As we move ahead with our capital campaign and then, God-willing, head into construction there’s a lot going on at St Paul. In November we formed a new Communication Team to help you stay up to date with all the news. Members of our Communication Team: Christine Carroll, Paul Enger, Melissa Ewoldt, Todd Hackbarth, Terri Happel, Pastor Nass, Laura Schneider, Toni Shiels, Ken Walters, and Connie Wilson.
Part of our plan is to write a monthly status update. You can expect news about the Past: what we’ve accomplished in the last month; Present: what we’re working on right now; and Future: what you can expect coming up. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve been hearing.
We view our communication work as not just getting information out, but also as giving you what you need to join with us in making this project a reality. We have some big goals in front of us, and we hope you’re as excited as we are at the thought of being part of it.
On behalf of the Communication Team,
Since this is our first status report, here’s a recap of where we’ve already been:
2016: Committees were formed to start looking at plans for a possible expansion. Over 150 members gave input.
April: Our voters approved hiring an engineering firm to draw up initial plans for an early learning center expansion and sanctuary expansion.
May-Aug: Our Building Committee toured a number of churches and worked with the architects to design an initial footprint and conceptual design.
September Renderings were presented to the congregation on September 10th. Comment cards began to be received with reactions from members. Patrick Rochford was engaged as our consultant to research the feasibility of opening a childcare center in Lake Mills.
October An open forum was held October 15th. At the voters’ meeting on October 25, Patrick Rochford presented the findings of his feasibility report, giving us a green light to go ahead. Larry Ulrich from Generis was engaged as our capital campaign consultant.
November Larry Ulrich met with our pastors and leaders several times to develop the upcoming capital campaign. The structure and subcommittees were planned. The Communication Team held initial meetings.
December On December 3-4, four different cross section groups met with Larry Ulrich to give perspectives about our current ministry and about our plans to expand. More volunteers from St Paul were engaged to plan upcoming events and to work with the project finances.
December Patrick Rochford is working with Allie Byers and Steve Gartner to prepare a business plan for St Paul Lutheran Early Learning Center. A finance committee is now meeting to work through the details of what exactly it will take financially to complete our project. Plans are in the works to roll out our capital campaign to the whole congregation at the end of January (Larry Ulrich is helping us plan that). A lot of the work right now is behind the scenes, but you should see much more happening on the surface a few weeks after Christmas.
January Mark your calendars for these Saturdays: January 20, January 27, and February 3rd. We’re planning “brunches” those days. Each brunch will be several hours on a Saturday morning to talk about our ministry and our future plans together (and eat some good food, too). The first brunch, on January 20, is going to be for all our called and elected leaders and their spouses to begin that discussion. The next two Saturdays, January 27th and February 3rd, we want to continue that conversation with as many other families as possible.
What’s coming up in 2018 is going to be pivotal in the ministry God has given us together at St. Paul. The building project is about more than bricks and mortar. God is placing unique challenges and blessings in our path, we need to work together to understand the best way to respond with our planning, ministry, structure and function, and building.
If you’re a member and you’re reading this, we’re hoping you’ll be able to come.
When is groundbreaking going to be?
No date has been set yet for groundbreaking. We’re trying to balance two things. On the one side, we’re sensing a lot of positive momentum to keep moving forward, and we want to capitalize on that. On the other side, we want to do careful, thorough work and not rush things. Last fall the idea was floated that perhaps groundbreaking would be as early as March. Currently it looks like the earliest groundbreaking could be summer, though there are still a lot of things that would have to come together for that to happen.
Do the renderings show what has been approved for construction?
No. The renderings are only the first pass at the vision of what the expansion will look like. There are bound to be changes, but we needed a starting point to determine feasibility. It’s also easier to have a conversation as a congregation about what we want the final building to be if there are pictures to talk about.
If you’ve been mulling over an idea or a question, now is the time to bring it up. Fill out a comment card (they’re on the table near the renderings), or talk to one of our pastors or a member of the building committee. So far we’ve fielded more questions about the sanctuary than about the ELC, so we’re expecting it to take more time to refine the plans for the sanctuary side. While all feedback is appreciated and important, please keep in mind that the final building design will be a culmination of many factors and tradeoffs.
What has been approved so far are contracts with Catalyst (project management), Generis (capital campaign), and Excel (architect) for preliminary efforts to help us determine feasibility, cost, and schedule. We will need further approval from the congregation to draft detailed construction documents and to finally move ahead into construction.