Dear Dharma Friends:
It’s been a busy few weeks for us at Columbus KTC. We’re getting ready to host Lama Dudjom Dorjee in April, and we’ve just learned that Lama Karma Drodhul will be bringing us blessings from Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche in June. We’ll be back serving supper to homeless families at the YWCA Family Shelter in May – and gathering strength for our annual Comfest appearance at the end of June. Meanwhile, our weekly pujas and instructions continue at Congregation Tifereth Israel. So much to be grateful for!
On the “Rebuild KTC” project, we’ve had some developments to share. Here we go!
– Building Surveys. The two building surveys gave the KTC sangha a chance to provide design specifications for our new future KTC home. We know how many rooms we want and need, and how large they should be. And the location survey gave us an idea where we might re-locate if we are unable to rebuild on our current property.
– Reviewing our options. As you know, we have identified three basic option for a future KTC home:
Option 1 – Rebuild on our current lot
Option 2 – Rebuild on a different lot
Option 3 – Buy an existing building and remodel
We’re researching all three options at once, so there’s a lot going on. Here’s what’s happening:
– Option 1: Rebuilding on our current lot. With the help of a pro-bono (no cost) attorney, we are preparing to meet with the East Franklinton Review Board to see if rebuilding on our South Grubb Street lot is possible under city zoning rules. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche urged us to build a larger building, and the sangha survey showed agreement with his suggestion. We’re working with another pro-bono professional, an architect, to develop conceptual drawings for a building that would reflect the size of building suggested by the sangha. Our meeting with the EFRB will tell us whether a larger building on the Grubb Street lot is possible.
Since Option 1 hasn’t been thoroughly researched yet, we won’t need to move on to Option 2 just now.
– Option 3: Buy an existing building and remodel
We’ve met with a commercial realtor in Columbus who has given us a list of properties to view. Over the next few weeks, board members and sangha with building expertise will visit and evaluate the properties.
But there’s even more news – some of it financial!
– GoFundMe. Our online donations have slowed a bit, but we received an unexpected happy donation of $3,555 from KTD to help us reach $65,000 – which will help us pay the demolition bill for the old building. KTD lamas Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen and Lama Lodro Lhamo gave us a combined total of $2,600!
– Namse Bangdzo Bookstore at KTD is giving us 25 new texts for Chenrezig/Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, and Green Tara at no cost. Thank you, Namse Bangdzo!
– We’ve purchased new meditation cushions for the temporary KTC shrine room located in the Lower Social Hall at Congregation Tifereth Israel. They will arrive in a few weeks.
– More meetings ahead: KTC Board members have and will continue to meet with financial advisers at banks and credit unions in the coming weeks to see if a loan is possible. They’ll also meet with experts to learn how to develop a capital fundraising campaign and identify and interview potential building contractors.
That’s the update for today; meanwhile, please keep up your prayers for Columbus KTC. Although Khenpo Rinpoche has told us that “rebuilding the center” is our best prayer, it may be good to recite the Tashi Prayer every day and dedicate it to the center’s re-establishment. We pray to be of benefit to all beings in Columbus and beyond. Karmapa Chenno!
Wishing you all the best,
Your KTC Board
The board greatly appreciates everyone’s input and feedback.