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Interfaith Sanctuary site more expensive than originally pitched, includes expanded plans

A recent redesign of the new Interfaith building significantly added to the costs. About $9 million is raised, leaving about $5 million left in the funding goal.

BOISE, Idaho — After years of planning, work and consideration, the new Interfaith Sanctuary on State Street is ready to roll. KTVB checked in with Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary, Jodi Peterson-Stigers, who has led in that role since 2015.

“We've made it all the way through the appeal processes. We have a demo application that's active, so demo is beginning and then I think we're in the final stages of getting our building permit," Peterson-Stigers said. "I know that our designs were in review still, but moving forward,” 

If you look back to the inception of this project, its gone through a lot of alterations in the last few years.

“Yeah, it's changed a lot. The reason why for Interfaith Sanctuary, to who this project is now being built for, it's gone through a lot of different transformations," Peterson-Stigers said.

So, what's the feeling like now that Interfaith has gone through all the processes, the appeals, the committees, the votes?

“Forward motion is so good," Peterson-Stigers said. "It feels really good to be like, you know, moving to like picking out the wood mills and picking out like, actually really starting to design a special new place where we serve our homeless in a much more dignified and safe way."   

Still, there is a fundraising goal to get the whole site created.

“It's now at $14.5 million. The project goal at the beginning was $2.5 million, and then we saw slightly increase to about $5 million," Peterson-Stigers said. "Then when some of the newer conditions got put on, we saw some adjustments go up to about $8 million.”

Inflation has impacted construction costs, but the conditions the City of Boise has put on the project in order for it to be built is a major factor too. One example, a specialized fence between the building and backdoor neighbors.

“The cost of that is going to be between $280,000 and $330,000. The original fence would have been about $100,000,” Peterson-Stigers said.  

A redesign of the building in recent months significantly added to the costs. About $9 million is raised, leaving about $5 million left in the funding goal. It’s clear the final idea is much different than the original concept years ago. Still, the same small team at Interfaith is pushing through the same.

“I often think that people might imagine that Interfaith Sanctuary is like this big machine and that we have like an office full of fundraisers and quite honestly, there's two people in our admin office. There's my director of administration and there's me,” Peterson-Stigers said.   

Construction and work can begin on the project, 30% of funding is required in the construction account, which Interfaith has. The goal is to raise more as the campaign goes on. Still, there is work to do and Peterson-Stigers said the team is more than happy to take it on.

“These specific conditions and what's being asked if this is the shelter that can be approved, this is the shelter we will build, but it is expensive,” Peterson-Stigers said. “I've learned a lot about our community and really the support is much larger than the opposition, much larger, which is why we're raising funds and we're going to get this thing done, but we're going to need the community to lean in to make it all possible, but it'll get done.”

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