Hello, St. Peter’s friends,
I have been writing this article from the Building Committee for a while now. I have made no secret of the fact that I don’t necessarily speak a language that includes building terms: value engineering, permeable surface, acronyms that must mean something to someone but I have to ask what they mean. However, my heart is in this project. I have prayed for and about this project since its inception. Typically, when I write this article, I try to add some humor or lightness because otherwise, we get bogged down in information that is often repetitive or boring. But I don’t want to make light of what happens on this committee. These people are committed and wise beyond belief. Several of you have called me in the last few days asking about the project and specifically what we are doing that makes the estimated cost so high. Again, I do not speak construction. I do try to use practical terms and this is what I want you to know. This building was built in 1960. It has been repaired when necessary, but otherwise, nothing of importance has happened. Air conditioning out? We fix it or replace it. Lights don’t work? Same thing. Refrigerator gone? Find the cheapest replacement. After 60 years of that kind of maintenance, there are many things that need to be brought into this century. Electricity, plumbing (including bathrooms), AC, fire alert system, better and safer ways to enter and exit, better and safer ways to park. A few years ago, I had to use a walker for several weeks. I learned very quickly how challenging it is to maneuver the St. Peter’s campus with a handicap. We don’t want it to be that way. We want people to be safe and to be comfortable. Another thing is that besides the building itself, our way of life as a congregation has changed very much in the last 60 years. Not only that, we had a pandemic that changed the way we gather and meet with one another. Believe me when I say that this building remodel will be wonderful. However, this committee has done everything possible to not inflate the cost with any unnecessary luxury. It is basic, but wonderful. You have questions and concerns about a mortgage? So do I. However, I believe in this project. The St. Peter’s council has approved the construction contract and the financial plan. All plans and documents have been submitted to the city for permits and are in the final review process. We have begun to empty the cabinets and closets in the Fellowship hall in readiness for demolition. There is no firm start date as of today.
Keep praying, everyone!