In the past few months, we have been making much progress toward a final design. We have been working on developing the initial Master Planning diagrams into a Schematic Design. This is the first phase of the design process which requires that a lot of questions be asked and answered as we work toward making design concepts into reality. We have just completed this phase. During that time we have visited several other churches, both locally and regionally, which have recently completed significant projects or built entirely new facilities. We have spoken to other pastors and church leaders to understand their lessons learned and how we might apply their experiences.
With the acquisition of the adjacent property we have been able to take advantage of some significant improvements to the overall plan, and have been able modify our building footprint further to the west which will allow us to place the Gathering Space on the West side creating a main entry which is both more prominent and more accessible. Now the Gathering Space is on the same level as the Worship Space without having to traverse a stair. In making this move, we have flipped the Worship space and corridor as well as the support spaces allowing for direction circulation between the existing building and the new, and a better circulation throughout the new plan.
Navigating through these changes has brought some challenges to the schedule and budget which we are continuing to work on diligently. As we modify and develop the Phase 1 project scope, which although it has changed from what we initially thought due to budget constraints, it will still focus on the building of a dedicated space of worship. We have had to include some new restrooms in the Phase 1 construction and move the Gathering Space to Phase 2. After some discussion on the cost and placement of the new restrooms, we have determined that we can add some new single use restrooms to the existing building and renovation our existing restrooms to accommodate what is required for Phase 1. Single use restrooms allow for more privacy, and access for those needing assistance. All single use restrooms are also planned to be ADA accessible.
We have made plans to use the second floor as a “kids and youth wing” in creating a Youth Room on the second floor in the new construction and allowing the Activity Room to be the Children’s Gathering Room. The new connection space between the Gym Building and the Education Building will be an Atrium space with a connection stair and elevation reaching all floor levels of our facility. The remainder of the second level will become classrooms for the children’s ministry.
We are anticipating land development approval later this year which will allow us to begin work on the septic system replacement. We are hoping to break ground on construction for Phase 1 in early spring of 2019.
Please continue to pray for God’s guidance in this process and through the continued design and construction phases. We also pray and rely on God’s provision that we would be able to complete the project for A Legacy of Worship Project as planned.