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A Note From the Education Building Team

Presented by Barbara Ellen Smartt on behalf of the Education Building Team at the Quarterly Update on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.


Dear Church Family,

Along with the written recommendation you have from the Education Building Team Committee we thought it might be helpful to make a quick summary statement as to how we got here today and how this proposed education space with future fellowship and kitchen space came to be. 

The Elders appointed Dwain Clardy (who had recently retired from a career in home building) to chair the committee which would come up with a plan to provide permanent education space before the portables fell down with us in them!  Dwain gathered our team of 5 and we have been working for more than a year now. 

This is how we got started… we met with

  1. Mike Watson, the Adult Sunday school Lead and with Giselle and Ric Crooks, the children’s Sunday School leads.
  2. We met with the Pastors and with Church Secretary, Laura Hogue, to get a picture of the day-to-day needs
  3. We met with the Elders and with the Financial team
  4. We listened to feedback from Pamela Rigsby, our Nursery Leadership
  5. We interviewed the ladies of our church who lead our food planning for church-wide events
  6. We set up an email for you the church body to give your thoughts and we listened carefully to your input and questions at the previous 2 town-halls
  7. We toured multiple church facilities. This was helpful both in seeing examples of what was a good fit for our needs and what was not

Because this project of education space (compared to this beautiful sanctuary) was a fairly simple design we concluded early on that the church’s money would be better spent going with a design-build firm rather than hiring an architect and going through the time and expense to do multiple revisions between an architect and a builder.

We met with different design/builders but felt a true connection with one who has done so much work already and has not charged the church a dime. In fact, as we continued to get feedback from you the church body he has tweaked the layout, at our request, 5 different times. 

We are happy to report that this design checks these boxes:

  1. Safety for our children who will all be located behind one single entry door. This is easy for the Deputy to patrol. Also, it is only about 25 paces further from the current nursery.
  2. Allows a recreation space now (the dried in fellowship hall space of the suggested middle option) and later when the finished fellowship hall space is complete the children can also run and play …until an outdoor playground area is established.
  3. There are enough rooms to meet our current needs, to give us room for growth, to give a space for our nursing mothers, to give us room for counseling space, to provide storage for church documents, storage for VBS and seasonal decorations, storage for table and chairs, and a janitors closet.
  4. There are 2 more sets of larger bathrooms. One set of bathrooms contains a modest shower which can be a blessing to visiting missionary teams.
  5. Even though the retractable walls in the fellowship hall are expensive…. we believe we are being good stewards by going with this design. If we built just a fellowship hall it would most definitely be used but only every so often for church gatherings or weddings or conferences etc.  If we built it as a “flex space” the square footage would be used for three Sunday School classes each and every week.  Plus we are confident the youth leadership will put this space to wonderful use.  On one of our church tours, we saw an excellent example of a flex space that was liked by the three men on our team… looking at it with their engineer/builder eyes… but it also really surprised Ellen and myself that because of nicer lighting fixtures and the natural light of the double doors and higher ceilings it really felt like a true reception space.  It also opened up to a covered patio and when the double doors are opened will allow for nice flow of our church body both in and out of the space.

In closing, we have felt your prayers during this process,  We have valued every thought you shared and taken each and everyone to heart. 

We are grateful for all the teaching that has taken place in the portables thus far but we are excited to have walls without holes, floors that don’t dip and give, a safe space without mold,  and heat and AC that will be consistent (right now in the portables it is like the Sahara desert on one side and cold as Alaska on the other side!)

As we have prayed at each and every meeting…we know that God will guide and lead and direct this process.  To God be the Glory!