God has been good to us and has added to our numbers. Consequently we have been trying to add space and use every corner of our current building. So about a year ago the elders commissioned a group of people to be an expansion team to explore our possibilities and to get us some preliminary numbers.
That team finished their work in August. They did an excellent job. They gave us four categories and also gave us the best options in those categories.
Four categories were presented to the elders:
- Expand the current location.
- Relocate to a larger church.
- Relocate to another building and remodel it.
- Build at a new site.
Numbers 2 and 4 were quickly ruled out. Existing churches were either too small and/or
landlocked – much like RiverValley is now. A new site was ruled out due to expense
($5 - $6 million dollars).
We then pursued expanding in our location (#1) or moving to an existing building and renovating it (#3). The building most seriously considered and discussed was the former site of Oshkosh Lumber located at 3111 Algoma Blvd – north of RiverValley. We estimated the cost to renovate the lumber yard at $3 – $4 million dollars.
Although the lumberyard site was intriguing we ruled it out again because when we prayed about the options none of us were at peace with the $2.5-4 million dollar price tag.
We have decided to work on an expansion plan for our current site.
Our recent expansion of the sanctuary allows us to seat 280 people currently. We are currently averaging about 145 people per service. We have room to grow in the sanctuary now. But we believe we need to address the following areas: youth & kids ministry space, gym space, extended fellowship space, an upgraded entrance, handicapped lift, and office spaces.
Some quick pros
- The suggested additions can be done with minimum of interruptions to our current ministries
- The options we’re considering address most of our needs and are all under 1 million
- We can address needs much quicker because of the amount of money needed.
This PRELIMINARY proposal includes the following projects:
- Install a lift to make the worship center handicapped accessible.
- Turn parsonage lot into parking.
- Build a building in courtyard for youth and other activities.
- Build a 2 story multiplex on the south side of the building that would include fellowship space/new main entrance, additional restrooms and space for offices, classrooms and youth.
Why should we expand our facilities?
- Because we need more space
- Teens have no real spaces to call their own. We are investing in and expect our student ministry to grow.
- The kids ministry is growing and we need to expand the spaces for them.
- We are a church that is committed to fellowship, but our expanding equipping hour has encroached on the little space we had left for that.
- The staff offices are crammed together and in hallways and corners. Some staff members have to leave their offices and find rooms to carry on conversations.
- We need to be handicapped accessible for our worship services
How does this help our mission?
- Our mission is “Bringing people into a community of Christ-followers, and training them to faithfully and fearlessly live sent.”
- Bringing people in requires a facility that is warm, friendly and inviting. We have discovered that people often belong before they believe.
- We take seriously the concept of equipping and will continue to work at equipping people which will require space.
How big can we get here?
- Currently we are averaging -150 and 130 in 1st & 2nd services =280 with 65 kids = 345. We believe we could grow to 245 +220+110 = 575-600
- Somewhere around 450 and 500 we would start planning for a church plant, possibly in Omro or Winneconne
What will it cost?
- Between $600,000 and $1 million
How soon would we begin?
As soon as the following occur:
- The congregation gives its approval and commitment to expansion
- Plans are finalized with an architect
- Funding is determined
What would be the projected sequence of projects?
- Lift to the sanctuary (ASAP)
- Expanding Parking lot (Perhaps next Spring)
- Building additions (As soon as we can raise the designated amount of money )