Elders seek alternatives on building project
By Steve Mineart & Mike Broerman, Elders
As was presented to the congregation on Sunday, October 16, the Elders have decided not to proceed with the Northeast addition plans which were presented at the beginning of our Capital campaign last fall. After further study and conferring with several contractors, it was determined the design could not be altered sufficiently to reduce costs to nearer the amount originally estimated and pledged.
To update you financially, the latest bid of $1.3 million was received from Henning Paric Construction. This amount was still substantially in excess of the $910,000 architect estimate when we sought the congregation’s support, but was less than the initial bidding response of $1.5 million. We discussed the pledged amount of $606,505 and the balance remaining, if we proceeded. While we believe the project was doable and the funds could have been given by the congregation over an extended period, we felt the cost of the project and the financial undertaking was more than the benefit to be received, and we did not desire to hamper other ministry opportunities.
If you made a pledge and question whether to proceed, we would leave that in your discretion. The intended project that was voted on will change in some aspect. It is our intention to move forward, but we are uncertain what the end project will look like and the anticipated cost. We hope that you continue to support the concept and the needs we have outlined, without knowing the final result. As of October 30, the building fund has $368,135.20.
In the meantime, alternative designs will be explored. We will continue to seek a cost-effective way to meet the needs and objectives originally identified: improving access to the existing basements, moving childcare spaces to the ground floor, and providing additional space for Sunday School, Awana, and other activities. This could include building a multipurpose structure on the southeast corner of the property. One contractor recommended building an addition onto the west of the building. We will be considering all alternatives. There also remain non-negotiable site improvements to meet city requirements for parking spaces, set-backs and permeability for rainwater.
We welcome your comments and covet your prayers. This was not an easy decision, and we appreciate all the hard work, effort and planning that has gone into this project by many different people. However, the board felt that we can accomplish something similar – probably not as nice, but still usable and functional – at a lesser cost. As the Elders, Building and Property Team, and others involved continue to pursue this project, we continue to be thankful for the faithful giving toward these improvements, and continue to need your prayers for God’s leading.