Lifting Up Hope For All Capital Campaign
Accessibility to the church building has been brought up numerous times over many years at Hope UCC. For various reasons, the project was never completed. But we feel the time is right. Our little church is thriving with more attending worship, more children attending Christian Education, more community outreach through our Kids’ Summer Sack Lunch Program, and more collaborative events with community groups such as hosting the Hope 4 U Suicide Awareness Walk. We want to share God’s love with all and do more in the community we love so much and this is a fundamental step. The building committee has been researching the possibilities for months with mobility specialists, local builders and then with Lien & Peterson Architects; all recommended a vertical platform lift instead of a ramp or elevator due to space, cost, and quality of life considerations for those using it.
After adding space to house a new accessible restroom (required per building code when add lift), we found that expanding the east side of the building north of the new entrance would be more efficient to do at the same time. With this new space we could address other issues that have been raised numerous times, such as: the need for more space for children’s programming as our God2L group continues to grow, an expanded kitchen to improve serving space and flow, the need for additional friendship hall space for seating capacity on occasion and as we continue our community outreach, and the need to occasionally have a place for the pastor to stay overnight. Given all of these considerations, the recommendation is to realistically build for the present and future.
How Does a Fully Accessible Building Serve God’s People?
Embracing all of God’s people means to see and to welcome everyone. Physical challenges are one barrier to being able to be part of the life of Hope UCC at this time. Here are some of the blessings that come with accessibility:
- Entrance directly off of parking lot at ground level
- Vertical platform lift (will feel like a small elevator) will allow ALL to access EVERY level of the building
- Makes room for flexible seating in part of the sanctuary to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers
- Accessible restroom with shower on sanctuary level
- All people can enter the same door, no singling out of some folks by having a separate entrance for those with mobility issues
Expanded Friendship Hall and Kitchen:
- Room for 3 additional tables, approximately 24 more people
- Additional space off kitchen will provide storage and allow us to better utilize our existing serving space
- Host funerals, weddings, or family events
- Serve fundraising dinners such as the Chili Supper
- Have more room for Children’s God2L classrooms and activities
- The additional space could be rented out for events, thus adding to the church’s income for mission and ministry
Expanded Office Space Will:
- Allow for more than one person to work in the office at a time
- Provide room for a sleeping couch to accommodate a pastor’s occasional overnight need
Expanded Community Event Space Will:
Host community events, accessible to all, giving Cochrane/Buffalo City area people a welcoming space to gather socially (and again, we hope to find that through some rental opportunities income for the church will be increased too):
- Children’s activities such as grandparent/children reading or crafts
- Basic cooking skills night (cook and take home meals)
- Painting (or other arts) classes
- Open mike nights for music and short stories, comedy
- Partner with community groups
- Day care for children or the elderly
- Family night out activities
- Book clubs or crafts groups
- What else could we dream up?!
Why Build Now?
- More and more are having difficulty getting into the building which they have faithfully supported over many years.
- We take advantage of the cost of heavy equipment for excavation by doing it now. It is less expensive per square foot to expand while installing the lift instead of hoping to add on at a later date.
- Building prices increase by about 10% per year per Lien & Peterson Architects.
- Loan interest rates are low and locked through the end of the year. Two rate increases are expected next year, per Alliance Bank.
- We will be able to reach out to all in the community as we continue to “Embrace All People” with our accessible space.
- We have energy and momentum which seems to be God’s action through us in this place at this time.
- As previous generations of generous and faithful members at Hope Church did before us, we can leave our legacy of hope and faithfulness through building what is needed for ministry now and in the future.
What’s Included In This Project?
- New ground level entry on east side just off the parking lot
- Accessible restroom on sanctuary level
- Vertical Platform Lift to allow those with mobility issues to access all levels
- Expanded kitchen, friendship hall, and office with flexible space in the sanctuary (totals about 500 Sq. Ft.)
- Existing entrance off steeple will remain for aesthetic preferences and practical reasons, i.e. processionals or funeral caskets
- Excavate approximately 12’-14’ from east wall of building toward the parking lot. Addition does not go past the sidewalk along parking lot (not losing any parking)
- New ground level entry way (220 Sq. Ft.); from here one could enter the lift OR use the new stairways to reach all areas of the building
- The excavated space would expand: The kitchen toward the parking lot about 12’, adding a new 8’x12’ area; The friendship hall about 14’x 14’ on the east side
- Total new construction is about 900 Sq. Ft.
- All design is in compliance with flood plain code
- Construction plans available for review at end of booklet
When Would This Happen?
The congregation voted in May 2019 to proceed with the project, hiring architects Lien and Peterson and capital campaign consultant Charles Blaisdell, Regional Mission Interpreter with the Church Building and Loan Fund (CBLF) of the United Church of Christ. CBLF has decades of experience helping churches with capital campaigns. The reasonable fees have already been paid or set aside and are not part of the campaign goal.
- We are in the process of obtaining estimates from at least two builders based on the architect’s drawings.
- Under Dr. Blaisdell’s guidance, we are in the process of planning our capital campaign, which includes invitations to congregation members, friends and neighbors, community members, businesses, and foundations to give generously so that Hope UCC may be accessible to all people.
A Celebration Sunday is planned for November 17! The builder would break ground in the spring of 2020, completing the project by autumn of 2020.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments. We are happy to provide more details. Please email us 24/7 or call us to learn more.
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