Building Expansion and Renovation Update
(If this post raises more questions than it gives answers, please contact me so I can speak to the concerns directly. A lot of time has passed, many meetings have taken place and the plans have morphed since we began this journey. Below are two blogs that deal with some of the questions we were asking, receiving and dealing with early on in the process.)
Blogs previously written about Building Up:
I was recently doing some spring cleaning and in my office desk I came across several years worth of documents that tell how we have come to where we are with regard to our Eagle Heights building expansion and renovation. I thought it would be good to update our faith family on what is currently happening, review briefly how we arrived at at this point and describe what we will be getting in the upcoming expansion and renovation.
Where are we in the process? We plan on signing a construction contract as soon as early next week, which means we should begin to see some demo, and eventually construction.
Before giving some details about the upcoming project, it might be good to reflect on how we came to the place that we now find ourselves. Especially since it has been so long since we began this journey.
A BRIEF HISTORY
In 2011 we began working with TriArch Architecture Firm to produce a master plan (I found a plan from TriArch that was dated May 25, 2011). Several months later we began working with our current architect, Nathan Richardson, who did an extensive study of our current facility needs and future needs. Based on the work TriArch had done and his own study, Nathan recommended to the Facilities Team a “phase 1a” plan that would consist of both new and renovated space to make one functional building.
On September 11, 2011, the Facilities Team and the Elders asked the church to affirm two recommendations by vote. The first recommendation was: “Starting the Architect design effort for all of Phase 1a. Moving forward with Phase 1a construction, only as the Lord provides in a debt free effort.” The second recommendation was: “That we move forward with a capital campaign over a three-year period with Horizons Stewardship Company. Horizons will assist us to raise the money needed to build phase 1a and to help our people follow Christ as disciples with their money beyond the three-year campaign.” We voted overwhelmingly to move forward with both recommendations.
We have been working and planning since that time to finish what we started, which included a three year capital campaign that began in March of 2012. Three years later we are technically winding down our three year campaign and thanks to the generosity of many we have exceeded the campaign goal that was pledged.
Having said that, I want to stress that we are not yet done raising money. Our campaign goal of $785,000 was based on pledges made by the people of Eagle Heights in March of 2012. It was never meant to be the amount we thought we would need to do the renovation and expansion that was being recommended. We recently told the church at a Communication Matters Membership Meeting (February 22) that based on estimates from contractors and our architect, we believe we will need to raise at least another $160,000 to finish the plans and furnish what we have proposed to renovate and build.
WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
If you have not completed your pledge, please continue to give. If you have completed your pledge, like my family, and you can continue to give, please do so. If you have never joined us, there is no time like the present. Once we sign the contract, it will be an estimated 275 days before we complete the project. I truly believe God will provide, and it will be through the continued generosity of His people.
A FEW FACTS ABOUT WHAT WE ARE BUILDING
- We will be adding 5,200 square feet to the south end of the existing building. The cost is estimated to be approximately $155 per sq. ft. (I wrongly stated that we were building 5,400 sq. ft. at our February 22nd meeting.)
- We will be renovating approximately 3,200 square feet to synthesize the new space with the existing building. The renovation cost is estimated to be approximately $78 per sq. ft.
- It is helpful to keep in mind that there are many costs associated with any construction or renovation project (building codes, etc.) that may not be immediately apparent. We are learning a lot through this process. For example, because we are expanding our worship gathering space, we are required to add an additional fire sprinkler system in that room. These investments ensure we are providing a safe and sustainable place for our church.
- Why start when we don’t have all the money? A Facilities Team Member who works in the construction business assures me we currently have enough money on hand to get the construction and renovation to a safe and conducive point – not leaving any dangerous or exposed areas. Meaning we can get the expansion in the dry and climate controlled, and hopefully over the next 275 days we can raise the rest of the money to finish what we started together.
- It is important to note we have already renovated the Children’s wing of the building to accommodate the expansion.
WHAT ARE WE GETTING FROM THE EXPANSION AND RENOVATION?
Because we have chosen to add-on to our current facility instead of just building a new building to the west or the south, we will be getting:
- A very functional facility that is easy to navigate. Have you ever been to a church building that obviously has had many additions? We are not building a maze and that is a good thing.
- A more secure children’s area. We hope to move most, if not all, of our children’s ministry to the west side of the building. The area will have a secure check-in area that will restrict unnecessary traffic.
- New welcome and gathering space and new way-finding space. It may not matter to people who are comfortable coming to a crowded building, but people need to be able to enter the building without feeling like they are shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers.
- A cafe area to serve guests and facilitate community, as well as to offer a flexible space for ministry throughout the week.
- New storage space. There will be a space to store the basketball goals and most of the chairs we don’t use. This will help us free up worship gathering space.
- More worship gathering space. Depending on how the chairs are set up, we believe that by de-cluttering the room, we can increase our seating capacity by up to 40%. This may provide us with the opportunity to go back to one worship gathering.
- New entry access. Our current building has one point of entry. The expanded version will have three with a new covered drive on the west side where there will be a new concrete turn-around.
- A new conference room on the east side of the building with a new bathroom across the hall.
- A reconfigured office space.
- A new entrance to the bathrooms.
- A new guest/connection center so people can find information before they go into the worship center. This will be located in the existing welcome area, which will also free up the worship gathering space.
- An updated aesthetic. Not everyone values the looks of a building, but we always want to make a good first impression. Nothings should be offensive but the gospel. Within reason, we don’t want the building to be a barrier for people.
The extra time we have taken to refine the plan to optimize what we have, and to build something we can afford, has worked to our advantage. I believe this current project will get us close to having a building that could be a complete facility for the foreseeable future. We may yet need to add a minimal amount of children’s space, and we would also like to provide a dedicated youth space, but I believe those are much smaller projects compared to our current project.
Thank you for your continued patience and support. Again, if this spurs questions, please feel free to call or set up a time to speak with me. I am eager to speak with you and I will do my best to get you as many answers as possible. May God be glorified as we work together to trust and obey all Jesus commanded.