After waiting for many weeks, we have received approval for our fire prevention plan at the new offices at 107 Highwood Avenue. For most of the last couple of months we have been waiting on that and were not able to see the construction move forward. That will now change, and we anticipate a lot of progress in the coming weeks with a goal to move things to the new office by the end of May.

Walls in the office are now being finished (drywall), flooring will go in, doors are ordered, and cabinets, etc. for the ‘break room’ will go in around mid-May. New windows have already been installed.

Our architectural plans for the main part of the church proper were submitted about a week ago. These plans were submitted later then anticipated, as we needed to work out logistics around a ‘lift’ to enable the space to be accessible for all. These logistics were far trickier than we anticipated, and there were other structural decisions that needed input from an engineer, but we’ve been able to submit a plan that will be workable for us in a way that won’t ruin the budget.

So far, most of the categories have been bid under budget, with a few things that are over budget, but so far our ‘net’ is under budget. However, most of the work will come in Phase 2. Scott Krone of CODA (our general contractor) has been very careful about expenses and is in frequent consultation with Michele Becker (the project manager for Redeemer), the Rector, and the Treasurer. The Vestry is providing accountability for the overall project, and ministry related decisions are being made by staff, who will ultimately have to lead in the new space (children, music, office, etc).

Once the plans for Phase 2 have been approved by the Village we’ll make them available for everyone to have a look, but there haven’t been a lot of decisions to make: the building presents itself for completion as a church, and there aren’t a lot of options in terms of layout.

The main level will be the worship area. The lower level will have a kitchen (equipped to prepare and serve meals), restrooms, a gathering area (for fellowship, COR@9, etc.), a large nursery, and three classrooms, as well as a child-sized bathroom. There will also be storage in what used to be the garage.

Parking will be across the street in the municipal lot, as well as nearby street parking. There are some times that this lot will not be available to us (such as during major summer festivals in Highwood), and so we have contracted with Oak Terrace school several blocks away to use their parking lot on those occasions. We plan to provide some kind of transport between the school lot and the church building (valet, shuttle, etc) when that occurs. For the vast majority of the Sunday mornings, however, this will not be an issue.

Please feel free to submit any questions to our office.

Thank you for praying for this important project as it moves forward.