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Cathedral Center Construction Update

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Cathedral Center Construction Update

June 15, 2017 

To Parishes and Friends of the Diocese of Oakland,

This communication is an update regarding the investigation of the design and constructions issues of the Diocesan Cathedral Center. As I reported last fall, the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Bay board of directors approved a plan recommended by our expert consultants for additional testing and inspection of Cathedral Center buildings. Completed in December of 2016, the testing was undertaken as part of our ongoing legal action to ensure that the responsible parties pay for the necessary corrective work.

The testing uncovered underlying conditions in the buildings which help explain why we are experiencing water intrusion, sagging of building floors and issues with doors and cracking drywall. This testing was also witnessed by representatives of the original contractors and sub-contractors, the project architects and the structural engineer, all of whom were able to inspect the same conditions.

The testing and investigation work was at times noisy and inconvenient, and we appreciate the patience of our parishioners, rectory residents and employees who experienced its effects. We were pleased with the professionalism of our consultants and contractor and their efforts to minimize the inconvenience of the testing as much as possible.  We also appreciate the work of our contactor to restore the appearance of our buildings after completion of the testing.

After compiling and analyzing the results of the testing and other available information, our consultants prepared and submitted an updated list of defects in March to the court-appointed special master in our case and to the parties named in our claim. At the request of the special master, our experts and the other parties are preparing additional information to be submitted later this year.

The court-appointed special master is overseeing the development and exchange of information between the parties as previously mentioned.  He has developed an information exchange schedule and has tentatively scheduled a mediation to occur among the parties in late 2017 or early 2018, after the necessary information has been gathered. Since this is a complex case, it is not possible to predict the timeline or outcome of the mediation.   The special master is making sure the case moves along as quickly as possible without sacrificing our rights or the rights of the defendants.

We know this case is taking substantial time to develop, but construction cases generally take more time than other cases because of the extensive testing and evaluation processes that must happen and because a large number of companies were involved in the design and construction process.

The original architect and structural engineer have advised us the Cathedral Center buildings are safe for our employees, visitors and parishioners to occupy.

The B1 level of the parking garage will remain closed for the foreseeable future to limit further deflection of the floor slab and future repair costs. Employee and Event Center parking has been relocated to the adjacent Kaiser Center parking garage. Parking for rectory residents, visitors and Mass participants continues on the B2 level because it rests directly on the building foundation and is therefore not affected by floor slab deflection.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work to address these issues. 

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Very Reverend George Mockel
Vicar General
President of the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Bay