Refresh is well on its way and I wanted to give you several updates.
1. Finances. Giving to refresh is strong and consistent. We have finalized our plans with our lender, but have not needed to draw down any of those funds yet. Since launching Refresh we have given over $625,000 towards the project and we are in the strongest cash position going into any building project in the last 30 years. As we continue in the process, we are acquiring accurate bids and finalizing our cost projections. It looks like our initial 1.9 million estimate is on target. The Refresh team is deeply committed to bringing the project to completion within this budget constraints.
2. Design. Since the church approved the project, the Refresh team has been working with the architect to complete the final construction documents which will guide the bidding and the building process. There have been many hurdles, but the team has completed the design work. This is a new rendering on the stage which includes the in-platform baptistry. This is the way it will look for baptism. During regular services it will be covered and the stage will extend over the area.
The team has also agreed upon the color selection palette for the room. After months of work and with the consultant's expert advice the colors have been selected. While we have sought much input on the project design, this is one area that individual preference type voting can create hurt feelings and long term damage to the church. Churches have split over voting on color choices. The original colors of the room were greens. In the early 90's the room was changed to reds and tans. The new selections will come from the grey-taupe family. The final product will be beautiful. There will be an accentuation of a "rock" type feel that connects the room and our worship to the ancient practices of the church. We cannot wait for you to see the overall impact.
3. Construction. The first steps have been completed. The sanctuary has been cleared, and the platform removed. In addition, the asbestos abatement process has begun. This is a multi step process that involves detailed testing (completed), a separate company that designs the steps and the removal project (underway) and the third company that removes the asbestos. Here is a photo of the cleared sanctuary.
4. Schedule. The Refresh team approved a construction schedule that will put us back into the sanctuary for Easter of 2018 (April 1). We will be able to begin worship at that time, but as projected, the organ renovation project will take approximately 18 months (Dec 2018) before the organ will be ready to play. The visual pipes will be reinstalled, but the upgrades to the inner workings of the organ will take considerably longer.
If you have further questions, please let me know,