We have a temporary home!

As of “around” the 19th of May, Steel House (via assistance from an alumnae) will own the house at 503 Taylor. We have until December 9, 2012 to secure a purchaser for the bond issue through Idaho Housing and Finance.

Where does this leave us? Within the last two weeks, we’ve secured another on-campus facility for the next two years. We will be moving to the Delta Chi house, located at the northeast corner of the Administration Building lawn. This home will house up to 34 residents. We move in on August 1st. Fees for the school year are $5,900 (double occupancy). Fees include room AND board for this facility. Only double rooms remain. The Delta Chi cook (whom they love) will stay with us for our two years in their home.

What about the Taylor Street House? The plan is to rent this house to upperclass FEMALE students. Two of the rooms will be doubles ($375 per month) and two will be singles ($450 per month). The lease on this home will be like the on-campus facility with a ten-month contract. It will be furnished and include utilities in the rent. However, residents will be on their own for food unless they wish to purchase a meal plan through the main house.

What’s happening in the future? The hope is to have the bonds purchased before Christmas of 2012 for the Taylor Ave house. The next step is to work with a builder and architect on finalizing the overall building plan, purchase the permits, and then begin construction sometime in early spring of 2014. Residents may live in the house up to the time of construction.

What about summer residents? Summer residents will be housed at the Taylor Avenue facility. We will probably only sign a 10-month lease with Delta Chi for two years. Our new home on Taylor will need to  be completed and ready to move into by the fall of 2014. Until that time, we will have access to two facilities.

Who can live in the two houses? At this time, only the Delta Chi house will count towards the on-campus requirement for freshmen, as the Taylor Ave house will not be set up using the same requirements as other on-campus facilities. Students interested in a larger house (two doors down from the music building) AND freshmen, will be most interested in the Delta Chi house. For residents who want to live on their own but still live on the edge of campus, the Taylor Avenue house is a good option.

Want more information? Contact Del Hungerford at delh@uidaho.edu

Signing a contract: The contracts for living in Delta Chi are on the website. Follow this link to “housing agreement” to upload, fill out, sign, and then send the contract. The Taylor Avenue house contracts must be requested as it will fill up quicker.


Conditional Use Permit Approved!

     After a long meeting with the City of Moscow Board of Adjustments Committee, the application for our project was unanimously approved. The meeting started with the committee reviewing our proposal. They then asked me to come talk about Steel House (which I didn’t know that I was supposed to do). They asked me to describe the floor plan and how Steel House would function. This included a short history of Steel House, were we are living now, and why we want this particular piece of property.
     There were several neighbors there who opposed the project and got up to speak; many with typed statements. It was friendly in nature and after over an hour of testimony, the committee voted on the proposal. They voted to accept the proposal with conditions that we try to save the trees in the back, put a privacy fence across the back of the property, and set the capacity at 28 because of current parking restrictions. Should the University of Idaho provide additional parking spaces off-site, we can go back to the committee to increase the capacity as the need arises.
     One of the committee members pointed out that the only reason there was even a CUP application is because Moscow has a city ordinance that only allows for up to five non-related residents to live in the same house. Because we’re a “cooperative,” we needed to apply for the permit. This committee member said that if someone wanting to develop the property came in, they could put enough apartments on the property to house 40, which would create a bigger impact on the neighborhood. Our proposal, other than a single family dwelling is the best possible scenario for the neighborhood.
     After the meeting, we got to meet all the neighbors. They are long-time Moscow residents who were very friendly and cordial. When they found out that we DO want to save the trees and won’t allow drinking on the premises, among other things, they were much more in favor of our proposal. They asked if they could be included in the design process. We talked about parking issues on Deakin Extension and ways to resolve those. In addition, I suggested that we meet at one of their houses in the future so we can Skype David Eckes as we continue working through the process of outside designs (as needed). There was even talk of a community garden. So, it appears we are off to a good start.
     Over all, it was a good meeting and I feel that the neighbors are willing to work with us. This hurdle being passed, it’s on to securing financing through the bond issue. More on that as I get information…

Applying for local grants!

Steel House will be applying for a grant through The Inland Northwest Community Foundation for the Community Strategies Grant Program. The application will be submitted by January 24th with a decision being made by May, 2012. Funds for this grant could be anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 and would be used for furnishings (commercial kitchen appliances, dishes, desks, chairs, dressers, beds, etc).

Steel House Inc. has a bank account for tax-deductible donations at AmericanWest bank. This separate account is set up for the building fund under the title of “Steel House Building.” We are in the process of raising $100,000 to help cover all costs of furnishing a home. Please pass this information along to any Steel House alumni that you may know. A newsletter will go out soon (and be posted on this blog) with information pertaining to the building project.

As of this week, the grant application will be filed, the architectural site plans have been submitted to the City of Moscow for review at a Board of Adjustments Committee meeting in early February (February 14?), and the process will begin to solidify the general contractor for the project. An offer on the 503 Taylor Street house was submitted and accepted with a proposed closing date of no later than February 29. The bonds should be going up for sale by the end of January with funds being available by the end of February. We hope to break ground by the middle of March.

Next on the agenda: start finalizing the architectural plans with the assistance of the general contractor. Residents, board members, and alumnae will work with the building committee to finalize finishing details needed to prepare for the start of construction.

Continue to invite Women of Steel to join this blog to stay updated with our project. In addition, we can only identify about 25% of our alumni base because former residents have either not kept in contact with the University of Idaho, we have incorrect contact information, or we don’t know people’s married names to even find them in the University of Idaho system. Help us continue to identify our alumni!



Pictures added to the blog Architectural Plans Begin!

Check out the four pictures added to a prior blog–Architectural Plans Begin!

Offer Accepted!

On Wednesday, January 11, an offer was made on the house at 503 Taylor Street. The offer was accepted the next day with a possible closing date of February 29 (or sooner). On Friday, January 13, the “conditional use permit” with the City of Moscow was filed for approval of the proposed building and site sketch. The Board of Adjustments Committee meets on February 7 to approve the proposal.

In the mean time, we await news on when the bonds go up for sale. D.A. Davidson is currently working on assembling all the paperwork and working with “bond counsel” (lawyers who specialize in bond issues) to make sure all the regulations are followed before the bonds go up for sale. Within about two weeks of the sale, funds will be released so the building project can begin.

Dave Eckes will begin the process of interviewing general contractors soon. Residents at Steel House are providing input on what they’d like to see in a new facility. A final set of plans should be complete by the end of February. Once those are ready, we hope to post them on the blog.

Architectural Plans Begin!

Architect Dave & Del taking a break from measuring for lunch

Dave Eckes, architect for the project, came to Moscow for the weekend of January 6 – 8. Every inch of the new facility (located on Taylor Street) was measured so the process of drawing architectural plans can begin. Approximately 3,000 square feet will be added to the current facility so the new Steel House can support up to 30 residents. The overall size of the home upon completion will be around 6,000 square feet.

Over the course of the weekend, a structural engineer, an electrician, a life safety systems specialist, and a commercial kitchen specialist all toured the facility to provide valuable information on how the new home could be designed. It was remodeled in 2003 so much of the existing facility is in good condition. The main floor will remain a living room with three bedrooms but will connect to the dining/kitchen (where garage is currently). A second story will be added above the garage and main floor. The second floor will be living and sleeping areas for the residents. The basement will be remodeled to add a study area, family (TV) room, storage, laundry facilities, and two bedrooms.

By Friday, January 13th, Steel House will apply for a “conditional use permit” with the City of Moscow to allow for parking off-site and for the final approval to use the facility to house 30 residents. The City of Moscow “Board of Adjustments” committee will meet on February 7th to review the application. Although the homes on Taylor Street are set up as R-4 zoning, conditional use permits are still required. Since Steel House doesn’t officially own the building yet, the current owner of the house will apply for the permit.

The bond issue paperwork is being prepared by D.A. Davidson in Coeur d’Alene. By the end of January or early February, the bonds will go up for sale. The funds will then be released to Steel House within approximately two weeks of the sale so the purchase and remodel can begin. The projected start date of construction is the middle of March with a completion date of August 1st. The bond issue amount will be in the neighborhood of $850,000. These funds will include the purchase of the existing building ($190,000) and the remodel/addition. Additional funds of about $100,000 are needed to purchase furnishings and supply the commercial kitchen.

Over the month of January, the building committee will interview potential general contractors who will become part of the process from the final design to completion. The general contractor will work with the building committee to choose all the sub-contractors. Once the general contractor is chosen, final plans will be prepared for approval. Current residents have provided input (and will continue to do so) about what they’d like to see in the new facility.

By the beginning of February, a newsletter will be prepared that will be e-mailed to Steel House alumni concerning the project. Just to be sure that you make this list, please send an e-mail to: bemeloy@clearwire.net for all future newsletters. Please pass the word to any Steel House alumna that might be interested in following our progress. Pictures will soon be added to this blog, too.

For anyone interested in purchasing bonds, please contact Michael King of D.A. Davidson. His number is 208.667.1212

Keep checking back for updates or sign up to recieve e-mails every time this blog is updated.

We are now set up for donations!

Happy Holidays to all!

We are now set up to take donations that will go toward the building project. Remember that all donations (funds or materials) are tax-deductible since Steel House Inc. is a 501c(s) charitable organization. A bank account has been set up at AmericanWest Bank in Moscow, Idaho specifically for the building project. To make a donation, send a check, do an on-line payment through your own checking account or call the bank. The address for mailing checks is:

AmericanWest Bank

ATT. Steel House Building Account

PO Box 8879

Moscow, ID 83843

Our goal is $100,000 to help cover the costs of furnishing a commercial kitchen, dining room furniture, beds, desks, dressers, window treatments, and other supplies we don’t know yet that we need.

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