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Property Improvement Project Update (Continued from previous page.)

The loss of the line of trees allows us to create a straight-in, two-lane, two-way driveway leading to a new adequate and well laid out 20-space paved parking lot. This lot can also easily be expanded into the adjacent field with additional paving, or with an area in which a solid layer of crushed stone is properly over lain with sod which would allow for attractive, usable natural space for additional parking when necessary.

In researching the options for our current driveway, we learned that the vast majority of our current driveway lies within the designated 100-year flood plain, making it impossible to provide the drainage that we had originally hoped to construct. As a result there is no realistic and economical way to prevent the ongoing deterioration that we have seen to our pavement over the years. The location of our planned new driveway will additionally allow us to entirely remove the problematic existing driveway and parking areas and turn them into an attractive courtyard space between the main building and the lab as well as landscaped or wetlands areas in the lower sections.

With our new plans, the elaborate drainage we were considering in order to refurbish our existing driveway and parking will not be needed. As a result we can now put that money into constructing a simplified drainage swale/berm/French drain system that will protect the entire lower portion of the property, not just the driveway.

The new wider driveway calls for enlarging the property entrance off the highway to a full two lanes that will lead straight to the new two-lane driveway. This will give a more open welcoming feeling to those coming onto our property as well as have the advantage of creating easier traffic flow and improved safety with both entrance and exit lanes to the highway. This expanded entrance requires replacing the current stream-crossing culvert with one that will be both wide and large enough to also benefit us by better handling runoff. In the event of another major storm it will provide flood protection for our property and buildings, which sit right on the edge of the designated 100-year flood plain.

The planned layout for the driveway and location for parking will in turn require changing the access to our main building. A path will lead from the parking lot to a new attractive entry portico or structure on the southeast (Princeton) side of the building, opposite the existing entry door. We are in the search process for an architect to help us design this innovative transition that will welcome people into our building.

Every element of the planned approach to our facility, from the moment one sees our property and leaves the highway, will give the professional feeling we want to convey about the forward looking, solid, serious nature of the work we do. The wide open entrance will bring visitors, event attendees, students, College members and staff straight up an expansive, two-lane driveway directly to adequate, well laid out parking, and from there lead them up a path to a welcoming new entryway. Such a route into our facility is in great contrast to what we currently have, where our entrance is hard to find from the highway, difficult to negotiate onto the property and gives the feeling that one is driving up to the back door of a farmhouse where parking space is in a haphazard layout not meant for professional purposes.

An additional significant element on our foundational property improvement is that we need to replace our current septic system. It was only a matter of time before we would need to do so, which became clear in the aftermath of super-storm Sandy when uprooted trees partially exposed our system, revealing badly deteriorating pipes. In investigating our options for remedying this problem we learned that in addition to significant expense to repair the current system our septic tank is only a fraction of the size currently required by code. It makes more sense to put the money into a new system and if we ever needed to sell the property, we would have to replace the system anyway. We have decided to do it now, so that we can locate our new system out of the way of our new driveway, parking and building expansion as well as any new buildings we might want to plan long-term.

In addition to facilitating our use of the property, every one of the planned projects is a true improvement that will significantly increase the value of our headquarters.

Improvements to the Interior of Our Home
In 2007 we completed renovations to the interior of our main building, originally to accommodate our public social orgonomy presentations. In the past six+ years they have made a great difference in the functional use of our headquarters for our ongoing training, meetings, and administrative work, which have all been well served by our current space. As we plan new foundational changes to the property we are overdue for some additional interior improvements to make the spaces more attractive and usable to our growing public. Our new activities already bring more new people to our home, and we need to spruce things up with some minor renovations and new furnishings to bring our building up to par with the other property improvements.

Our Local Contacts
Over the course of the project our manager, Jim Wittes, has been developing relationships with a wide range of contractors and vendors in the area. As a result more local people are aware of our existence with the unintended effect of accomplishing the very purpose for the PIP of bringing the ACO more out in the world and in contact with the public. In order to obtain the permits and approvals required for our plans we will need to build a team of local professionals consisting of an engineer, planner and attorney to help us present our case to the Township, and we are currently interviewing land attorneys. We believe we have already found an engineer who is the right fit for us. He is a principal of a small, local, family-run, engineering firm who we originally engaged to complete our surveying. Over the past year as he completed that job we developed a good working relationship and can confidently expand our work with him to fill many of the other engineering needs in our larger plans. His knowledge of and contacts with the Township and local regulatory agencies will also be of great value to us. We had him give us reasonable estimates of our expenses for the various parts of our current plans, which are detailed below with some notes appended to clarify several items. He reported that they represent "worst-case scenario" figures, which we consider a good starting point because we must assume that there will also be unforeseen contingencies and expenses.

ACO Integrated Property Improvement Plan: Expense Estimates

New 25' wide driveway   $14,500
New 20 space parking area:    
Paving $29,500  
Curbing (required by Township) $9,000  
Subtotal for parking   $38,500
New enlarged property entrance    
Stream crossing (new culvert) $32,000  
Stream encroachment permit $20,000*  
Dept. Transport. Permit $6,000  
Subtotal for new property entrance   $58,000
New septic system   $35,000**
Storm water swale/berm   $15,500
Restoration of current driveway and parking   $11,000***
Site plan application to Township   $13,500
New entryway to building (plans and construction)   $50,000****
Installation of new underground 1000 gal. propane tank with removal of existing tanks   $4,600
Burial of utility cables   $4,000
Total property improvements   $244,600

*Our engineer is in the process of researching public records for possible engineering information from our neighbor's application for construction of a new entrance, which if available and usable could reduce this expense by as much $10,000 to 15,000.
** This is $15,000 less than the engineer's original estimate because it reflects only the cost for first stage of a staged construction. The original estimate was based on the system we would need to accommodate a new building large enough to hold 120 people. While such new construction is in our long-range plans, at this time we only need to build a field sufficient for our current uses. If we install the pumps and tank for the potential future expansion now, the field itself can be extended and paid for when needed.
***This area will be converted to wetlands and/or landscaped areas by removing all pavement and current underlayment and replacement with topsoil.
****This is based on the engineer's guideline of $125/square foot for an estimated 20'X20' entry addition that will include enough space for reception as well as storage for event chairs.

The total of $244,600 represents the total we made public for fundraising purposes in our 2013 Summer Appeal and Update. In addition to these items our engineer also estimated $4500 for a crushed stone parking area to create an additional 20 parking spaces that would be used only several times a year. This is not included in the total because it will not be needed until we build a larger meeting space in the future. The engineer also recommended that we keep in mind some other expenses that are too difficult to estimate at this time which include: bonding of public site improvements, application fees, inspection fees and professional fees (attorney, planner, traffic engineer and architect). None of these have been included so far in our fundraising efforts.

Interior Improvements to the ACO Building: Expense Estimates*

Renovations of interior $10,000*  
Furnishings $10,000**  
Total interior improvements and furnishings   $20,000
Grand total for foundational improvements, interior renovations and furnishing   $264,600

*Includes replacement of poorly functioning plumbing and light fixtures, water treatment system, artwork and painting of rooms not done in 2007.
**Includes chairs for the seminar room, boardroom and public event room, TV stand for seminar room and new TV for event room to be used for ACO Movie Night and other presentations.

Funds Currently Available for Property Improvement:
Our last three appeals (2012 Summer, 2012 Holiday and 2013 Storm Preparedness) brought remarkable support for our Property Improvement Project.

To date we have raised a total of $98,000 specifically for the Property Improvement Project (PIP). With this we accomplished an incredible amount in Phase I, spending only ~ $50,000.

Remaining and available from previously raised PIP funds $48,000  
Storm Preparedness funds to be used for the PIP $10,000*  
Donation for "public outreach" that could be served by PIP $50,000  
Total currently available $108,000  
Remaining we need to raise $156,600  

*$22,000 raised for the Storm Preparedness Fund. Of this $10,000 was earmarked for a drainage swale/berm that can serve this same purpose more efficiently and economically in our new PIP plans.

Several Aspects of our New Plan are Underway
With the funds currently available we have already contracted with our engineer to begin the necessary soil and design studies for the septic system. He will also research the public records for information we might use for the stream encroachment permit that will be necessary to design and build the new stream crossing. We also have scheduled appointments to interview various contacts we have obtained for attorneys, planners and architects to begin building our team of professionals.

Our Home Is Working For Us
The whole point of our property improvement project is to have a safe and secure home for our core functions and to develop new activities to accomplish the goal of attracting and making better contact with those people who already have the sense that "there has to be more to life." The project has markedly improved the appearance of our property but more importantly it also has sparked a subtle but unmistakable process in the ACO with profound and far-reaching effects on all of our activities.

The sentiment within the College is now solidly that this is our home and we need to make long-term plans to make it a home worthy of our work. And in a wonderful synergy this excitement has prompted new people to become involved in our ongoing projects. New speakers have come forward for our popular and well-attended Social Orgonomy Presentation Series while others are developing new projects such as ACO Movie Night, which brings in people from varying backgrounds and age groups. More than ever we have a sense that we want our activities to be worthy of our potential.

Our Commitment
The College is committed to improving our property to make it a more suitable home for orgonomy. The Executive Committee has enthusiastically and unanimously endorsed our plans for the major foundational property improvements that are outlined above.

Developing Long Range Goals
With our clear commitment to the property and the pieces falling into place for our improvements we can begin to consider much longer range goals for using the ACO property. With the plans for easier and safer property entrance and egress and more parking that is also expandable, the possibility of holding more and larger events at home on our campus must be considered again. Eventually we will need to build new space to hold up to 120 people if we want to bring our public presentations back home. While we are not in a position to afford that currently, we see this as reasonable 30-year growth goal.

We Need Your Ongoing Help
In order to keep things moving along we need your continued financial support. If you would like to make a donation, you may do so by calling our office or donating securely online. You can also help us by volunteering your expertise, time, energy and materials. If you think you may have a profession, trade or skill or source of materials that can help us, or if you just want to get outdoors and do some good old fashioned yard work, please send us an email or call (732) 821-1144 and join the PIP team today!

Peter A. Crist, M.D., President

August 27, 2013