All flooring except the main hall would be completed in the next two weeks. The main hall cannot be completed since the elevator parts are stored there. Once the elevator is installed, laying down the padding and the carpet would be a matter of days.
Bathrooms will also be completed in the next two weeks. Fixtures are being installed. Bathroom tiling is done.
With the above completed, the building would be ready except for the Power Supply from Austin Energy. The main issue on their end was the unavailability of electrical poles. Very recently, they started allowing customers to procure their own poles. We went ahead and procured the poles after an exhaustive search. The poles have been approved by AE. I am hopeful that within the next few weeks we should see progress on this front.
Once we have Power, we will proceed with installing the Elevator – which cannot be installed unless we have Power – and final approvals from the city.
History of Center
Islamic Ahlul Bayt association was formed in 1997 – the only Ithna Ash’ari organization in Austin. Austin is a vibrant and growing city in central Texas; it almost always makes the list of most livable cities in the USA. It is the state Capital. The community is multi-ethnic representing many cultures and languages. English is the official medium of communication. We have been at the current location since 2002; it is an old church building on a 4.1 acre lot. About 450 members attend the center. Sheikh Jafar Muhibullah is the Resident Scholar at the center. He is a native of North Carolina with 16 years of study at Medina-New York Howza and Qum; MA Islamic Studies from Duke University and PhD in Arabic Literature at University of Tehran.
Our programs include active youth participation; Friday congregational prayers; Saturday youth and adult education; Saturday evening program of lectures and dinner; Thursday evening Salaat, Qur’an recitation, Dua’a Kumayl and Ziyarat Waritha. We observe Wilaadat and Shahadat of Masumeen. We have busy months of Ramadan, Muharram and Safar. We invite guest speakers of national and international repute. We also have regular inter-faith and da’wah activities.
There are more than 90 students between the ages of 5 and 15. There is an all-volunteer faculty of 31 teachers with a Principal and Vice Principal. The grades range from KG to 8th for Islamic Studies and Basic to Advanced for Qur’an. Arabic language classes are also offered.
Need for New Building
The community has outgrown the current space that consists of one main hall shared by both genders with a temporary partition, a library and an office. Saturday School has severe shortage of classrooms with multiple classes sharing the space. There is no indoor dining and very limited sports facilities for the youth.
Building Construction Project
Ground was broken for site work on 18th January 2014 on the blessed birthday of the Prophet (pbuh). Parking lot, utility lines, drainage pond and landscaping were completed in November 2014 at a cost of US$850,000. The plan is to build a new two story 12,600 sq ft building with 10 classrooms, main prayer hall, a library, offices and wudu and toilet facilities.
The construction on the building started on 16th Feb 2020 (please see building updates …).
The estimated building construction cost is $2.9M. This cost includes other parts of the Master Plan — dinning facilities, play grounds for the children, and upgrade of the kitchen.
The following inspections have been done and approved:
Inspections for Civil Work
Civil Work: City of Austin Approvals:
Fire Hydrant tested and approved
Riser tested and approved
Sewage Tap tested and approved
Water Tap tested and approved
Waterline inspected approved
Sewage line inspected and approved
Street cut and pour inspected and approved
Fire line checked and approved
Plumbing rough inspected and approved
Civil Work: LandDev approvals (Consultant that worked on our Civil plan)
2” new water tap and line designed by LandDev and approved by the City
Plumbing rough inspected
New building height approved by LandDev
Complete civil work inspected by LandDev — Issued the Concurrence Letter for the City of Austin
Approvals and Inspections for Foundation and Piers
Paramount Engineering (IABA Structural Engg Firm):
Approved the Concrete mix
Concrete delivered by Austin Readymix
City of Austin Inspections:
Framing inspected and passed
Plumbing rough inspected and passed
Rebar inspected for both the pier and the foundation
GeoScience Inspections (Third party inspector hired by IABA):
Initial Soil Test report on 4/14/2020
Dirt compaction Soil Test report on 7/14/2020
Pre-pour Pier inspection –
Pre-pour Foundation inspection:
After pour Pier strength test
After pour Foundation strength test
Inspections Moving Forward
Inspections would be done as required and as IABA deems necessary. However, currently we are planning on the following:
Architect’s visits every month
Paramount Engineering to review structural integrity of the building
Electric rough, Electric ceiling, Electric final