The renovation and restoration of the building will focus primarily on accessibility and improving the overall functionality and safety of the space. We will be able to add an elevator that will access all floors of both buildings, as well as more accessible entrances to the buildings. We will have bathrooms on every floor and central heating and air conditioning systems. Our electrical and plumbing systems will receive needed updates as well. All of these things may seem simple, and they aren’t flashy, but they will help our building be much more usable and comfortable for all people! The rooms will get fresh coats of paint, new lighting, and, in many places, new flooring finishes.
The children’s area of the building, the day school wing housed in one end of the main level of the community building, will be refreshed, including new child-sized restrooms and a designated entrance. The other end of this level will receive a new set of accessible restrooms, and the two current meeting rooms will become the Neighborhood Commons, a beautiful multi-use gathering space that can be used as one large or two smaller spaces for any number of events. The lower and upper floors of the community building will be restored and refreshed for multi-use space, usable by all kinds of groups. The church office will remain on the third floor, but shifted in its footprint to accommodate the elevator, and redesigned for improved functionality as we free up space for more intentional multi-purpose use.
The sanctuary and fellowship hall will both be refreshed, restored, and updated for better functionality as part of the full system upgrades. There will be significantly improved lighting and sound in the sanctuary. In addition, the sanctuary will have a redesigned chancel area (the stage area up front) to better suit the variety of uses needed in worship and for other programming.
A new connecting space will be created to enclose the space between the sanctuary and community buildings where the brick arched breezeway and sidewalk paths are now. The connector is a major accessibility improvement, as it will allow us to have accessible entrances from both the front, facing McLendon Ave, and the rear, facing the playground and courtyard, with immediate access to an elevator. The connector will create a clear, identifiable main entrance to the buildings and an expanded entry space to welcome people. We will be able to offer better directional signage so people coming to participate in activities in the buildings can find their way a bit more easily.
Playground and Courtyard
Site work will rearrange the playground and courtyard space in the rear of the building to allow for accessible pathways, easier access to the building in general, and better water management. The updated playground will maintain a comparable square-footage footprint, but reoriented into a longer rectangle and making way for new equipment. The parking lot will include designated accessible parking spaces, and a new accessible sidewalk will be located completely outside of the playground area. The courtyard space outside of the playground will be refreshed and usable in a variety of ways. Additional safety exits will be added from the children’s classrooms on the second floor of the community building.
Building Functions During Renovation
On-site work will begin June 4, 2018. The entire project is slated for completion by the end of December 2018. The children’s level, playground, and the outside site work will be prioritized so that the Candler Park Day School can return to day school operations in mid-August for the 2018-19 school year.
The church functions that typically happen in the buildings will still happen-- somewhere else. We already do much of our ministry out in the community, and we will just live into that more fully for the six months of renovation. We will have meetings in homes or other gathering spaces. Small groups will convene, as they do now, in homes and restaurants/bars around the community. The church office will officially move to a room in the parsonage (the pastors’ house) at 1517 McLendon Ave. The church staff will mostly work remotely, but will be able to come into the office as needed and for weekly staff meetings and planning.
We will still meet for weekly worship. We will just need to gather somewhere else for these months. Think of it like going on the road! Most new church starts have to begin their gathering and life together in a rented space that is not their own. We didn’t have to do that, because we had the gift of a building. Now, we have the gift of the funds to renovate and restore that building, which leads us, a bit ironically, to living a more typical new-church-start life for a season. Armed with a solid timeline for renovation, a small team of staff and volunteers is investigating potential worship locations – and we would love your suggestions! If you think you know of spots that might make an ideal temporary worship location, or would like the details of the guidelines we are using, please contact the pastors.
We feel confident that this season “on the road” can be fun and energizing-- and we have the abundant joy of knowing that we don’t have to fundraise for a property or find and purchase a new property before we can have a building. We just have to be flexible enough in our life together to worship somewhere else for six months, knowing that we will be able to return “home” to a wonderfully restored, multi-functional building that will enable all kinds of amazing ministry and community connection!
The Candler Park Day School will maintain regular functioning through the end of the 2017-18 school year(last day of school May 24th), and it will resume on a typical schedule in August 22, 2018 for the 2018-19 school year. As previously stated, there will be no summer camp this summer, due to renovation. When school begins, the newly designated day school entrance; the children’s level, including the classrooms and newly added children’s restrooms; and a new multi-purpose room (currently called the Historical Room) will all be completed and used as part of the daily school functions. The playground and a new access path to the playground will also be completed. Temporary walls will be constructed as needed to secure the children’s wing from the areas of the building that are part of ongoing renovation. The general contractors with whom we are working, Hodges & Hicks, specialize in work on buildings that undergo continued use during renovation or even new construction. They have worked in schools, hospitals, and other churches where schools returned to session before the full project was complete. They have worked with us to develop a timeline that allows for the children’s wing and site work to be completed first, over the summer, and they will be working with the church and CPDS leadership to ensure safety for all children, staff and families throughout the renovation.
The building will be unavailable for community users until after renovation is completed.
We are asking that all community users complete their use of the building by May 11, and have all of their possessions out of the building by the end of the day on May 12. If use of the building is indicated for the week of May 14 or 21, please contact the church office to work out arrangements, understanding that there are no guarantees and that there might not be any furniture in the space. We had originally thought we would not need to clear out the building until June. However, because we must rely on volunteer help for most of the move-out work, we are scheduling on weekends available for volunteers to help before Memorial Day. This has caused the cleaning and moving processes to shift to a bit earlier.
February 2019 is the anticipated date to begin booking in the renovated building, as we will need time to move back in and get things settled in the newly restored space. If your group needs help finding another space to meet, we are happy to help think of other options and to make connections. We will follow up over the summer with current building users about future possibilities for space reservations.
Moving Out and Storage
We will have to move out nearly every single thing in the entire church. All of it. There are two storage rooms in the upstairs corners of the sanctuary building that might only have to be rearranged. Everything else has to move out. This is because the systems replacement work is so extensive in every part of the building that, in order to make it cost-effective and timely, we truly need to empty the space.
Everyone must label their personal or group property by March 15. With the merger, new pastors and leadership, and so many people using the building, we simply do not know what belongs to the church and what belongs to individuals or groups that is being stored at the church. We do not want to accidentally get rid of things that don’t belong to the church! Please help us by labeling your items. Anything left unlabeled will be understood to be the church’s property.
After that, the church leadership will organize the work of sorting every object in the building into one of four categories:
1) No longer usable, i.e. trash
2) Sell or donate
3) Things we’ll need during the season of renovation
4) Long term storage, which will be inaccessible during the entire renovation time.
That work will come in several phases, culminating with movers taking everything out of the building by the end of May.
Everyone has labeled their personal or group’s property in the building.
Anything left unlabeled will be understood to be the church’s property.
Organizing and sorting work day
Church organizing and sorting work day
Yard sale by Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, hosted at the church
April 23 wk
Kidney Foundation pick up of leftover yard sale items
Community building users complete use of the building
Community building users’ possessions removed from the building
Potential church packing & organizing days
May 21 wk
Movers move all long term storage items to storage
Last day of school for Candler Park Day School (CPDS)
May 28 wk
CPDS classrooms and supplies packed
Movers move all CPDS items to summer storage
Church office moves to parsonage (pastors’ house)
Everything is out of the building
Expected date of main floor children’s space and site work completion
First day of school for Candler Park Day School, 2018-19 school year
Expected total project completion date