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Questions / Answers from BUILD Meeting

Questions / Answers from BUILD Meeting with Congregation on September 18, 2016   

The mission of the Church is to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. With that mission as our focus and being one body in Christ, the Building Committee, along with our Architect and Builder, met with the congregation on Sunday evening, September 18 to present a new vision of our proposed architectural plan for the new church building. After the presentation of this proposed new plan, we collected questions from the congregation and are providing them to you here, along with the answers to these questions.   Please note that the questions we received cover many different topics, and many of our members were asking the same question. Additionally, as more of our members study this plan, more questions have been submitted.  We are providing answers to these questions with the information that we know at this time. Please note that we are still in a phase of developing the details around the proposed plan and will continue to keep the congregation informed as more details are worked out. Our intent is to ensure we can provide as much information to our congregation as possible before the Church Conference on October 23rd, where we will vote on whether or not to proceed with this plan.  

General / Miscellaneous

1.  Continuing prayer that God’s will and way be done – through each one of you in the Building Ministry and in your personal lives.  JAM

    • Thank you and continue to pray.

2.  Please make the presentation slides available to download.

    • The full presentation is available on the church website. The site plans and basic drawings are available in the Marion Methodist and on posters throughout the church.

3.  Why not allow live questioning? (9/18/16)

    • Time did not allow.
    • To allow everyone the opportunity to be heard.
    • There will be the opportunity to ask verbal questions at the Church Conference on October 23rd.

4.  Aren’t we the communication church? Or are we the email church?

    • We have made every attempt to be completely transparent throughout this process via email, Marion Methodist, church announcements, mailings, Facebook, etc.    A public forum does not allow everyone the opportunity to speak, thereby to allow communication from everyone, written communication has been most effective.

5.  Call DB Acoustics in Marion for AV

    • Thank you for the referral.   We are considering a number of AV firms who will all have the opportunity to bid on the building project.

6.  What impact might the current discussions regarding human sexuality have on the building if the UMC decides to split?

    • It is our intention to move the building project forward in a loving, caring way in the midst of this ongoing conversation.

7.  Will church offices move in the future?

    • The What’s Next Committee recommended that we leave the church offices in the Carnegie building for the foreseeable future.   

8.  Sweat equity, will we have the option to paint education rooms (not sanctuary)?

    • This is a possibility that is unplanned at this time. 

9.  Interior view? Interior finishes? (2x)

    • These decisions have not been made at this time.   We will begin to make these decisions once the building project has been approved.

10. Taking stained glass windows?  How will the existing stained glass windows be incorporated?  Will they be reused?  Are they going to be used and where?  (7x)

    • While the stained glass windows are important to us, it may not be economically feasible to take the ones we want.  The moving of the stained glass windows is not included in the building project.
    • If funds beyond the current project were raised specifically for the stained glass windows, the proposed plan would be to have the windows on the east side of the building, external in frames with specialized lighting. 
    • The Memorial Committee has identified 5 windows and has prioritized them as follows
      • Jesus window in the sanctuary
      • Moses window in the sanctuary
      • Peace window in the sanctuary
      • 10 Commandments window in the chapel
      • Rose window in the sanctuary

11. Will there be a dedicated space for Barbecue Grilling located to minimize potential harm from grease on the concrete and a safe distance from the building?

    • We hope that the church congregation will make ample use of the outdoor space available while being considerate of the property and membership.

12. Does the plan allow for dumpsters that can be locked and secured at a discrete location with regard to the main entrance?

    • The proposal does include an enclosure for the dumpster which will have the opportunity to be secured.  The current plan is to locate the dumpster on the west side of the building.

13. Does the plan include accommodation for the security aspects of the building and our congregation including internal and external video monitoring, remote access, controlled access, and motion sensors?

    • While security is a viable concern, we have not discussed technology or security in any depth at this point but we expect to in the future.

14. How do we execute a wedding? 

    • Education classrooms will continue to be available for dressing / staging rooms.   These classrooms have close access to restrooms.

15. How do we execute VBS?  What does that look like?

    • With greatest creativity as we have always planned. The ample outdoor and fellowship space will be a tremendous asset during VBS.

16. How do we execute a funeral?  Access, viewing, etc.

    • The space currently designed will be much more effective in this ministry than our current space.


17. Are landscaping features included?  Included in budget? (2x)

    • Yes.

18. Will we be selling out parcels for residential (condo) development?

    • No, this is not in our plans.

19. How much money do we have pledged?

    • Currently as of 9/26 we have received $2.57 million in donations for the BUILD Campaign. We have over $600,000 remaining from the successful BELIEVE Campaign.  By investing our donations, we have earned approximately $110,000 to date.  When these dollars are added to the purchase of the land and our previous commitment to the construction of REC Drive, we have raised over $4 million dollars to support the vision of our building project.
    • The next phase of our capital campaign will begin in early 2017 as the BUILD Campaign completes in March.

 20. Is snow removal in the budget?

    • The Trustees are beginning to forecast the operational costs for our new building and snow removal will be included.

21. Cost: 9.1 million.  The figure of 9.1 million was mentioned – was that for everything that we saw tonight? 

    • Our builder made an error in reporting.  The current bid for everything shown is $9.8 million.

22. Who will own this building?

    • First United Methodist Church of Marion will own the building and hold it in a sacred trust for The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church.

23. How do we handle weekly offerings?  Security – do we need a safe?

    • Our plan is to continue with our present practice to immediately deposit offerings at Farmers State Bank following services.

Church Interior:  Rooms / Facilities

24. Where is:  Choir room, library room, children’s library, music, bell choir room puppets, fellowship hall? Dining area?  Storage of bell and choir equipment?   (Asked 8x)

    • Choir, Bells, Music, Puppets all will rehearse in the sanctuary
    • There is no designated library or children’s library room
    • Fellowship hall / dining are in the Narthex
    • Bell storage will be in special tables that are planned for the chancel
    • Choir robes storage in chancel storage area.

    25. Where is Youth/ 4:12 space?   (Asked 2 x)

      • 4:12 will meet in the sanctuary

      26. Where will the choir be?

        • Choir will rehearse and perform in the sanctuary/chancel

        27. Glow room – is there one?  Where?

          • Not planned at this time

          28. Music/puppet ministries practice?

            • See 21 above

            29. Black out windows for puppets?  Will the sanctuary windows be able to be covered to completely darken it?

              • Plans are for power shades on the sanctuary windows

              30. How many classrooms do we have/need?

                • There are 10 classrooms, plus two rooms for the nursery, in the current plan.

                31. Is the number of classrooms sufficient for both children’s and adult classes simultaneously?  If not, what is the plan for adult education space?

                  • Plans are to design educational opportunities around available space and plan for future expansion.  In addition, adult education is currently moving to offsite venues in small groups.

                  32. Will the walls in the education area dividing the classrooms (particularly on the west and east) be permanent or are they transitional/moveable to allow flexibility to the rooms and be able to make them larger?

                    • All walls are fixed. There are currently no provisions for moveable walls in the classrooms.

                    33. Is the center core of the education wing wide enough to be the “right” size for a basketball court if that wing is expandable and we need a multi-purpose room?

                      • The width of the building is 120 feet. Future expansion would need to take this dimension into consideration.

                      34. Is there space provided on either side or in back of platform for people to wait to go on stage during (example) plays and puppets?

                        • Yes, on both sides

                        35. Will the gathering space have portable walls for smaller events?

                          • No, not included at this time

                          36. Are the squares shown on the drawing in the narthex poles?  Pillars in narthex?  (Asked 2x)

                            • Yes, these are necessary design elements to support the roof structure, provide drainage and access to power in the narthex.

                            37. Will there be a communion prep station?

                              • Yes, the kitchen will be used for this purpose.

                              38. Administrative offices?  Pastor and staff office space?    (Asked 2x)

                                • Administrative offices will remain in the Carnegie building; however, there will be an administrative space in the new building.

                                39. Not enough storage? How does 995 sq. f.t of storage space that is proposed compare to storage space in our current building?  Currently more storage.   (Asked 3x)

                                  • Yes, we are aware that planned storage space is significantly less than current storage space.

                                  40. Windowless rooms – current more storage

                                    • No, classrooms are not intended as storage spaces.

                                    41. Will there be any basement space under the church?   (Asked 3x)

                                      • No, the entire building is at the same elevation (i.e. the floor is flat throughout).

                                      42. Will there be a storm shelter?

                                        • Yes, there will be designated shelter space.

                                        43. Distance (feet) from sanctuary to kitchen?  (Size of narthex)

                                          • The Narthex will be 50’ x 120’, approximately 6,000 sq. ft.

                                          Church Interior:  Furnishings

                                          44.Pews or chairs?   (Asked 3x)

                                            • Chairs

                                          45. With windows in sanctuary, will there still be AV screens?

                                            • Yes, the windows will be equipped with shades to allow effective projection onto screens.

                                          46. Do we have TV’s in narthex with seating area just outside of sanctuary for “cry room” space for parents to soothe fussy babies?

                                            • We will have TVs in the narthex area.  We will explore options for cry room space.

                                          47. How does the size of the gathering space compare to the current fellowship hall? How many could it seat for meals?  Dinner tables?  What is seating capacity for gathering area for meals and how does it compare to current fellowship hall? (Asked 3x)

                                            • The Narthex area is a little more than twice as large as the current Fellowship Hall.
                                            •  Depending on the setup and types of tables, the capacity will vary but the maximum capacity for seating would be approximately 400.

                                          48. Do we have space planned in women’s bathroom for a couch (breast feeding) and changing tables in both men and women’s restrooms?  Is the ladies’ restroom larger than what we have now?  How many stalls?  (Asked 2x)

                                            • Space is not currently reserved for a couch in the restroom, but there should be changing stations in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.   We will explore options for a breastfeeding area. The restroom areas will meet code requirements and be handicap accessible.  We anticipate having a total of 7 women’s stalls and two family restrooms along with 4 men’s stalls and 3 urinals.  

                                           49. As long as we are building new restrooms, we must look at gender neutral ones.

                                            • We currently have plans for two restrooms that anyone can use.

                                           Church Exterior / Parking / Streets

                                          50. Inclement weather for getting someone in a wheelchair – no overhead protection from the weather. (Asked 18x)

                                            • Entry canopy is not included in the budget for Phase 1 at this time, however, depending on financing and construction costs, a canopy could be a consideration for Phase 1 or included in a future phase. 

                                          51. 264 parking spots?  Yet it seats 1,000?   Parking for 500 people -- sanctuary holds 1,000.   What is the average worship service size (current) vs. projected and will 256 spaces be adequate?  Parking needs to support 500 plus parking spaces. (Asked 5x)

                                            • The amount of parking is determined based on the maximum capacity of the sanctuary (1000 people).  Overflow parking may be available on grassy areas if capacity of the planned parking lot is exceeded.  The sanctuary capacity of our current building is approximately 400 people.

                                          52. The number of handicapped parking spaces mandated by city code will probably be insufficient for this congregation!!!??

                                            • If additional handicap spaces are needed, we could use temporary handicap parking space signs.

                                          53. Parking lot lighting/security

                                            • Exterior lighting/security is included.

                                          54. Will there be signage on Highway 13?

                                            • There is no signage currently included in this phase of project.  The building front will be visible from Hwy 13.

                                          55. Who pays for streets?  (REC Drive & 35th St)

                                            • We pay for the streets and the cost is part of the current budget.  This is a shared cost with the City and a portion will be paid back when the other half of the streets develop. 

                                          56. Is the only way to access the church on Highway 13?  Entrance from 35th Ave.? (Asked 2x)

                                            • Initially the only access will be from Hwy 13 onto Rec Drive. 
                                            • There will not be access to or from 35th Ave.

                                          57. Expansion to the south – would road need moved to do this?

                                            • No.  Expansion is planned to the south already and the road should not need to be moved.

                                          58. Drives – concrete or asphalt?  Are ALL of the driveways and parking concrete? (Asked 2x) 

                                            • Concrete is currently planned, but may change depending on material costs at the time of construction.

                                          59. Garages for equipment – snow removal, etc.  mowers – janitorial equipment storage?  Planning for an out building? (Asked 3x)

                                            • This is not currently included in this phase of the project.  We anticipate evaluating options for church members to construct an outbuilding on the property.  Janitorial equipment storage is included in the new building.

                                          60. Is it a flat roof?  Is the shaped roof going to cause more damage of pressure of the center roofing?  Too much flat roof and issues?  Is the flat roof a cause for concern–snow accumulation, leaking, etc.  Concerned about the flat roof design.    Roof is too flat over classrooms, future maintenance?  Flat roof in Iowa – solar possible? (Asked 7x)

                                            • The roof will include sloping to allow for drainage of water.  The roof will be designed to adequately handle snow load and drifting in the winter.  The roofing materials should allow for relatively low maintenance.  Solar panels are not included in this phase of the project. 

                                          61. What material will be used for the exterior of the building – any brick/stone?  What kind of material on building?  Is the exterior concrete?  (Asked 4x)

                                            • The exterior is precast concrete.  We are evaluating different potential finishes of the concrete. 

                                           62. Can the visual or “curb” appeal be improved?

                                            • Options to improve curb appeal will be ongoing and can be addressed with landscaping, decorative features, or other items. 

                                          63. Will the steeple and cross be lit?

                                            • We are evaluating lighting options for the steeple and cross.

                                          64. The spire could be more inspiring.

                                            • The feature was designed by the architect.

                                          65. Are solar and geothermal energy being used?

                                            • Not at this time.

                                          66. Will there be an earth berm along Highway 13 to attenuate noise from the traffic?  Highway noise can be very loud, and even a short berm can help.

                                            • A berm along property boundaries, including Hwy 13, is being evaluated.

                                          67. “Rear” entrance/exit – trash – deliveries – FLY – access to kitchen – coolers – etc.

                                            • Means and methods for building access for various activities will be an ongoing discussion with project stakeholders.

                                          68. For ice and snow management around the entrances have heated sidewalks at entry points been considered?

                                            • Heating of sidewalks is not included.

                                          Supplemental questions

                                          69. Is there a janitor room, mop sink, equipment storage, paper supply storage?

                                            • There is a janitor closet with mop sink that connects to the kitchen and the educational hallway. 

                                          70. Will on-site offices be included in the building?

                                            • See 38 above

                                          71. Will access to restrooms be possible without walking on carpet (can a restroom be accessed from outside without crossing carpet?)

                                            • The Narthex is not carpeted and restrooms are accessible directly from the Narthex

                                          72. Will there be a family restroom / Handicapped Restroom?

                                            • Four of six restrooms are handicapped accessible and there are two family restrooms at the back of the sanctuary, also accessible from the Narthex. Children’s restrooms are not handicap accessible.

                                          73. Natural lighting control?

                                            • Yes, see 29 above

                                          74. Will the building design be such that the tech team will not be an intrusive part of the worship experience?

                                            • The tech team will have dedicated space at the back of the sanctuary

                                          75. Will the interior of the building provide controlled access to different areas?

                                            • Education space is set up with access doors to keep it separate from the Narthex

                                          76. Will there be ramps on both sides to get up to the Chancel?

                                            • Access to the Chancel is planned as a ramp on one side only and four sets of steps.

                                          77. Will the kitchen design provide dedicated space for the steam table?

                                            • Yes

                                          78. Will there be steps up to the Chancel in the center of the stage?

                                            • Yes

                                          79. Where will money come from to pay interest on principle for new church?

                                            • It will be paid by congregational giving, either through the general budget or through a debt elimination campaign.

                                          80. Where will UMW keep their program materials?

                                            • Not known at this time.