News from NUUC
- Update on Building Project (July’s update)
Your building committee (Bob Keith, John Foreman, Becky Gentry, Susan Ritchie, and Roger Johnson) is feeling quite joyous and grateful. One of the several gates we have to pass through on our building expansion process is the Orange Township Zoning Board. They have a stricture that you cannot expand a non-conforming building more than 50% on less than five acres of land. We are “non-conforming” because, in part, the church building is too close to our east property line. They have given us a variance for that in the past since the church was originally built in 1865 before there were zoning codes. And our, building design would expanding or building 150% and this on only about three acres of land. Rather than approve another variance, the Township Zoning Board suggested we ask Del-Co Water, whose property adjoins ours (south and west), if they might give us the necessary land. We did ask, and last Wednesday, July 17, the Del-Co Water Board approved of the donation to us of about two acres. We will have to shoulder the transfer costs and fees, but we estimate we’re getting at least $70k worth of land. But more importantly this additional land ensures zoning approval, passing a major threshold in our building expansion process.
Update on Building Project (June’s update)
Likely you have been wondering what’s going on with our building expansion project. A lot has been happening—while the duck’s body above the surface has been calm, the feet below the water are paddling hard. The building committee has been working hard with Kay Onwukwe, our architect, and Shaun Greer, our construction consultant, on the details of Kay’s building design. We will present Kay’s plans for approval to the Orange Township Zoning Board on June 20. Meanwhile, the capital campaign is going well. We have a total of $795K pledged so far, which is 94% of the low end of our goal for the campaign. Success for achieving that goal is practically guaranteed, as we have a generous offer of $40K to use to match gifts intended to close the gap between our current collection and our goal. We also have had three donors who have already indicated their wiliness to contribute generously if we need extra to meet our goal. At a recent meeting of the Capital Campaign Committee, we decided to wait until Ingathering (the second Sunday in September) to official announce our “close the gap, matching gift” campaign. This is for a number of reasons. One, it allows us to both contribute to and benefit from the excitement of the start of the church year. At that time we plan to show you some exciting renderings of what our building will look like when completed: both a series of 2-D drawings done by a professional artists and a 3-D building “fly through” put together by our own John Foreman. Two, we want to wait to wait to announce exactly how much we need to close the gap until we know our building budget in exact detail. By then we will have a specific and detailed cost estimate for construction of Kay’s design, as well as specific numbers for some of the “soft costs,” including financing for a bridge loan that will allow us to start construction before the end of our three year capital campaign collection period. This way, we will be able to make our ask based on a precise picture of our needs. And while we are working to establish precise figures, all signs now indicate that we have every reason to anticipate our financial resources will enable us to build the design Kay has present to us. When will construction begin? You might see some action late this summer or fall with some initial steps, but our best projection right now has us breaking serious ground in early Spring, 2020. Let your Board know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can find our contact information on the inside of your order of service. Right now, we celebrate that we have every reason to believe that we will be able to achieve our goals. Thank you for your continued generosity.