The Mt. Olive Building Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the information meetings following both services on March 19. The questions and comments were excellent and provided a wonderful opportunity for presenting the proposed project to the congregation.
The voters’ meeting on April 2 will determine ONLY whether or not the congregation approves progressing to the fundraising stage. NOTE: This phase of fundraising effort is the collection of “pledges” only, not the actual collection of funds that are pledged. During this phase the fundraising subcommittee will conduct small group “cottage meetings” to answer questions and further explain how members can consider how they might be able to financially support the project over the next three years. The pledge information will be gathered and compared to the existing funds and project costs. If that total amount does not cover the estimated project costs, the amount that needs to be financed, along with other related budgetary impact items and final design plans would then be brought to the voters as a proposal (hopefully by the annual meeting in June) to decide whether to proceed with the project.
Please take a look at the architectural renderings of the plan on display in the narthex. The slides from the informational meeting as well as a transcript of the questions and answers (see below) from those meetings.
As you consider the plan, and as voters consider their decision on April 2 regarding the next step, please continue to pray that everything be done according to God’s will and in a way that is pleasing to Him.
Notes on Questions and Answers from the Congregation Information Meetings
Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
1. Q: Will the new plan allow more seating in the sanctuary?
a. Permanent sanctuary seating will not change. Temporary additional seating will be available by “folding back” the partition between the new narthex and sanctuary. This will eliminate the current sense of being “outside” of the sanctuary when seated in the narthex.
2. Q: If we have more temporary seating available will we need to provide more parking spots than we do currently?
a. No, if permanent seating remains the same our parking spot numbers remain the same. (Current plans to replace any parking stalls lost to new construction are shown on the project plans.)
3. Q: What about coat racks?
a. After reviewing options such as a permanent coat room, it was determined that with the expanded floor space in the new narthex having coat racks placed there during the season when they are needed would not greatly impact the space (as is the case now). This option was decided to be a better use of square footage than a dedicated coat room.
4. Q: With the new plan what will essentially be the “main entrance” to the church and school?
a. The McConnell Street entrance will now become the “main” entrance for both.
5. Q: Does the new plan address anything to change the organ pipe “box” in the sanctuary?
a. That was not a part of the building committee’s discussion as it is not “in scope” of our directive from the counsel.
6. Q: Will the pillars in the back of the sanctuary be removed in the expansion to the new narthex?
a. It will NOT be structurally possible to remove those pillars.
7. Q: Will the doors on the south wall of the school be open for access to the building at worship times (quickest entrances to building from the parking lot)?
a. Yes, the doors on the south wall of the building on either edge of the gym will be unlocked for access at worship times, as will the current double door to the old narthex on Marsh Street.
8. Q: What will be the entrance point(s) for students and parents at the beginning of the school day?
a. Nothing will change regarding all the entrance points that are currently in use, unless something else is decided by the school board. (These decisions are not part of the responsibility of the building committee.) The security system and locking/unlocking decisions will be primarily concerned with the safety of the children and staff during the school day, particularly when there are other things (i.e. funerals) happening in the sanctuary.
9. Q: How will the playground space be impacted by the plan, particularly the new parking addition?
a. The merry-go-round and slide farthest to the east end of the playground will need to be relocated. When the house now owned by Mt. Olive next to the parsonage is moved out there will be potential for additional playground space for the children.
10. Q: If Mt. Olive wishes to expand our facility beyond the current building plan where would that happen?
a. According to city code, we will have reached our maximum for allowed building footprint (only 600 more square feet would be possible) without purchasing additional land or homes adjacent to the church property. Building a second story carries a heavy price tag as building up requires double stairway access and elevators. Comparing cost of purchasing additional land versus second floor construction would be a discussion and decision for later—it is not part of the current considerations.
11. Q: Does the $2.3 million amount include finishing the interior of the new kindergarten and music rooms?
a. Yes, but the committee will explore the possibility of using congregational volunteer help to finish those areas. The final decision for that will depend on the contractor’s agreeing to that. If it is allowed, money saved could be used toward materials necessary to remodel existing areas vacated by the new addition (i.e. the current offices). The labor to remodel existing spaces is already planned to be primarily covered by volunteers from the congregation.
12. Q: Could Kingdom Workers be enlisted to help with some of the work?
a. This has not been part of the building committee’s discussion. The use of our own congregation members seems to be preferred, but the committee will discuss this possibility further.
13. Q: Will the proposed new kindergarten room be large enough for the anticipated bigger kindergarten classes? (The current kindergarten class utilizes two classrooms, but that will only be possible for another couple of years due to two other classes currently being held in one classroom. When one of those classes graduates, kindergarten will lose one of their current rooms if nothing changes)
a. The new kindergarten classroom meets state square-footage requirements for 25-30 kindergarten students. The new room could potentially include temporary dividers to accommodate two activities at once and it includes its own bathroom which was one of the requests of the faculty and school board.
14. Q: How will the new basement area under the new narthex and administrative area be used?
a. 20%-30% of the new basement area will be needed to house the new mechanical necessary for the addition. The remainder will be additional storage space. The basement cannot be used for anything else without a separate second stairway and an elevator (estimated cost of $100,000).
15. Q: Will the existing basement under the existing classrooms and also the attic above the current narthex remain in use for storage?
a. Yes, both will still be storage space and additional storage on the main floor of the building will be added per the current floor plan for the project.
16. Q: With the proposed placement for the trash containers, will the surface that the garbage trucks use to access the trash containers be made with the necessary concrete base to support their weight?
17. Q: If a church/school administrator is added to the staff at some point in the future would there be sufficient space in the proposed administrative area for this additional person?
a. There would be sufficient space in the administrative area to arrange for an additional staff member.
18. Q: Where will the janitor closet be in the proposed plan?
a. The current janitor area off the fellowship hall will remain the same. There MIGHT be potential for some space in the current mechanical room at the rear of the sanctuary, but that remains to be seen.
19. Q: Does the current cost estimate include money for artwork?
a. No, the current cost estimate covers anything that, figuratively, would not fall out if the spaces were turned upside down. Things like some permanent cabinetry will be included but no other furnishings.
20. Q: Will we actually lose seating because the chairs currently lining the back of the sanctuary couldn’t be there?
a. No, those chairs could be simply moved closer to the back row of pews.
21. Q: If the proposed glass panels between the new narthex and sanctuary are closed, what is the access to the sanctuary?
a. Although it is not clear in the renderings provided for this meeting, there would be two doors there providing access to the sanctuary.
22. Q: What is the current school population and current capacity? What would be the additional capacity with the new kindergarten room?
a. Current maximum capacity with the existing 9 classrooms would be 225 for students in grades 1-8 (somewhat less depending on kindergarten population because each kindergarten student requirement is more square footage than each child in grades 1-8). Current school enrollment is 149. The new kindergarten room adds the potential for 25-30 kindergarteners.
23. Q: In the proposed project are there any changes to the current kitchen?
a. In the proposed floorplan the only “kitchen item” identifies a space for an additional refrigerator and freezer separate from the kitchen that would be only for church use. Per the latest information in the bulletin today, the state now requires that the school refrigerator and freezer be locked and not used for anything other than the school lunch program. Also as of today’s bulletin an additional household refrigerator and freezer have already been moved in for any other use. Additionally, the state just let Mt. Olive know that the hot lunch director must now have an office separate from the kitchen with locked storage for all records. All these requirements will be taken into consideration as interior design details are decided.
24. Q: What spaces will be available to the after school program?
a. The fellowship hall will continue to be available when the entire group is gathered and other multi-purpose spaces (new and repurposed) including the youth room could be available for break-outs to smaller groups. The project also results in one extra classroom being available. How all of these new spaces will be utilized will need to be determined through discussions between the various boards and user groups.
25. Q: With the new kindergarten room there would be 9 existing classrooms to accommodate one grade per room for grades 1-8 with a “spare” classroom. How might this extra classroom be used?
a. Possible uses for the extra classroom might be a dedicated S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) room, lockable permanent computer room, break-out space for classes or afterschool care, additional meeting space, etc.
26. Q: Can you explain precisely how security for the school will be addressed during other functions like funerals, Red Cross blood drives, etc. during the school day?
a. Bill Bohning identified the security points and potential alarmed and lockable doors on the proposed floorplan. It will be other boards such as the school board, church counsel, trustees, etc. who will be tasked with deciding exactly which doors are locked at various times, always keeping in mind the need to keep fire exits available.
27. Q: How will the current location for concessions during gym activities and also the routes from the classrooms to the fellowship hall for lunch be affected with the proposed changes?
a. Whenever additional security and security points are added there are usually convenience “trade-offs.” This may be the case in the future but will have to be dealt with probably by the school board as those decisions are made.
28. Q: How is security between the new narthex and new kindergarten room addressed in the plan?
a. Bill Bohning identified the security points in the new administrative area and also in the hallway adjacent to the new administrative area.
29. Q: Is the cost of the new security system included in the $2.3 million price tag?
a. It is the understanding of the building committee that it is.
30. Q: Regarding the plan for the music/multipurpose room, is it necessary for the music storage area to be as large as shown on the current floor plan, and will the door to that room be large enough to comfortably move the pianos (especially the baby grand piano) in and out?
a. These points will be taken under consideration by the building committee before final plans for that area are completed.
1. The proposed new narthex will make a better greeting area for members and guests as it provides a common area for people to enter the sanctuary, better sightlines for ushers to find seating for people as sanctuary fills, and better flow.
2. Protecting the children, faculty, and staff with increased security is priceless.
3. There was encouragement of the building committee to consider ways to save money in the final plan. (Duly noted)
4. Caution was expressed to the building committee to be wary of architects and contractors encouraging pushing the budget too far. (Duly noted)
5. At the April 2 voters’ meeting and as well as the cottage meetings the committee will want to clearly identify where security is addressed on the plan.
6. Clarification: the April 2 voters’ meeting will only be asking for approval to progress to the fundraising phase. This phase is the collection of “pledges” only, not the actual collection of money that is pledged. Final approval of the plan including, including the amount to be financed beyond current available funds and pledges will follow after the fundraising subcommittee has tabulated the amount pledged by congregation members (hopefully by the June annual meeting).
7. It was noted that the $2.3 million estimate does include a 10% contingency budget.
8. At the late meeting the group was reminded that the fundraising is an effort above and beyond regular giving to the annual budget. In a church people understand that and expect that annual expenses will continue and potentially rise (like everywhere else). But in considering work by the church, when carried out according to His will, the Lord’s blessings always go beyond our expectations. Mt. Olive’s history bears this out.
9. Concern was expressed that not all of the costs related to the project such as furnishings or additional budgetary costs such as upkeep, utilities, etc. were included in the presentation. It was pointed out that although identifying these potential costs was not possible at the time of the presentation, the committee and the church council will do their best to identify such costs at the time a final proposal is shared with the congregation and presented to the voters. This final presentation would occur after fundraising efforts are completed and a decision must be reached by the congregation to proceed with the building program or not (probably by the annual voters’ meeting in June). At that time these costs, as well as unrelated future anticipated or potential expenses of the church and school, can be taken into consideration by the voters.
10. The building committee was thanked for their work thus far.