Construction of the Bunker's Industrial Eats project got underway earlier this year with huge momentum. However, Kevin Hildebrand, Bunker's Executive Director said it feels as though the momentum for the project has hit a brick wall.
When they first started, Hildebrand said they had enough money to comfortably complete the first two phases - but they have come to the end of their finances.
Hildebrand said the situation isn't one where the budget they were given has gone through the roof. He said WBS Construction and all the trades that have been working with them have been phenomenal in helping to keep costs down.
Right now, they have enough money to finish phase one and two. Phase one consists of building the commercial kitchen for the BBQ smokehouse, while phase two includes a lot of wheelchair accessibility features, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, and an elevator lift to get people upstairs.
Through various grants, donations, and fundraising initiatives, Hildebrand said they had brought in around $480,000, which will cover the first two phases.
Phase three work includes finishing up the dining room, and main floor bathrooms.
Hildebrand said phase one and two will probably be completed sometime in mid-January, which is why they now have this deadline to raise the money by the end of December. "We need to have at least a sizable chunk of that $280,000 before I want to commit to WBS and the other tradespeople that, yes, OK, let's move forward. Let's get working on this, and we will be able to pay you."
Going from a place of excitement about their vision and the potential of it, to now having a feeling of having a brick wall between them and their vision is very hard. "The number of kids that are just waiting for this place to open so that they have a place to be, it hurts."
The youth ministry recently broke the news in an online post. Hildebrand said he never thought they would be in a position to make a post like that, saying "hitting send, felt like a gut punch."