||Filipino Cultural Center Expansion a "GO"
by Tambuli Staff
July 23, 2010 is a historic moment in the Filipino Association's history. The membership overwhelmingly approved the FCC expansion plans by a 3:1 ratio after the votes were tallied, with a record attendance of 52 members at the meeting.
The Board of Directors presented a comprehensive report of the feasibility study that included:
A. a historical review of the cultural center from its inception as an idea to the several steps through more than 25 years of planning, fundraising and implementation of several town hall meetings and strategic planning, presented by Lillian Pardo, Chair of the Board of Directors. Paralleled with the historical milestones is the correlation of the organization's profile, vis-a-vis stages of an organization's development, as well as the nature of membership profiles as it pertains to a composition of its members.
B. a detailed financial feasibility report by Adela Tan, Chair of the Finance Committee, that identified several scenarios that will enable the Association to finance the project; a 15-year projection of income and expenses, an anticipated increase in cost if construction and expansion is deferred for later years; and an assessment of the success factors that will enable the Association to fulfill and meet its financial goals.
C. Ping Bayani, FCC Executive Director, presented the architectural design and elements of the expansion that will provide much needed additional meeting room space, storage, a permanent cultural exhibit space, offices to include a library/conference room, an enhanced vestibule and foyer that will incorporate elements of Philippine architecture, and improvements to the existing building — new look on the floors, repainting, and upkeep to blend with the new parts of the expansion. Additional improvement in the kitchen will be done to install a functional hood/vent. An upgraded security system is also part of the plan.
After the presentations, a question and answer period ensued as members presented their opinions and points of view. This was followed by an interactive session that tabulated the pro and con positions of a "GO" decision (i.e., to proceed with the expansion plans as had been discussed and presented to the members for a number of years, but more importantly, noted in 1996 as Phase 2 of the FCC).
There were 18 listed reasons for the PRO position, which included:
pride, cheaper, doable, storage, more space, more simultaneous activities, community exposure, increased membership, increased donations, iconic structure — not a warehouse look, youth excitement, timing is right for the financial and labor market, lower interest rate and construction, legacy for the next generation, and
bandwagon effect for donors if expansion proceeds.
Of the CON position, some of the 10 reasons mentioned were:
fear of cost and inability to pay loan, increased expenses, fewer donors if no activity or action, relax, less membership fighting, and other priorities, such as improvement of the Philippine House.
Overall there was a healthy discussion, and after the votes were counted, the motion to proceed with the expansion passed. After that motion passed, the second motion was the amount of bank loan that the Association was willing to incur. This second motion also passed, allowing the Board to negotiate a bank loan with a range of $360,000-400,000 depending on the total construction and project costs.
The meeting went past 10 PM, but democracy in action saw no limits. It was a good day and a good night for the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City.
At the beginning of the meeting, Lillian Pardo quoted the following to the assembled to set a mental framework as we were to listen, learn, and ponder on a major decision. It is fitting that this report ends with the following quotes:
"A healthy democracy requires pragmatic people who can find common ground during times of partisan division."
"Leadership requires not merely asserting values but finding a balance when values conflict."