ACCESS FOR ALL
We kicked off our “Access for All” capital campaign in Fall 2011 – and many of us made pledges to be paid through 2014 for four projects at our building. Our goal was $452,000 and easily exceeded that. Work has been completed on two projects and two remain. As with any other renovation project on a building with some age, there are always changes in plans and costs as you proceed.
Great news! All work has been paid for thanks to your campaign donations. THANK YOU!
And we will not proceed with the remaining two projects until an appropriate level of funds are in.
More good news: I’m convinced that the money we spend on these “Access for All” projects will pay great dividends for many years. In addition to making our building more accessible to all, these projects will enable us to SERVE our community more.
The steeple painting and repairs, along with the painting of the church front, was completed first. It was straightforward and easy to estimate. Not only is the steeple a beacon in our community, it provides us great income from the cell towers inside! The other three projects are much more complicated.
With the elevator, we had a plan A, B, C (and I think we about ran out of alphabets). Long story short, it’s in and looks like it’s been there all along! It far exceeded our preliminary estimates, but there was no way to predict that until we started in earnest. How wonderful now that our entire building in fully accessible – including getting to the fellowship hall with no stairs.
The remaining two projects, renovations to the chapel and the kitchen, presented many possible options. Basically, we could take a Band-Aid approach with minimum repairs. But our planning teams decided it’s the wisest investment to do it right to benefit future generations for many years.
We hope to complete the chapel enhancements next, creating a very flexible space for all sorts of events. The chapel was built in 1940, so our needs have changed (including wanting more comfortable seats!). The latest estimate there for construction is not far off the 2011 total. The original estimate did not include seating (cushiony and flexible), furnishings and audio/video, so it now includes the complete package.
After that is completed and paid for, we’ll renovate the kitchen. Our first plan was to put $50,000 toward a few repairs. The hope now is that we can gut the entire 60-year old kitchen and do it right (instead of limited repairs) to bring it to commercial code for the upmost safety and efficiency. The first part of the updates (beverage station, serving counter, etc) were finished while that area was under construction for the elevator. Our kitchen is used to feed a growing youth group (now 70 of them!) on Sunday nights, cook for the homeless, Wednesday night meals and many church and community celebrations.
Since costs have increased, we will need more money than we estimated back in 2011. So we are extending the capital campaign for two years to the end of 2016 give us plenty of time to complete our projects as we raise the additional $375,000.
If you made a pledge in 2011, please review it to gauge your progress. I’m behind on my pledge, so I’m catching up today. Since we have many new members since 2011 and some of us have changes in personal finances, we are asking everyone to make new and updated pledges that will run from July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016. That way, we have a more accurate amount to use in planning. We will not start projects until we know we have the money!
Want to learn more?
You can help in many ways. As I mentioned, making renovations to a 60-year old building has many challenges (ask anyone that helped with the elevator!). We are so lucky to have some extremely bright and talented members (except for Bill Ingold) that volunteer many hours to research, plan and supervise this work. This is complicated stuff and thank goodness I don’t have to understand it all. In addition to saving the church thousands of dollars, these members make sure the job is done right for our future generations (not just a temporary fix). So please thank these volunteers, pray for them and don’t be bashful about offering your talents to help us in the planning and completion of these projects to provide Assess for All!