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​​​​​​​​USS PHOENIX (SSN-702) Cold War Monument Foundation

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Meeting Record                                                                                                          29 August 2018

Subject:  USS Phoenix (SSN 702) Cold War Monument  Status/Outlook

Place/Date:  Orcutt- Winslow HQ in Phoenix/27 August 2018, 2-3:30 PM

Attendees:   Saravanan Bala; Ben Gallegos; BJ Pennington; Leroy Trujillo, Carol Culbertson, Pete Lumianski                     

Background/Meeting Purpose:  Over the past eighteen months, Orcutt-Winslow and CORE have offered their services in support of the USS Phoenix (SSN 702) Cold War Monument project involving the City-approved placement of a monument in Steele Indian School Park.   The major deliverables to date include a site mock-up, a site schematic, preliminary renderings, marketing brochures, marketing banners and a comprehensive construction cost estimate.  This meeting was called to assess the current situation, integrate the design and cost elements, and evaluate the next appropriate steps for advancing the project.

Design and Cost-Estimating Efforts:  All agreed that the OW preliminary design/schematic and the associated CORE preliminary cost estimate were compatible and as accurate as they could be for this stage of the project.  It was acknowledged by all that the cost estimate was only good for the time period it was derived and not necessarily accurate for some future time.  Pete inquired about the possibilities of reducing the cost estimates by seeking and receiving discounts and pro bono work from the various vendors involved.  It was noted that was possible, but it was too early in the process to begin that effort.  Leroy noted the CORE cost estimate covered only construction costs, not planning and development costs.  Pete inquired about the  parts movement from Papago to SISP, and how that would be done, given the constraints of the SISP space and the City’s sensitivities about maintaining the park’s integrity.  The discussion led to a series of points regarding crane and transportation parameters, as well as site preparation and welding considerations.  In short, the process seems feasible, but will be complex and require a lot of pre-planning and oversight to safely accomplish. 

Development and Construction Approval Process:  Pete inquired about how best to proceed with the monument’s City approval process.  Saravanan outlined a lengthy and comprehensive series of steps for presenting the preliminary designs and costs to the City for their initial review and comment, an iterative process that could take months of back and forths with the City in terms of reviews, development steps, site testing, permitting and zoning – all of which are required prior to receiving a green light for construction.  Leroy and Saravanan noted the approval adventures leading to a final outcome of this labyrinthine process would not be clear at the outset.  However, it was emphasized by Saravanan that the process needed to be started, and the City’s feedback would help set the course for what challenges and changes might be presented and/or required.  Pete noted that one important next step in the process was to schedule a meeting with Parks Director Inger Erickson for the purpose of updating her on the project’s status, and to ask for her assistance in moving the process forward.  Pete went on to note that the City has wanted to create a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the project development team for many years, and that, in fact, a couple efforts have been made in the past to create a working MOU, with no conclusive results.  Pete mentioned two important points the

City had required in any MOU:  (1) Construction start cannot take place unless and until sufficient monies have been assembled to complete the project; and (2) The project development team would be responsible for funding the out-year monument maintenance costs for some period of time after construction completion (approx 10 years) .   All agreed the development of an MOU is probably inevitable and necessary, but not yet urgently needed.  Saravanan again emphasized that while Inger’s approval is important, her OK would be by no means sufficient in order to initiate or complete the development/approval process.  As a possible help to the effort, Saravanan suggested raising the possibility with the Parks Director of the City to re-classify the monument effort as a “Parks Project”, thus reducing the length, cost and complexity of the development/approval process.  It was decided to attempt to schedule a meeting with Inger sometime in September, and to have representatives from O-W and CORE present. 

Continued O-W and CORE Project Support:  Pete emphasized his appreciation of all the pro bono support received to date from both O-W and CORE, and expressed his desire to have both O-W and CORE let Carol and him know what and when the limits/boundaries are for pro bono efforts.  It seems increasingly clear there’s a large amount of development/approval work in front of project’s construction, an effort which will consume significant work hours.  Saravanan took those comments under advisement.  Also, Pete mentioned that Vispi had offered to split the costs of the brochure and banner production, and the submarine Foundation was more than willing to pitch in once notified of the amount.

Fund-Raising:   It was emphasized by Saravanan that priority attention should now be placed on raising monies for the project.  Pete outlined the current plans of the Monument Foundation’s Steering Committee for fund-raising, and announced that a working group of committee members were scheduled to meet the following day, on Tuesday, 28 August to continue the development of short and long-range fund-raising plans.  Pete also brought up the plan to host an event for a number of prominent community members in the Valley for the purpose of gaining support for the project and gathering leads and ideas for fund-raising.  It was suggested this not be referred to as a “VIP Charrette”, but rather as an informational/social event focused on kick-starting the fund-raising campaign.  Pete inquired whether the O-W spaces could be used for such an event, and it sounded like it might be feasible.  It was suggested a post-workday timeframe be considered, and that it be a catered event.  Pete said he’d continue gathering candidate-invitees for such an event, and that the first two weeks of November might be a target time. 

Miscellaneous:  Pete requested he or Carol be informed of any known “STEM” connections that O-W or CORE might have/become aware of, so the monument project could be somehow associated with the overall STEM Efforts in AZ.  Pete indicated this would enhance the project’s fund-raising initiatives and could also become a solid source of monument support from the Valley’s school systems.  Pete requested that BJ help set up an informational meeting at CORE to update Bill Cox and Todd Steffen about the project.  Following the meeting, Pete and Carol visited with Mike Nandin to discuss the printing and (Foundation) purchase of more monument brochures, using the O-W vendor who printed the first batch.


         Submitted by Pete Lumianski, Director, USS Phoenix (SSN 702) Cold War Monument Foundation