of steel puts us over our budgeted expenses. While we are funded 75 percent by the State Historical Fund, this is a $207,977 project, and our 25 percent amounts to a hefty $51,994. Furthermore, any cost savings we find are also split 75/25 with the State Historical Fund, so we need to reduce the scope by a lot to realize significant savings within our side of the budget.

Special thanks to the Boulder practitioners who have added Great Clouds of Blessings to the morning chants, and to Kurukulla practitioners who have been expressing our aspiration for a successful completion.

If you have any questions about the roof project, please do call or stop by and talk to me about it.

Geothermal Heating System for the Boulder Shambhala Center?

Under the guidance and direction of David Takahashi, Jeff Wilzbacher, Suter DuBose, Christine Lincoln, and George Ramsey, we have been examining the feasibility of converting our gas-fired boilers to a geothermal heating system. Some of the challenges we’ve surfaced in our initial walk-throughs are that a geothermal heat system will increase the electric bill by threefold or fourfold. Furthermore, geothermal heat requires us to drill a 200-foot hole somewhere on the property. That’s a very deep hole! While the back parking lot probably has city utility pipes running under it, one engineer stated that the hole might be bored in the boiler room. More investigation is certainly required.

Suter DuBose, who works on sustainable energy development projects, is working on a financing package. His stated goals are: that the building be net carbon zero, that the capital expenses are funded through debt financing and tax equity investment, that we save money month 1, and that our net spending is no more than it is now. Those are very big goals.

Because of the cost of electricity to run a geothermal system, adding a solar system to the roof would be highly desirable in tandem with it. However, the State Historical fund has stated that the solar panels cannot be visible from the street. That greatly restricts the solar array that could be installed. We are working on proposals to see if it’s still financially worthwhile to install a solar system with those constraints.

Eileen Malloy
303-444-0190 x102


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