I thought it was about time for an update on this, I don't think its really been discussed since they moved out to the temp org, and now we have some more data and a clearer idea of whats going on. Also I really need to write down some stuff and gather my thoughts before I forget it all.
As you probably know, the Org at 201 Castlereagh st closed down and they moved into their new (temporary) building at 4 Hercules st Surry Hills around June.
Scientology has leased the building for a year in 2x6 month blocks for $390,000 (2022 sqm gross floorspace). This lease expires on the 14th of July, 2010.
Here is a pic for reference:
Now whilst at the protest on Saturday I noticed this big sign on the side of the building:
The building is being sold off for when Scientology leaves, and actually its already been sold before the auction. There's already some approved DA's for it, and its probably going to be turned into this commercial/retail thing:
Also after a little digging online I found some pics of the current interior of the org that may be of interest :
You can find floor plans, site surveys and more at these.
Anyway getting back on track to the Ideal org, what interested me about the sale and the data I found online about it was that Scientology now has a firm (?) deadline to be out of the building of the 14th of July 2010.
Of course the problem with this is that Scientology wont have a home then!
Quick history lesson on the state of Scientology's DA for the Ideal Org:
The final submission of the upgrade was lodged in November last year, after much revision and debate it was approved in June 2009.
Whats happened since then?
In fact in August they filed for a deferred commencement following even more revisions to the plan! They don't even have a construction permit yet, and as of Saturday when I walked past it the building is completely empty, boarded up and untouched. (save for the doors being covered with dianetics seminar posters)
Here is a pic:
Now I'm no civil engineer, but I think the chance of completing their proposed upgrades (and they are quite major) in 10 months seems a pretty improbable task. I think they are going to try and throw even more money at it to try and expedite it, but I just don't see it happening in time. Plus I don't think they have the money to complete the upgrade anyway. According to my estimates from donation lists they have about $5Million in donations. I imagine they have been regging super hard in the last 6 months so you can probably bump that up another million. Still far short of the $12Mil needed, wheres the rest going to come from I wonder?
IAS going to bail them out? I doubt it very much, I've never seen Sydney listed as a 'IAS sponsored ideal org' in any publications, in fact I've hardly ever seen Sydney mentioned at all!
Also whilst at the protest I managed to snag a few pics of just what their upgrade is going to look like. They had some displays up in their foyer showing computer renders of what its supposedly going to look like.
Note the quality of these pics are pretty poor as I was shooting through glass from a distance (obviously they wont let me in to take pics). I'm pretty sure this is the first time these have been seen on the net though so its probably worth it.
This is the Cafe
This looks like a courseroom
Reception area (cut off) and the display stands on the first floor (front groups etc)
This is their proposed exterior, if you're familiar with the current building you will know this is a fairly major face-lift. Actually I'm pretty sure most of this is NOT going to happen given the conditions of the DA and 201 being heritage listed. (one note: the tree outside has to stay and their awning can't interfere with it! )
The LRH office, lol
The Chapel, ughh
Not sure about this one
An auditing room
Note this is pretty standard fair for Ideal Orgs, like most of the other Ideal's or major renovations around the world its just pretty computer graphics that DM is pumping out. Quite interesting none the less.
As you can see from the pics its a pretty major overhaul (and at a cost of $12 mil remember) and like most Scientology building projects its not going to get done in time.
Only in this case Scientology is pretty screwed because they cant stay longer in the temp Org!
For reference heres what a previous concept of the exterior looked like:
The green glass house thing on the top has since been scaled down to 2.5 floors.
I also found this weird flyer with a rendering of the ideal, not sure when or where it came from, but its definitely from quite a while back.
Anyway this thread is getting pretty long and rambling, I think I've summed up most of the important new data here so now I will let others speculate on whats going to happen with the Ideal (and Scientology when their lease runs out!)
I think the next year is going to be very interesting for Scientology in Sydney