UPDATES ON OUR PROGRESS:
REGARDING THE BUILDING OF A NEW SANCTUARY:
As a church, we are in a place of uncertainty regarding a new sanctuary. At this time, we are neither ready to go “all in” on raising funds for and building a new sanctuary, nor are we ready to remove the possibility of doing so from our future. We know that several years ago, God called us to embark on a journey to try to build a sanctuary. We also know that God has given us a vision that aims our energy and resources into our communities. This new direction may suggest a future that doesn’t include a traditional sanctuary. It will be important for us to honor what God has called us to several years ago and more recently. In the coming year, we will appoint leaders to our Building Committee who will help us determine what possibilities are available to us. Until then, we have no immediate plans
to either raise funds or begin any building projects.
PARKING LOT PROGRESS
Construction started on August 10 with the front sidewalk. It will be six feet wide and run the length of the property. Once that has been completed, the contractor will start working on the parking lot areas—all of the west side of the property and seven spaces on the south end of the fellowship hall. The project may run to around the end of October, perhaps into November, depending on weather. The parking areas will be all concrete and there will be 16 new trees. Two architectural drawings of the project are posted in the fellowship hall. Expenditures and funding are projected as follows:
Projected Cost of Project $400,000
Building Fund Account Balance: $352,000
Additional collections expected by year-end: $28,000
Texas Methodist Foundation loan: $20,000
TOTAL FUNDING: $400,000
NEW PARKING LOT STATUS
Your Building Committee continues working on the new parking lot project. As part of our responsibility to inform and update the congregation, the time would be ripe in January for one of our periodic Town Hall meetings. Given that the sole topic of a meeting would be this update on the parking lot, the Committee has decided to postpone such a meeting. It is our hope that the following information will suffice.
The project is still moving forward; however, construction of the west side parking lot will have to be deferred until after Easter (April 6). Site plans are being finalized and should be available for submittal to the City of Leander in early January. Several weeks are generally required for the city to process an application for a permit. Once a permit is issued, perhaps about mid-February, requests for construction bids would be the next step. That could take until about mid-to-late March. If everything progresses according to these estimates, construction could commence soon after Easter. We believe 2-3 months will be needed to complete the project.
The Building Stones Capital Campaign has built a foundation; but it will take more to build the walls. Everything we’ve done together through Building Stones has moved us closer to the dream of a new, larger sanctuary. However, it is with optimistic realism that we announce that Building Stones is at a pivotal juncture.
Even though the Church’s giving has been faithful and the building committee has scrubbed the plans for cost savings, the reality is the sanctuary is still a $2.5 million project. While we had hoped that we could break ground before a second capital campaign, we now realize that the second capital campaign is necessary before we can close the funding. This means that the Sanctuary ground-breaking will not occur in 2014. Until that time, there are several smaller phases of construction which can move forward with the cash on hand to cover these construction expenses:
- Pave the back parking lot
- Correct the accessibility requirements including:
* Level the outside deck
* Decrease grade from fellowship hall down the hallway
* Door to deck becomes a window
* Bathroom remodel
What have we learned through this Building Stones Journey?
There was a day not long ago when many didn’t believe we could do very much as a church. Today, God is calling our family of faith to pursue a future that is even brighter than our past or present. Our dreams are lofty because God has given us a sense of purpose and energy that is growing and contagious. We are reminded that, through Christ, we are capable of doing more than many expect. The challenges and obstacles before us should not dampen our sense of purpose and our confidence that our best work as God’s servants is yet to come. But these challenges and obstacles are giving us an unexpected gift: time to pause, and to listen closely again to what God is speaking about who we are and what we are called to do. Some of the details of our future are unknown, but the essence of our calling remains: to grow into a church that is fuller and more mature, more transformative to our community, and more glorifying to God than we’ve yet to dream.
Praise God for how far we’ve come and how much adventure and excitement is before us!
We WELCOME Pastor Ray, his wife Megan and their sons, Asher and Levi to LUMC! During this period of transition, the LUMC Building Committee will still be working behind the scenes, to move forward with the sanctuary/parking lot upgrade projects. We will also bring Pastor Ray up to date on the Building Stones project(s) and look forward to his input and perspective, as together we advance the vision for the future of LUMC.
The architect, the construction company and the civil engineer team, along with the LUMC Building Committee are moving forward as follows this summer:
- We will meet with Lone Star Accessibility, along with our architect, Walter Barrineau, to create a plan of action to ensure that the church remodel construction is up to ADA code requirements and that our new sanctuary design also meets all accessibility requirements.
- Braun and Butler, the construction team, will continue with pricing the construction project. Once this step is complete, we will know how big of a financial challenge we have in front of us and we can start to fully evaluate the options to proceed forward. We need to get firm numbers on where we stand expense wise, so that we can at least drive a stake in the ground.
- Baker Aicklen, our civil engineer team, will continue to work with the City of Leander to review the building and site development plans.
Although progress is slow – we are moving forward!
We thank you for your continued patience, your prayers and your generous financial support for the Building Stones initiatives.
As we are waiting for the civil engineers and architect to finalize plans and permits, the Building Committee would like to thank the congregation for your financial support of the building campaign.
The original amount pledged in January 2013 was $770,600. As we approach the halfway mark of this 3 year financial commitment, 54% of the pledges have been paid equaling $418,003. We want to give special thanks for all of our over and above givers who have contributed an additional $74,433. We are so blessed that, as our fellowship has grown, even more individuals and families have felt the call to participate in Building Stones with donations totaling $29,871. Finally, our loved ones have been remembered with memorial gifts totaling $9,109.
We are blessed by your generosity.
On July 21 and 24, the congregation was invited to attend one of three open forums to get the latest news on the building program. Key points covered:
- Our Civil Engineering Firm, Baker Aicklen, has completed the site survey required to get city approval for our building plans.
- The Building Committee has approved a parking lot plan which will double our on-site parking on the sides and back of the church, eliminate the deep holes and drainage problems we currently face, and complement the current parking in front of the church and across the street.
- The Building Committee has also approved a landscape plan developed by Tim Bargainer which will significantly enhance the appearance and usability of the courtyard area – the area gracing our front entrances.
- The next steps will be site work including demolition of the rock house and small structures to allow building of a parking entrance on South Street and the beginning of the landscaping. Other things to be done soon won’t be so obvious but are necessary – things like water retention areas, irrigation, removal/filling of an old well and obsolete septic tank.
- The Building Committee committed to conduct similar update sessions quarterly.
- It was emphasized that all work being done will be appropriate throughout the whole building process for the new sanctuary. There’s no “tear up” of work being done first.
- The money to pay for the new sanctuary continues to be a challenge but we need the work of the architect recently hired – Walter Barrineau & Associates – to obtain construction estimates needed for meetings with Texas Methodist Foundation to pursue the loan which will be required, and we will need additional fundraising at the end of the three-year Building Stones campaign.
The new administrative offices will completed and we will be able to move back in there in mid-February. The light fixtures have been installed completing the renovation of our historic sanctuary. The Administrative Council has authorized $50,000.00 for a civil engineering study and architectural plans for the new sanctuary. These two things are required before we can go any further with our building plans. We have plans to demolish the buildings between our current facility and South Street in March. We are planning to use the rock and stone from the Boy Scout hut and the Rock House in our new landscaping. We have been blessed that Tim Bargainer, a local landscape architect, has volunteered his talents to design the landscaping for our courtyard.
Our Capital Campaign, Building Stones: Faith, Family, Future, has been an incredible success. We have received commitments totaling $769,600 from 80 families and individuals. Thank you so much for your commitment! For many this will entail sacrificial giving. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The work on Phase 1 of our building program has started. The renovation of our historic sanctuary is completed, except for the lights which had to be special ordered and will arrive in late January or February. The re-model of the existing office space is on-going and will continue through February. The deck, which gives handicapped access to all parts of our building, is also complete. We broke it in the night of the children’s Christmas program on December 16th. Families gathered all along the deck, eating and visiting; it served as a great fellowship area.
The building committee is meeting in early January to begin plans on the next steps which include site work and plans for the new sanctuary.