Conference Board of Trustees proposes acquisition of new office building

June 08, 2015

At its May 21st meeting, the Conference Board of Trustees reviewed options to renovate the current UM Center versus purchasing a neighboring building owned by the Conference Claimants Endowment Board.  The board had begun plans to renovate the UM Center last year with a goal of making the building handicapped accessible and increasing the occupancy of the meeting space.   A building code review revealed fire safety code improvements (such as a second enclosed stairwell) would be necessary if any building permits were required for the renovation.

The UM Center property was purchased in 1994 for approximately $1 million.  The building was remodeled during 1994 in compliance with building code standards.  Since that time the building has been maintained but has not undergone any significant improvements.
A subcommittee of the Board of Trustees spent several months working with architects and conference staff on remodel plans. The subcommittee brought the following three options to the full board:
(1) make improvements to the appearance of the building including new carpet and paint, improvements to the lobby and kitchen areas, and audio/visual upgrades in the meeting rooms. No building permits would be required. The estimated cost would be $300,000;
(2) make the above listed improvements plus make the restrooms handicapped accessible, increase the capacity of the largest meeting room, and make the required fire safety improvements for an estimated cost of $800,000; or
(3) sell the current building and purchase 1350 Halyard Drive. The difference between the purchase price of the new building and the selling price of the old building is estimated to be between $200,000 and $500,000.
The Board voted to pursue the third option. The Conference Claimants Endowment Board and the Board of Trustees came to agreement on purchase terms on June 2nd, contingent on approval by ACS. This legislation will be brought to the floor of the Annual Conference along with other late items and will include a financial impact report from the Council on Finance and Administration.
The proposed building is a one-story handicapped accessible building with a fire sprinkler system and a large meeting space. Nate Meeks, President of the Conference Board of Trustees, and Diane Knudsen, Conference Treasurer, welcome your questions and comments. They can be reached at and