New Futuristic Vision by the KSIMC Youth
Our community youth have come up with a new initiative for the Al Abbas Project.
Their smart idea is to save cost & time. And the vision is to build for the future by utilizing the assets of the community in a smart way instead of knocking them down.
The idea is to refurbish the present imambara and connect it to a new multi-functional center which will be built at the Prospect Place car park site. The car park will be on the ground floor and the multi-functional center will be on the first floor.
The community will save millions. The plan will also increase space drastically; more than the present plan. It will also have modern facilities for senior citizens, children and the youth.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO SIGN THIS PETITION AND YOU DON'T NEED TO USE YOUR REAL NAME IF YOU DON'T WANT TO.
THE MULTI-FUNCTIONAL CENTER
This will serve as an imambara when needed but will be designed for multi-functional activities like sports, conferences, banqueting etc. This way we will be able to meet both our religious needs plus social needs; and we will be able to generate funds by hiring the banqueting facility.
The new multi-functional building will:
i. Provide a larger overflow or alternative Imambargah during the busy periods such as the Holy months of Muharram and Ramadhan
ii. Act as an indoor sports hall for commonly played sports within the community, giving support to the social development of the youth and wider community;
iii. Give the community conference facilities to support the work of the EC and its subcommittees, and to allow these facilities to be hired in-order to generate income;
iv. Make available good quality banqueting facilities for community members to hire;
v. Give the community a gymnasium and fitness studio contributing to the wellbeing of our members.
The Refurbished Imambara
The alternative project to focus on investing in the existing Imambargah and mosque by clearing the backlog of maintenance issues resulting from years of under-investment in the upkeep and modernisation of the buildings. As such, this investment would be an opportunity to address longstanding issues, such as:
i. The electrics, plumbing, heating, air-con and AV facilities;
ii. The kitchen, washroom and wudhoo facilities;
iii.Providing improved facilities for elderly, disabled and parents with young children;
iv. Updating the Imambargah and mosque to make them fully Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant to meet the needs of the elderly and vulnerable;
v. Re-configuring the internal layout of the imambargah, using the space on the existing 2nd floor to provide overflow halls.
If we continue with the present plan we will end up knocking our assets and then rebuilding them for millions within the same perimeter.
In the next phase we will only increase the space for 800 sitting at the cost of £5 million. This is £6.200 per sitting space. Normally the cost of one sitting space is between £700 - £1500.
The money we will generate through the multi-functional center can be used for maintenance which will mean we do not have to increase the membership fees nor keep sending a begging bowl around every time we have a major function.
At present there is no clear or credible maintenance strategy for the Al Abbas project which means that there is a high chance that membership fee will increase.
It is agreed that the redevelopment and modernization of the current Imambargah and mosque is a priority, but a complete redevelopment is not cost-effective and does not seem necessary at the moment. Instead, focusing on the development and implementation of a modern strategy partnered with investment in erecting a Multipurpose Hall will invigorate the community through all the functions it can cater for.
Construction work has already started with the Ghusl Kafan facility and so the window of opportunity to rethink and reshape the current plans to make them better align to the needs of the community is closing fast.
The potential of the Multipurpose Hall to generate income also means that the whole proposal offers better value for money. Currently members of the community spend approximately £40-50K per year in hiring external sports venues, not to mention the cost of hiring marquees during busy periods. Furthermore, the current proposal costs in excess of £9m; the majority of which is unfunded and relies on community support, which is dwindling. Early investigations have shown that this alternative project could be delivered at a cost of around £4-5m and can be completed in 3 years.
The success of MAMT 2019 highlights the impact of sport and social activities to increase engagement of the community on its wider issues. Members of all ages took part in MAMT and as a result built stronger relationships with friends and family - relationships that will no doubt encourage our youth to proactively come together and work on noble projects, perhaps even leading the community to a brighter future.
This alternative proposal is not about simply investing in sport. It’s about making smarter use of what we have, and investing in sport to increase engagement in the spiritual and religious aspects of KSIMC Birmingham in a manner that provides better value for money. This project has the potential to unite the community, meet all the objectives that were originally planned and create a modern, updated facility at KSIMC Birmingham with appropriate amenities to generate income and meet the needs of the community from the cradle to the grave.
Request for General Meeting
As stated earlier, the motivation behind this alternative proposal is not to antagonize or undermine any individual or group. We need to work with respect for each other and for the work already achieved. But we need to be careful about how we take our community forward without having any blind avenues or being tied to short term & faulty objectives.
To this end, we will be circulating details of a request for a general meeting that will be put forward to the EC and the community as a whole asking them to meet, discuss and seriously consider this proposal as a credible alternative. We are asking members to show their support by signing that request so that we don’t miss this opportunity to come together under a single purpose and engage the whole community in a project that provides better value and is fundamental to our future.