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Luther's Rose

St Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church

A Discipleship Center

Celebrating Our 125th Anniversary 1892-2017


Long Range Planning Committee Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are we considering these options?

A:  Our infrastructure continues to suffer from water damage, repeated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) failures, failing roofs, mold and inadequate bathroom, classroom and office spaces.

Q: How was the architect selected?

A:  Multiple architectural firms were contacted to see if they had interest in looking at the potential project.  Three architectural firms accepted and were invited to view the campus and, if interested, make a proposal to the Long Range Planning Committee with their thoughts and recommendations.  After listening to the three proposals, Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects was selected as best meeting our needs.

Q: Will anyone have to relocate?

A:   Each option will require relocation and temporary storage to varying degrees.

Q: What does Option A (Repairs Only) fix and not fix?

A: Fixes: Roofs and HVAC on McCombs, Commons, and McSwain.  Leaves wall leaks, mold, bathroom inadequacies, and classrooms and office inadequacies unresolved.

Q: What does Option B (Repair/Renovate) fix and not fix?

A:  Fixes: Roofs and HVAC on McCombs, Commons, and McSwain, removes asbestos from floors and ceilings in McCombs.  Leaves wall leaks, mold, bathroom inadequacies, and classrooms and office inadequacies unresolved.  Very hard to make any structural change to cement block construction.

Q: What does Option C (Rebuild & Repair) fix and not fix?

A:  Fixes HVAC and Roof issues on McSwain and Commons.  New McCombs building alleviates all issues including roof, HVAC, wall leaks, asbestos, mold, bathrooms, offices, classrooms, etc.   Gain 3000+ sq feet with a smaller foot print.  Also gain a larger courtyard and playground.

Q: What does Option D (Relocate) involve?

A:  Relocation is the most complex of all the options.  Any move involves selling the old property, locating and purchasing the new property.  This requires Synod approval so we don’t intrude on our neighboring Lutheran congregations’ areas.  Temporary worship, storage and operating spaces would need to have to be found and rented.  The pipe organ and stained glass would have to be professionally removed, stored, and reinstalled.   The Memorial Garden would be reverently moved (Pastor addressed this at the meeting).

Option 2 Bathroom issues.

There seems to be confusion on what Option 2 does with the bathroom.  We hope this clears this up.  As a precursor to this, let’s explain what happens after the vote.  Once the option is determined a building committee will be formed.  They will meet with the architect and through interviews with those that use the buildings, staff, and the Pastor determine what is needed.  The architect’s construction, plumbing, electrical and HVAC engineers will look into any of the options and determine what is feasible given the budget for that option.

First, where did the $960,000 come from?

The McCombs and its education wing total 12,000 square feet.  Discussions with the architect and in-house people in the construction business determined that approximately $80 per square foot is appropriate based on experience.   Therefore 12,000 sq ft x $80 = $960,000.

Second, what is wrong with the bathrooms?

They don’t work.  There is little if no hot water in the bathrooms.  The commodes do not work efficiently.  There is no heat or air conditioning.  They are poorly located to support worship services. Some of this is due to improper usage, however once the plumbing engineers take a look we will have a better idea.

Third, will there be a new, relocated bathroom near the Nave in option 2?   

No, not at that funding level.  First challenge is location.  Look around McCombs. Where would you put new bathrooms?  While plumbing can be run through the ceiling after the asbestos is mitigated and the ceilings are renovated, sewer lines cannot. Depending on location, it may require a major sewer redesign, punching through the slab out to either the parking lot or the street.

Fourth, will the bathrooms be redone? 

The Building Committee is the driving force behind these decisions, however, we think can safely say that all fixtures would be replaced and the plumbing redone to provide appropriate hot water.  That, however, does not preclude potential sewer line problems, given the building was built in the 1960’s.  If lead pipe is found, it must all be removed.

Some may ask why we didn’t have the engineers delve into this.  Engineering expertise is not free, nor cheap.  The committee has worked hard to shepherd the costs to present the congregation these options at a reasonable cost.

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Thank you.

Long Range Planning Contact
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