Based upon questions asked during our recent Building Vision Virtual Tours, the Building Committee is pleased to provide answers to the questions that we received from the congregation.
Why are we adding more hospitality space when the Labyrinth works fine?
One of our Seven Stepping Stones from our Vision 2020 effort was to “Promote Intentional Hospitality”. It included an action item to “create a fellowship area” within the facility of FUMC. The intent was to create a space where church members and guests will linger and enjoy fellowship, build relationships and build community. During our initial evaluation stage, our Building Committee learned from church facility designers that effective churches should have from 50 to 100% of their sanctuary size as hospitality/gathering space directly outside the sanctuary. After many months of studying, our leadership teams narrowed down our building priorities to just three: Youth, Children, and Hospitality spaces. Our Atrium will become central to community life in our church.
What will be done to help control the noise in the hospitality space and the effects that noise has on adjacent areas?
Our Hospitality Atrium will be a thriving place of activity, fellowship, and fun. The centralized location combined with the high ceiling space and two-story windows looking out at the Hospitality Courtyard will naturally draw people in and allow them to feel comfortable lingering in the space. Yes, at times it may get noisy, especially before and after worship services on Sunday morning. But it should not be uncomfortably noisy. Our architect has taken noise into account and included some noise dampening features in the ceiling. Additionally, we will take further steps to install noise dampening features to the Upper Room Chapel, the only meeting or classroom space that directly adjoins the Hospitality Atrium.
Will the windows of the hospitality space be treated to save on HVAC?
The City of Allen has recently adopted the newest building codes with the highest standards of energy efficiency, and we will comply by installing windows and insulation with the highest level of efficiency. In a recent demonstration, we observed that the “Low E” high efficiency windows like those we are installing offered as much heat resistance as 6” of insulation. We will also be installing new energy efficient air conditioning equipment. And, we are removing the oldest, least efficient part of our facility and building new energy efficient buildings. We anticipate that we will realize a net decrease in our energy consumption.
How far east will the new hospitality space go?
The interior hospitality space will approximately double our current hospitality space. It will extend the east doorway that enters our current hospitality space near the labyrinth by about 9 feet and then add about 33 feet beyond the current hallway that connects to the northeast hallway near our current office space. View New Interior Floor Plans
In the courtyard area, can we use the same grass that the City of Allen uses at Celebration Park? This is great grass for large groups and lots of usage.
We are looking forward to having a beautiful outdoor space including a functional Hospitality Courtyard, extended green space and attractive landscape beds. At this time, our landscape designer is recommending a sturdy Tif-419 Bermuda, which is sturdier and more attractive than Common Bermuda like you find in the city parks. However, the city takes an extra step of over-seeding the grass in the parks with winter rye grass which keeps them looking green throughout the winter. While this is attractive, it is expensive and must be done every year. It also requires watering throughout the winter. It is our understanding that this is in violation of city ordinances.
Are we considering material for the courtyard that will not absorb heat?
Currently the plan is to use a poured, stamped concrete that will create an attractive surface. Concrete is cooler than other surfaces we might consider, such as pavers. While it is possible to treat the concrete with “cool deck” product that would be common around swimming pools we will have to evaluate the cost effectiveness. Additionally, during the hottest times of the day, many areas of the courtyard will be shaded due to high exterior walls on the atrium, adult education wing and the gym.
What are you going to do with the rocks and flagstone in the memorial garden?
No decision has been made about the flagstone and rocks in the existing courtyard. They are currently not incorporated into the landscape plan however that is a possibility. If not, the church will likely resell them and apply the funds to the building program.
Will the smell go away when we tear down the youth building or will it remain in the Hospitality Courtyard?
The smell in the current youth center has to do with the aging facility. Once it has been demolished and the area is regraded and landscaped, the smell will be gone.
Where will the receptionist desk be located?
Once construction is complete, we will have a new main entrance (something we don’t currently have) into the centrally located Hospitality Atrium. We currently plan to have the reception desk immediately inside that main entrance at the Welcome Desk that is currently depicted in the graphic renderings. View Hospitality Atrium and Courtyard
Is the Children’s space being designed to add a second story later?
A great deal of consideration was given to building a two-story structure where the new children’s building will be located. After evaluating the significant increase in cost to build a two-story building, we concluded that a one-story building would adequately address our priority of locating all of our children together on the first floor, in adjacent secure areas. The long-term master plan calls for a two-story building eventually built on the other side of the gym when the current Fellowship Hall is no longer viable.
Where does the current playground outside of our current children’s center move to?
At this point in our planning, the toddler playground located on the north side will be removed during construction and relocated to the area just to the north of the existing playground. In this way, both playgrounds will be in the immediate vicinity of our new Hospitality Courtyard, creating a place where parents can relax while their children are playing nearby.
Will the playground equipment be updated?
In an effort to control costs and stay within budget, we are planning to relocate the existing Toddler playground which may possibly include some new equipment but have no plans to update the larger playground.
Will we reuse the pavestones that are near the children’s toddler playground?
No decision has been made about the pavestones in this area; we will reuse them if possible.
Will there be a side entrance into the Children’s wing from the Wesley House?
There will not be a public entrance on the north side due to security of our children’s building. The northeast entrance that is near the Fellowship Hall will continue to be available.
How far does the Children’s Building extend?
The new Children’s Building on the west side will line up with the current Children’s Building, and on the north side will approximately line up with the existing north boundary of the current office wing and Fellowship Hall. Look at the first or third image here: New Exterior Views
Are the youth being asked their opinions about the youth area as they will be the ones using the new space?
The Youth group and their leaders have been very involved in the planning for all space. From the very beginning, a Youth representative has been an active member of the Building Committee. As sub-teams were needed to address layout, design, and finishes, additional youth representatives were engaged in the process.
Will there be restrooms in the new youth wing and if so, what size will the toilets be?
The Youth wing will occupy the second floor of the current Children’s building after it is remodeled. The existing restrooms will be remodeled for youth. The existing toilets in those restrooms are standard height. It is assumed we will reuse them.
Will there be showers in the new youth wing or anywhere in the building?
There are currently no design plans to add showers, however, we are studying how to design features that will allow us to add showers later if needed.
General Building and Layout Questions
How will the entrances change? Will there be a north entrance of any kind?
All existing entrances will remain except for the current north entrance to the existing hallway between the current children’s wing and the current office/Fellowship Hall hallway. While the current Northeast entrance to the Fellowship Hall hallway will remain, the new primary facility entrance will be into the new Hospitality Atrium beside the Gym/Adult Ministries buildings. New Exterior Views
Is the Wesley House included in the plans?
Currently, there are no anticipated changes to the Wesley House or to the parking area along the drive between the Wesley House and the north walls of the New Children’s Center/Fellowship Hall.
How are we planning to tie in the old and new exteriors as they will be more visible from the east parking once the old youth wing is torn down?
The primary changes for the eastern parking area will be looking toward the green space and pavers in the Hospitality Courtyard and the new 2 Story Glass Wall entering into the Hospitality Atrium. There are no plans to change the brick on any of the current spaces. Click and look at the second image to see the view from the east parking lot: New Exterior Views
Do the existing staircases remain?
Yes, all existing staircases will remain.
What will happen to the boulders near the existing youth wing?
We will try to reuse boulders if possible.
Where will the stained glass in the labyrinth go?
The Celebration Stained Glass Window is an important piece of our church heritage. The Building Committee has spent much effort to ensure that the stained glass continues to be a part of our facilities. This honors those who gave financially to purchase it and those whom they were celebrating through their gifts. The Building Committee continues to work with the architect to discuss and consider options for the best design and use of the window.
What if any updates are being done to the 2nd floor adult wing and the sanctuary?
Currently, there is not enough money budgeted to make changes to the 2nd floor adult wing or sanctuary.
Are we losing or adding storage space?
In this project we are gaining a large open Hospitality Atrium. We are losing some storage space. The committee and staff have studied this issue thoroughly and have concluded that, although large amounts of storage space is a great thing, it is not as great as having adequate program space. We are confident that the updated facility will have adequate storage. Some of the stuff in storage is not necessarily worth keeping. We have some spring cleaning to do (and perhaps a garage sale).
Are current restrooms being remodeled? The women’s restrooms don’t have wheelchair access.
We would love to remodel all of our current restrooms. In fact, this was in early versions of our budget. However, as we continue to focus on our three building priorities (Youth, Children, and Hospitality) and to manage costs, it is likely that remodeling of existing restrooms will not remain in the budget. All new restrooms will be ADA compliant.
Will the new buildings be green (not color but energy-sustainability)?
The City of Allen has recently adopted the most current building codes which require higher levels of energy efficiency than anything we have. No, we are not pursuing constructing a building that meets LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. Though that would be a worthwhile goal, it is not cost effective for us. However, we are removing the oldest, least efficient portion of our facility and building new, energy efficient buildings. In the end our facilities will be much more efficient to operate.
What are the logistics for the timing of the construction and how programs will be interrupted?
There will be some inconvenience to our programs during construction. However, the Building Committee has created a “Transition” sub-team to work with our general contractor to organize the construction in a way that is least disruptive to our programs.
Will there be a covered drop off?
Over the last year the Building Committee has considered a covered drop off in a couple locations, but a covered drop off is not currently planned in this phase due to cost vs priority analysis. We are currently reviewing an option at the south entrance, and will need to consider how this option affects fire lanes and handicap parking.
What is the current cost estimate including the cost per square foot for new construction and remodel?
We are currently working a $5,000,000 budget that includes all construction, design and owner costs. We will not have a final number until later in the summer or early fall.
Please provide a financial giving update.
Amount Pledged – $2,355,674 from 241 families
Amount Received – $1,031,897 as of April 22, 2018
Could we possibly sell bricks or something with a name on it for the courtyard to help raise funds?
Yes, we will consider possibilities to raise money for various aspects of the building project. During the last building project in early 2000s, this was a very effective approach for funding some special projects.