“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10.
Why is this taking so long?
Our Give2Serve Campaign rolled out in the fall of 2015 with the intention of building a facility that will allow us to live out our mission of serving God’s people.
Since then, we have considered several different strategies for moving forward, each of which presented challenges we had not anticipated.
Plan 1 – Parking Lot
A parking lot and driveway would make our property more accessible and useful. We figured the cost around $100k. However, the initial estimate to build the parking lot was $500,000 for 75 parking spaces. That’s over $6500 per parking space! Turns out the city requirements include lighting and landscaping, which require utilities to be run, which costs about $300,000. Then we have to build a water retention pond, whether our parking lot is pervious or impervious material, because we’re in an aquifer recharge zone. That’s another $100k. Only then do we get to spend $100k on the parking lot itself.
So forget the parking lot for now.
Plan 2 – Youth Building
Our next plan was to build a modular or temporary youth building in the $100,000 price range. However (again), when we looked at all of the city codes and other parameters our $100,000 building quickly became a $200,000 building. The more we looked into it, the more questions we found that we did not have answers to. Fire code. Electrical requirements. Landscaping. Public water source. Zoning.
Forget that idea also.
Change of architects
At this point, the architectural firm we had been using gave us a concept for a $2.5 million outreach center which we could not afford. They subsequently won a huge government contract and our project lost momentum.
So we found a new architect
What’s the plan now?
Building Plan 3 – Fellowship Building
Our next plan — the plan we are working on now — is to build a multi-purpose building that we will use for fellowship, youth group, children’s ministry, Story groups, and meeting space. The size of the building will be 3600 sq ft: 1200 ft of covered outdoor fellowship space, and 2,400 sq ft of indoor air-conditioned space with bathrooms and a small kitchen.
We have now demolished the barn and small house that were originally on the property and are accepting construction bids. Long-term, this facility would be our youth building, so while it would have some temporary uses initially, it would eventually be entirely for our youth. We hope to have it completed by Easter 2018. The plans have been drawn, water and sewage plans have been approved by San Antonio Water System, and ground core samples have been taken to determine the type of foundation needed.
The fellowship building with driveway, parking, and all the other necessities is a $700,000 project. But this is doable. With the money we have on hand now, plus additional incoming pledges and a short-term construction loan, this project can be funded. We are working with Tab Baker of iM Studios as our architect.
We have completed
Water line plans with SAWS
Fire hydrant plan
Seeking contractor bids
We are currently planning
Ground-breaking ceremony end of September
Construction beginning end of September
Building dedication Easter 2018
The new building: