The United Irish Cultural Center in 2017 – Seeking $1,000,000 Now for Phase One of Facility Improvements
“It takes the same effort to think small than to think big. But to think big frees you from the insignificant details.”
—Jorge Paulo Lemann
We are in our best financial shape in more than five years and we have over 1,200 paying members who believe in the long-term future of the Irish Center. Behind the scenes, your Board has been thinking, planning and considering ways to demonstrate progress toward sustainability and greater financial success for the Center NOW, with the goal of attracting deeper engagement from our broader Irish community in the very near future. Your tax deductible contributions today will be most appreciated! While we have modest reserves, we are very dependent on donations to succeed in making the necessary improvements to increase our banquet and restaurant business and to increase Center profitability. We’ve also been assured we can qualify for a $1,000,000 line of credit, but we are looking at this option as a last resort.
- Vision – Multiple Committees met in mid-June for a Special Committee Night led by Anne Cassidy Carew, and we created an outline for a longer term strategic plan. We are pleased to report that we had exceptional participation at Committee night, and we are on the way to making progress in each area. We will tell you more about each of these Committees and the outstanding members very soon. We are fortunate to have a talented and committed group of volunteers!
- Researching Options for Future Facility Expansion – We were fortunate to listen to the vision of Dan Kowalski, a highly regarded San Francisco interior designer with extensive restaurant and community center experience, and owner of Flipp Design (www.flippsf.com ). Dan brought us some wonderful and realistic ideas that will be financially achievable now and for the longer term. The members who were present were delighted by his presentation, which will help us focus on the items that might give us the most benefits for the dollars expended (or, bang for the buck!). We will engage Dan for some short-term planning now for the banquet and restaurant, and further develop our plans for longer term expansion of the overall facilities. Dan will also assist us with creation of a set of design / mood / color boards (or Presentation Boards) created per room. One for the facade of the building, one for the banquet hall (service bar areas will be inset), one for the restaurant / bar, one for the library and the office / conference rooms. These will be output onto large size Presentation Boards where Members can see them while visiting the Center. In the Mood Boards he will include floor plans with annotations and these will be prominently displayed.
- Immediate Facility Enhancements – We will spend money to make more money! We plan to make immediate interior improvements to enhance the appearance and functionality of the facilities, so that we can attract more business and profits into the Center. Our Building & Facilities Committee, led by Martin Falvey and staff liaison Teresa Moore are receiving quotes for immediate enhancements to the St. Francis Room banquet hall, including ceiling paint (that’s the original paint up there), refinishing of the wood floors, new curtains for the stage and hall, as well as structural and other improvements to the Stage.
- For members with the financial ability to help us now, we will be grateful if you might consider donations for individual projects. Please speak to Martin or Teresa, or any board member for the cost of each part of the project. Estimates for some of the identified projects include:
- Immediate Focus on St. Patrick’s room:
- Floor refinishing – $13,000
- Ceiling paint -$15,000
- Upgrade stage -$21,000
- Replace curtains – $8,000
- New movable room divider (Critical) – $ To be determined (“TBD”)
- New chairs -$ 35,000 (perhaps defer in favor of improving the banquet bars. We are evaluating the options.)
- Lighting – $ TBD
- Banquet bar upgrades – $ TBD (perhaps this should precede the chairs, as noted above in (f.). We are evaluating.
- First Floor Bathrooms – $75,000 to update plumbing and make ADA compliant.
- Main Restaurant & Bar: $ TBD (Substantial)
- Library & Office Space: $ TBD (Substantial)
- Security Cameras & Monitoring Equipment – $18,000
- Expansion of Building – $ TBD (Substantial) – for classrooms and meeting rooms, History & Genealogy Center & an expanded Library, rental space for other Irish organizations, and improved office space.
- Fundraising Plan – We are seeking one million dollars ($1,000,000) now to get renovations underway this summer. As noted above, for members with the financial ability to help us now, we will be grateful if you might consider donations for individual projects. Please speak to Martin or Teresa, or any board member for the cost of each part of the project, and watch for our Mood Boards to see some of the ideas we are considering for our spaces, coming very soon!
- Hire an Executive Director – We’ve talked about this for a while and the time has arrived! The search is underway and is being led by Patty Hayes, with assistance from our fabulous Hiring Committee. We will be interviewing some amazing candidates in mid-July. This position will report to the Board and have full oversight over the operations of the UICC. This individual is expected to provide leadership and expertise in bringing our entire team together to build a long-term and successful Business and Fundraising Plan to secure the Center’s future.
Michael Barnacle & Board of Directors