At its May 22 meeting, the Session received the reports and affirmed the work of the Fellowship Hall Building Committee and the Commitment Committee. After reviewing all the information, the Session voted unanimously to approve the Fellowship Hall project.
This project began five years ago with a committee formed to study the congregation’s needs for the campus. The new Fellowship Hall will answer the call that the committee heard from you.
Thanks to the generosity of this congregation during last year’s Capital Campaign, three-quarters of the funding needed for this project has already been raised and secured. Detailed estimates have been prepared by a team of expert architects, engineers, and builders, and we are pleased to report that those cost estimates are in line with our Capital Campaign estimates.
The Fellowship Hall project will entail the need for about $1.1 million in financing. This figure may decrease as construction estimates finalize over the next several weeks. Interest rates are currently at historically low figures. Just like in our own homes, most of us can’t afford to buy a house with cash on hand, but we already have commitments from the Capital Campaign for the majority of the money needed.
The building of the new Fellowship Hall will not affect our operating budget, and we will continue to fund both local and global missions the way we do now.The Session has set the date of Sunday, June 16, for a Congregational Meeting to approve financing. Prior to that, we’ll hold a series of Information Sharing Sessions for the congregation to hear and ask questions about the project and receive updates on the progress. These sessions will be held in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, May 29, at 5:30pm; Sunday, June 2, at 11:15am; and Wednesday, June 5, at 5:30pm.
The new Fellowship Hall will be beautiful and functional but, in keeping with Westminster, not “over the top,” as the Fellowship Hall Building Committee is watching every penny.
We are not renovating the old building, but demolishing it and putting the larger, new and improved building in the same place. It is our hope that demolition of the old building will begin in mid-July and that construction of the new building will take about a year to complete.
There is a precedent in Westminster’s history of this congregation coming together to raise the money, embark on construction, and secure and pay off the financing in a modest amount of time. In mid-1990s, the church embarked on a capital campaign to raise money to expand the Mission Center. The new Mission Center was dedicated in 1997, and shortly thereafter the congregation raised money to pay off the construction loan. We are confident this will be the case for the Fellowship Hall project, as well.
It is an exciting time to be at Westminster as this new phase of our church’s history begins. We encourage you to take part in the Information Sharing Sessions to learn more about the Fellowship Hall project.
Fellowship Hall Building Committee
Jeff Furman, Pete Jones, Dana Lange (chair), Lucy Stokes, Nathan Swiggett, Jeremy Trantham, and Edwin Yarbrough
Bill Coppridge, Rebecca Joyner, John Messick, Michael Page, Chick Palermo, Dave Pottenger (chair)