The completion of the final site work has been delayed due to the amount of rain that has fallen in recent weeks. The installation of flooring in particular has been delayed by the high humidity of the air in the crawl space under the church. Seeding of the grass parking lot has also been delayed because of the rain. Instead of seeding, the church is now planning to move forward with laying sod, since it is too late in the season for seeded grass to securely take root. Landscaping of the property should commence shortly, as soon as the grading is finished. At this time it looks like we should be able to move into the new church by Labor Day weekend.
We are currently projected to be $90,000 under budget on the current phase of construction. $280,000 remains on our line of credit, and we should have $200,000 left on hand after the current phase of the construction is complete, with $350-400,000 projected to be on hand by the end of the year.
The Augusta Arbor property is on sale for $425,000 after having been assessed at $350,000 in 2011. We have an interested lessee who we are presenting a lease agreement that would pay us $2000 a month as well as cover utilities and other costs for the Augusta Arbor property, and that would include an option for the lessee to buy, perhaps with incentives.
Options for a Parish Hall Discussed
Two main options were discussed:
1) Buy a roughly 1600 square foot mobile unit (double wide trailer) for $50-75,000, which would be used for fellowship and office space until we could build a parish hall. It would likely take a couple months to get the mobile unit approved and in place. Until the mobile unit was in place, a tent could perhaps be used for fellowship and Sunday school.
2) Look into building an "event barn", an open structure with the frame of a barn (see examples here), which would be a permanent parish hall solution. The event barn would be 4200 square feet (the full square footage approved by the county for a parish hall) and would cost $450-475,000 to build. The barn would take around 6 months to finish, and it was proposed that in the intervening time a tent could be set up to host a simplified version of coffee hour and to accommodate Sunday school.
At the meeting, a vast majority in an informal vote were in favor of moving ahead with option 2 in the form of the first step of the event barn construction process: asking area event barn builders, which have been identified, to provide plans and estimates for our own custom event barn, which would be tailored to the parish's needs. This would cost an estimated $20,000 and take a month or two, but would require no further commitment from the church. Once plans were presented, the church would decide whether or not to move forward with construction. Till the event barn is constructed or decided against (likely meaning that the church would instead purchase a mobile unit), coffee hour and church school would be held in an on-site tent.
Several cautioned against making a "final decision" before we are in the new church and know what we might like to spend on finishing the interior before moving ahead with a parish hall solution.
During the week of August 19th, Fr. Marcus will be moving his office to the Synesis International offices just down the street from the new church building, courtesy of Ricardo Studart.
The Bishop's visit is planned for October 12th-13th.
Big question for the future: which parish hall solution will have us prepared for Pascha?