When will the actual building construction begin?

The simple and most accurate answer to that question is…

“As soon as the final construction plans are complete, the construction permit has been issued, and sufficient funding is in place.”

I’m sure that is NOT the kind of answer most people are looking for. “When?” means “When?” – as in tomorrow or next week or next month…. And that is absolutely a reasonable question to ask. The answer above is an important reminder that several contingent tasks must be completed before construction actually begins, regardless of what we map out.

That said, here is a projected timeline we think is realistic given where we are currently:

Once we have a permit and our financing is in place, the actual contruction phase is forecasted to take 12 months. The timeline above would put our construction start date in April 2021 with a projected completion date in March 2022.

How long will the construction process take?

Every General Contractor who bid on our project gave us a contruction timeframe of 11 months. We are bumping that up to 12 months for our planning.

Has/will anything change on the overall building design?

Nothing on the most recent building design has changed at this point. As we work through the value engineering process, there could be some changes to the building exterior that are necessary for budget purposes, but do not significantly impact the overall design intent.

One example that is easy to envision is the steeple. The building will be designed structurally for a steeple as shown in the renderings. However, we MAY choose to leave the steeple off of the initial construction phase to save money. We could then add the steeple at a later date as part of a separate project. This has not yet been decided, but it is one example of several possible value engineering options that would initially affect the exterior look of the building if implemented.

The current building footprint and planned square footage should remain unchanged. In addition, our objective is to preserve the aesthetic of the building through creative and strategic budgetary decisions about interior and exterior materials and finishes.

Will the entire building be finished out before we move in?

At this point, we don’t know, but we hope so!

There are a few different ways to think about “finished” or “unfinished” areas.

  1. Finished as planned
  2. Functionally finished with future enhancements planned
  3. Partially finished, but not functional nor accessible until future finish is completed.

We are still early in the value engineering process, so we have NOT made any final “finish/unfinish” decisions. That said, below are just a few examples that could be considered if budget savings are necessary:

Functionally Finished

  • Sealed concrete floors in select areas; finished floor coverings (carpet, wood, tile, etc.) added later.
  • Finish majority of chapel, but do not construct permanent stage and baptistry with adjacent restroom and changing room; stubbed for plumbing and electrical to be ready for future finish.

Non-functional Partially Finished

  • Second floor minimally finished per code and to secure building certificate of occupancy, but not functional nor accessible until finished out at a later date.

Again, these are just some examples that represent a spectrum of possible options for cost savings on the interior finish out. Our hope is that we will be able to utilize the entire building when we move in even if some of the finishes are not in there final planned stage.

Will the the church offices be located at the new building?

Unfortunately, no.

After laying out our space needs for Sunday and weekday worship, Bible study, and nursery, there was not enough functional square footage remaining for office space. Thankfully, the Lord allowed us to purchase our current office building and it serves us well. In addition, it has become a very good investment for the church, significantly appreciating in value and generating rental income at full occupancy.

We will continue to explore ways we can relocate our office onto the new property, sooner than later, but we may need to remain at our current building until a future “phase 2” building is constructed.

How much have we spent on the project so far?

Since the early fall of 2018 through September of 2020, we have spent a little over $2 million on the project.

  • About $1.2 million has been spent on actual site work – clearing, grading, storm water, utilities, curb and gutter, asphalt, etc.
  • About $800,000 has been spent on engineering and architectural fees, licensing/permitting fees, consulting fees, insurance and other soft costs.

All of this has been possible due to the kindess of the Lord and the generosity of His people. A little over $1.4 million has been contributed to our Building Faith fund since 2016. The faithful giving of our people has also enabled us to consistently exceed our ministry budget needs so that certain project costs have been funded through our normal operating account.

And in addition to all of that, God graciously provided a way for us to sell an unusable 1 acre strip of land along the southern edge of our property to the City of Woodtock for a little over $400,000.

What is the status on the construction loan?

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly injected significant uncertainty into our economy. This has had a particularly adverse affect on commercial lending. This has been confirmed to us in discussions with our banking partner. The timeline below illustrates this in greater detail:

  • May 2018 –  Initial bank approval for $5M loan w/ $300K operating capital requirement
  • Sept. 2019 – Favorable discussions with bank re: improved FCC financials and potential loan increase to $5.8M
  • Feb. 2020 – Bank requests updated FCC financial package to reflect all of 2019

March 2020 – COVID 19 SHUTDOWN BEGINS

  • June 2020 – Additional documents and Q1 2020 financial statements requested from and sent to bank
  • July 2020 – Loan approval capped at $5M with increase to $500K operating capital requirement

The overal economic outlook could be quite different in early spring of 2021 when we plan to finalize our construction financing. However, we anticipate that we will likely need to bridge a financial gap between the loan (plus operating cash requirements) and the final cost of construction. We will have more clarity when we complete the value engineering process in November.

Is it possible that we will need to raise more money to complete the building?

The short answer is, yes, it is possible.

As previously stated, we do anticipate that there will likely be a financial gap between the loan amount (plus operating cash requirements) and the final cost of construction.

What we do not know yet is the exact size of the forecasted financial gap. We will have more clarity about this when we complete the value engineering process in November. This will, in turn, help us determine the most prudent and expeditious way to bridge the gap.

What we do know is that the faithfulness and generosity of the people at Faith Communty Church has been evidenced year after year. Not only has our undesignated giving consistently exceeded our annual ministry budget needs, but designated giving to the Building Faith fund has also exceeded expectations. In light if this, we have every confidence that the Lord will continue to provide for the needs of our church and this project.

Once this specific need is clearly known, we will communicate the need to the church.

How is the church doing financially through the COVID-19 crisis?

In spite of the extraordinary economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation, the Lord has been so gracious in continuing to provide for the ministries of Faith Community Church. Here is a brief financial summary comparing year to date giving for 2019 and 2020: 

 As you can see, our general undesignated giving is right on track with last year. And even though there is a negative variance in our Building Faith giving, it is important to note that contributions to the Building Faith fund have exceeded what was expected by this time. We thank the Lord for His kind provision!

What is the status on the parcels of land we have a contract on, but do not yet own?

The two parcels adjacent to the east side of our building site (outlined in red below) are currently secured by an option contract between the church and the owner. The contract is scheduled to expire in March of 2021. The elders are currently exploring possible avenues that would enable us to secure the parcels beyond the current contract expiration date. While this land is not essential to our current plans, it would be necessary for future master plan phases.

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