Common Ground Board Meeting – December 22, 2014 – Minutes

Present: Monique Frasier, Frank Mitchell, Ben Gardner, Mike Doolittle, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Babz Rawls Ivy Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Melissa Spear, Betsy Sneath

Regrets: Claudia Merson, Wendy Battles, Kim Futrell, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright

Minutes: The group reviewed the minutes after some discussion of holiday plans. Ben moved to accept the minutes and Mike was the second. The board approved the minutes.

Business to review: Melissa presented the year’s final obligations. Construction manager at risk agreement ready with returned bids and amounts aligned.   Signing the agreement authorizes the CM to release contract letters to bidders. The contract has been reviewed by our construction lawyer and updated. The next document is the guaranteed maximum price contract (building costs remain in the range unless major change orders are inserted). There is some contingency — 4 and 2 so 6 percent. The RISC foundation loan is deposited, legislation is written, and meetings are pending. The Bensonwood bid returned higher than expected but reduced by $135,000.00 after clarification.

Construction would start in mid to late February depending on snow with work on foundation scheduled for March 1. Ben moved to authorize Melissa’s signature on the CM at risk agreement and Mike was the second. Motion approved.

Chair requested a motion to approve the guaranteed maximum price contract and Ben made the motion. Bob’s was the second voice. Motion passed with the necessary changes for building cost.

The Graustein initiative CEIO (creating effective and inclusive communities) has made an invitation to participate in a 2-4 year program building upon our diversity work. It would include an assessment of organization, capacity building and coaching key staff members with training on diversity. Some of those resources could include policy updates and some curriculum experts or consultants. It will require some board approval and involvement, but it is also fully funded. Invitations have been extended to 3 orgs to work together Planned Parenthood, All Our Kin and Common Ground. The body responded with enthusiasm.

Finance: Melissa presented the numbers and half way through the year we are on track at about 50% budget to actual. Spend rate is usually 50% by December which corresponds to the major state payments for CG.

Program: Rebecca described a terrific Winter Festival with the annual wreath making activity organized by the Parent Leadership team and community programs with the support of Jones Family Farm, Broken Arrow Nursery, and the Parks Department. Hiring for summer camp starts soon and interested candidates should check website.Planning continues on this year’s state conference scheduled for March 20th at Eastern Connecticut State U.

School: Liz presented the highlights that began with the pending holiday break (Dec. 23Jan 5). This holiday break is one year after Javier’s death so there has been some planning around that and to assure that students who need some contact while away can have access to that support. A short remembrance service at the wetlands with Javier’s family is planned along with some other Dec 28 commemoration events. Continuing race-related national news stories resonate with the racial justice and diversity work on campus. All of these efforts will continue when everyone returns from break, ends the semester, and prepares for renewal site visit.

Board Development: Michael reintroduced his nomination for Beth Klingher and Frank was second. The body voted to welcome Beth Klingher as new member.

The meeting adjourned at 6:53.


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