On May 19, 2019, a Congregational Meeting was held to provide an update on our Capital Campaign, including our solar project. The Capital Campaign Project Management Team (Katharine Frase, Ellen Miles, Vinny Wallace, Matt Hagar, Randy Pratt, Kevin McAuliffe, Jim Gerth and the pastors) provide coordination of budgets and timelines across the projects that each Commission leads for the Campaign.
The meeting began with prayer, and a reflection on the goals of the Campaign: through a combination of physical plant maintenance and upgrades, to enhance our current state and to future enable growth in our worship and ministries. The footprint of our existing buildings will be maintained. We will achieve our goals through better efficiency, consolidating activities and dedicating space to those activities. Our overarching goal of Radical Hospitality will infuse all that we do, including accessibility for all ages.
Our objectives include
- WORSHIP: enhancing worship through technology, improved storage and the (re)creation of a chapel/prayer room
- EDUCATION & OUTREACH: consolidation of church school, improve our youth group space, creation of larger classrooms for adult education and community groups; consolidation of pantry functions
- FELLOWSHIP: upgrading the kitchen for safety, creating a welcome center, enhancing the office entrance to be accessible and welcoming
- HOSPITALITY: bolstering our physical infrastructure with better heating, cooling and energy systems, as well as finding a sustainable management strategy for our historic sanctuary.
While the plans are not yet firm, a sketch of rearrangements within the CE building was shared. On the west corridor, repurposing the preschool rooms to pantry storage, an accessible bathroom, and a larger adult education classroom (used 2 days a month for pantry distribution), with the rest of that wing to be the primary Sunday School corridor. On the east corridor, the movement of walls and storage to enable a larger classroom, a dedicated music room and a “board room,” and the creation of a garden-facing prayer room and a cozy fireplace library from the existing library-lounge. Other projects, such as re-imagining the playground space and redesigning the kitchen, have not yet begun.
The first projects this summer will be the replacement of the CE building roof and the construction of a new office entrance, mimicking the preschool entrance in appearance and accessibility. Once the roof is complete, solar panel installation can begin. We also hope to move a few walls this summer to start enabling the other objectives above.
Through partnership with the solar installation company and with support from the Presbytery, we have been able to take advantage of $40,000 in government credits to reduce the cost of the solar project. To do so requires the solar company to own the panels for 5 years; we will be taking a $99,500 loan to enable us to lock in this arrangement now but to pay for the panels when we take ownership. The 2% interest rate will incur interest payments of $10,000 over the 5 years; an overall $30,000 savings.
The congregation has been generous both in its pledging and giving to date. The campaign pledge total stands at $834,706 with $324,353 in hand. This generosity is enabling us to move faster, as we are committed to scheduling work based on our ability to pay the bills.
It is also enabling us to take a strategic look at our beloved sanctuary. The original plan was to “paint the exterior” as we have been doing every 5 years (or more frequently, as the paint is degrading faster now than in the past). However, we are acutely aware of the problem of moisture within the building and particularly in its cellar, and the effect that moisture is probably having on every other aspect of the building. Through the campaign, we are able to engage with historic building experts to get advice on a sustainable strategy, which may include not only paint, but siding, drainage, heating and other aspects of the building.
The CPMT is grateful for the support of the congregation, and requests your ongoing prayers, feedback and fulfillment of pledges to guide us on this journey.