In 2023, through the efforts of our facility staff, committee members and other volunteers, we were able to accomplish the following improvements with the contributions provided by the congregation, through the annual Building and Grounds Budget, volunteer labor and past budget savings:
- Purchased and installed a new fire suppression system in the church kitchen to allow it to be upgraded to a commercial kitchen (from a warming kitchen), which is allowing us to cook meals on Sundays.
- Solicited bids for completion of the siding project on our South (Sanctuary) Building. Only received one bid far in excess of our budget for the project. The committee decided to hold the completion of the siding and include it in the Connector Building Project in a few years.
- The committee decided to apply for a grant from a state program that helps non-profits upgrade their security systems. We requested funding for more cameras both inside and outside of the buildings, better lighting and upgrading the North Building doors to electronic locks and card readers. We were awarded a grant for $119,250 to complete the work during the years of 2024 and 2025
- Replaced the double doors between the Multi-Purpose Room and the North Building hallways with new metal doors. Also repaired the front door to the church damaged by pavement settlement.
- Established a new fund to begin saving money to replace chairs in the church as they wear out.
- Completed a restriping of our parking lot to improve parking space lines and fire lane markings.
- Committee approved a request to move forward with construction of a playground in 2024 next to our Pavilion and the new swing structure constructed for us this past fall by Abby Malinky and the Girl Scouts.
- Continued to improve the landscaping in front of the Connector Hall and the Multi-purpose Room.
- Continued the project to replace all interior lighting with LED lighting.
- Continued to search for a new insurance agent and policy for the church. Proposals were requested from two firms.
The total cost of the above projects and the weekly maintenance activities was $26,059.27 from the annual Building and Grounds Budget of $34,500 (9/1/22 to 8/31/23) and $11,497 from the Project Reserve Savings Account, which is unspent Building and Grounds funds saved from previous years.
The Building and Grounds Committee also manages the Church Budget for utilities and insurance. In the past Fiscal Year spending for these items totaled $35,458.77 for a budget savings of $7,141.23. These unspent funds were left in the church’s general fund. In addition to these funds, the committee also oversees the Project Reserve Savings Account with a current balance of $63,711.31, the Future Growth Building Fund, which has a current balance of $138,365 and the Church Emergency Contingency Savings Account, which has a current balance of $50,000.
In addition to our normal maintenance and our annual projects, the committee continued to administer two ongoing programs to improve our church and our site:
- “Adopt an Island Program” Our volunteer landscapers continue to beautify our parking lot with flowers and general maintenance. Some areas are still available for additional volunteers.
- The “Future Growth Building Program” The committee continued to receive contributions toward our future Master Plan projects throughout 2023. We finally received city approval for our Porte-cochere and again solicited bids for the project. We received two bids this time and awarded the project to the low bid of $133,591. Since this was greater than the balance in the Building Fund, Session provided a one-time grant to the Building Fund of $65,000 to allow the project to proceed. During the Building Permit approval process, the City Building Inspector required us to add a fire sprinkler system to the project. We received a proposal for a price of $38,000 (27% of the project cost) to add the system. Research indicates that the sprinkler system is not needed, so the committee has appealed the inspector’s original decision. Completion of the Porte-cochere has been delayed while we go through this appeal.
Mike Arthur continued to serve as our part time Facility Manager and Bob Bradley continued in his role as part time custodian for the church, with both performing building and equipment repairs and weekly building care responsibilities. Questions on Building and Grounds projects can be directed to Mike Arthur or any of our committee members; Holly Pfeifer, John Tullis, Jay Pearson, Robert Jones, Dave Brown, Fred Janssen, Greg Eroe, Bill Spady, James Markoya and Ray Harbeson (Chair). New Committee Members or Building and Grounds email advisors are also welcome at any time. Please contact Mike Arthur, Ray Harbeson or one of our pastors, if interested.