Hello New Lifers!
Here’s another update on our plans for the building. I want to tell you about some of the exciting recent developments!
First of all, we have hired an architect, Todd Philippi, who has been extremely helpful and engaging with our Building Options Team (BOT). You have a chance to meet Todd later this month, and more on that below.
One thing that our interaction with Todd has produced is a new optimism for our original plans for the sanctuary. Just a few months ago we were growing pessimistic on the original idea of removing the drop ceiling and exposing the space above. Concerns included acoustics, insulation and heating costs, as well as the total cost. Todd has encouraged us on these fronts, for instance, noting the improvements in acoustical modeling software. Also, insulation costs should be lower than we expected, given our discovery of an adequate space for insulation within the upper ceiling.
So at this moment three live options for the ceiling remain: removing the ceiling, replacing the ceiling, or fixing/painting the ceiling. But the original plan of removing the ceiling is looking attractive and potentially affordable.
But the area of greatest activity for Todd has been investigating the idea of a new front door at the seam (i.e. where the Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary buildings meet). This new construction would include the new elevator, as well as much needed restrooms, some community gathering space, and it could serve as the primary access to the building Sunday-Saturday. Furthermore, it would allow us to re-purpose the lower lobby, which now serves as the Sunday morning entrance, as well as the upper vestibule above it.
But how much will this cost? Todd’s initial budget projections are encouraging, and we are now engaging a cost estimator (Mowery) to provide realistic estimates. Also, perhaps the biggest wildcard is the cost of addressing our deferred maintenance items. We are continuing to seek estimates for this work, knowing how important it is. We have also prioritized these items, knowing not all are equally important.
Finally, about meeting Todd. We are pleased to announce that Todd will be present for our Continuing the Conversation 7 meeting, on Sunday July 21 at 7 PM. He will provide construction and design reviews of the ideas presented in in the previous blog update (Building Update 2). We would love to have you join us, this is a special opportunity!
I must say my excitement is growing. By the Lord’s providence we should be able to achieve significant improvements in building hospitality and stewardship!
For the Great King,