2020 has been filled with a lot of things! We approved the updated schematic design at the January 26th Annual Meeting. Major changes include: including how we want to do fire suppression (not in original design), staying within the current Fellowship Hall footprint (still adding flex space, but saying a lot on cost by simply rethinking how we do the kitchen).
In February, we receive the cost estimate from the Builder and numbers were high, yet part of the process is always to go back and get more details on the numbers. So, a meeting was scheduled for mid-March when the COVID-19 shut-down impacted everyone. Not being able to gather in-person, which was highly preferred as were talking about designs and and needed to lay things out, the committee paused the project until a later time, as well as wanting to see how COVID-19 would impact our BtB Campaign giving, which would then impact what we could do for our building project.
In April, Catherine Hicks began a team to start looking at how we want to update our signage on our building and across our campus to better communicate to the community and to those who enter our facilities. Catherine stepped down from the committee in May due to wanting to redirect her energies elsewhere. We thank her for her always creative perspective in helping us develop and fine tune our design. She has a gift for flow and how people use space. Thank you Catherine! The committee recommended to council, who approved, that Janette Clausen take Catherine’s place on the Building Committee. Janette brings her years of experience on council in interacting with the Building Committee since it was formed, including her role as council president in 2019. Welcome to the team Janette!
The team met in May to plan next steps on engaging the Building on cost estimates, but also a conversation was had around if our project needs to be adapted to be best prepared for a future world where physical distancing is more a concern. The reality is that this current pandemic will pass, but there will be others in the future, so how do we develop space that can easily be adapted for when close gatherings are possible, and when physical distancing is desired. We talked a lot about how the project could be broken into pieces, to possible be open to doing something now we were not able to anticipate when the project design began in 2017.
On June 17, the team met with the architect and believe the current design for the Fellowship Hall and Portico upgrades accomplish what we would like for close and distance gathering. The next step is to meet with the Builder to go over cost estimate numbers. The architect also noted how we can “rough in” certain things, like fire suppression, so that we are prepared for next phases of building if need be without having to dig up previous new construction. The team also believe there are questions about larger facility needing resolution since ministries will be moved with this project. It was suggested to recommend to council that we might want to consider a parallel team to develop a basic master plan for our facilities with our congregational vision, pursue statement, and forward-thinking in mind.