General Seminary trustees advance redevelopment project with national church

February 8, 2002

At their February 4 meeting in New York City, trustees of the General Theological Seminary (GTS) unanimously approved a 14-page Memorandum of Intent on the proposed relocation of the national offices of the Episcopal Church to the seminary campus and the creation of a new conference and education center on the site.

Presented by GTS's three representatives on the six-member joint committee that prepared the document, the memorandum spells out a series of five major phases and decision points leading from preliminary space allocations and budget creation, through obtaining governmental approvals and the development of an ownership structure, to the execution of definitive agreements and subsequent design and construction phases, leading to final occupancy -- tentatively projected for 2006 or 2007. In an afternoon session, the GTS trustees moved paragraph by paragraph through the memorandum.

The church's Executive Council will now consider the memorandum at its February 22-25 meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Present for the meeting of the GTS trustees were Patricia C. Mordecai, assistant to the presiding bishop for administration at the Episcopal Church Center and vice president of the Executive Council, and Ralph O'Hara, treasurer of the Episcopal Church. They answered questions and clarified details concerning the on-going discussions of the project, acknowledging that there were many items still to be resolved.

'In the next few months, the financial implications will become much clearer,' said Mordecai, 'and we will be in a better position to determine whether this will work for both parties.' She pointed out that the purpose of the Memorandum of Intent is 'to provide the framework and structure by which both parties can move toward a final agreement about the legal, financial and governance issues.'