Friday, August 21, 2009

Foyer Renovation and Expansion Project

Back in February I shared with you the 5-year vision plan for Grace Church which included a renovation of our current foyer that included a café expansion. For the past 6 months, the Foyer Renovation/Expansion Committee and our church Elder Board have been working very hard to put together a project that would meet the needs of our growing ministry and prepare us for a future of meeting as many people as possible right where they are and helping to move them to where God wants them to be. We have shared with you already the building concepts and plans of this project and now we are ready to present to you all of the information in anticipation of the congregation approving this project and its funding on Sunday morning, August 30th.

When we first birthed this idea as part of our 5-year vision plan, the goal was to be able to do this foyer renovation and café expansion with cash we would have on hand from paying ourselves since we retired our last mortgage over 3 years ago. Had we stayed with just a renovation of the foyer and the addition of a café, we would have reached that goal. However, as we went through this process we saw other areas of need including updating our HVAC systems; more office space; more parking spaces, etc. We also are being required by the township to do additional items including a sidewalk along Arrowhead Drive and two additional water and sewer EDU’s. It was also decided that for efficiency and anticipated hikes in energy costs, it would be well worth our while to pay more up front for a geothermal heating and air conditioning system. All this resulted in a final price that exceeded our current cash on hand by around 40%. It is the Building Committee and the Elder Board’s conviction that now is the time to accomplish all of this in light of the fact that construction costs will most likely never be as low as now.

As a result, this project calls for us to finance up to $760,000 on a five year note at a rate not to exceed 5.75%. Why finance? Along with the low cost of construction rates, we also are seeing very low interest rates. Because we continue to pay ourselves a portion of the amount of our former mortgage payment, we can pay off this loan in just 5 years using monies that we are already paying ourselves in the budget (perhaps sooner dependent on additional monies coming into the Building Fund). The bottom line is that we can do this entire project and pay for it with the cash we have on hand and monies that are already in our budget. After much prayer, planning and discussion, the Elder Board has unanimously approved bringing this plan to the church for congregational approval believing that this is a very sound plan that will allow us to continue to meet and move people who desperately need to know Jesus.

A packet including a 3-dimmensional drawing of the proposed additions and a 4-page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet was mailed out to the church family this week and sent to those who receive my Pastor’s E-mail Updates. In next week’s blogs I will highlight the main pieces of information from this packet. This Sunday at Grace there will be several opportunities for you to learn more and to have questions answered. As a Building Committee and Elder Board, we are very excited about how God has led us and we look forward to seeing construction beginning as soon as possible to the glory of God!

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