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CCO leader: Construction costs alter capital campaign

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Increasing construction costs are altering a capital campaign for Council of Churches of the Ozarks Inc., but the nonprofit's CEO says the project is on track.

CCO CEO Jaimie Trussell, who spoke this morning for Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know live interview series, said construction price increases mean the nonprofit will need to invest more for its capital campaign that involves a consolidation of services into a former SRC Holdings Corp. building.

"Construction is a new world right now. Someone told me all the crystal balls are broken," Trussell said. "We have no idea what it's going to cost, how long it's going to take. It is a level of uncertainty that we just haven't had before."

Trussell said the campaign goal is still $6.2 million, as announced in October, but more money is needed to cover an emergency shelter for its Safe to Sleep initiative for homeless women.

"If we raise $6.2 [million] with our reserves, we're going to be just fine," she said. "I'll tell you, just between us friends, I'm really shooting for $8 million."

After this morning's interview, CCO spokesperson Philip Herzog said the campaign could stretch to $7 million if needed for the Safe to Sleep shelter. The nonprofit so far has raised nearly $5 million, up from around $3.8 million when the Levell Up campaign was announced two months ago, he added. The capital campaign is named in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Dorsey Levell, who founded CCO and served as its CEO for 30 years.

Ross Construction Group LLC is serving as general contractor for the project designed by Paragon Architecture LLC. CCO plans to move all its services under one roof at 3055 E. Division St., which the nonprofit recently purchased for “under market value” from SRC Holdings, according to past reporting.

Trussell this morning said the completion goal is fall 2022.

"We will do everything we can to make it happen as soon as possible," she said.

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