Drawing of Proposed Family Life Center

Below, you will find a rendering of the proposed Family Life Center.  This drawing, depicting the architect's plan, was submitted by Jane Lewis. You can click on the image to see it a little bigger.


Drawing of Proposed Family Life Center

Architect Presents Master Plan to the Administrative Board

On February 28, 2008, Jack Althouse with the architectural firm of Althouse, Jaffee, Associates, LLC presented the overall Master Plan for Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church to the Administrative Board, and specifically, reviewed the plans for the new Family Life Center.  The Administrative Board unanimously approved the Building Committee to proceed with the development of architectural building plans for the Base Bid, Alternate One, and Alternate Two.

The Base Bid includes the main Family Life Center, kitchen, restrooms, some storage, a classroom/meeting room, and a second floor unfinished.  The total area of the finished space is 9,274 square feet, and 2,408 square feet of unfinished space as a second floor.  The estimated construction cost of the Base Bid ranges from $1,729,208 to $1,938,748.

Alternate One includes the Lobby Connector to the existing Educational Wing of the Church consisting of 2,255 square feet of finished space, second floor unfinished portion of lobby connector consisting of 2,255 square feet, and minimal renovations to connect to the existing building. The estimated construction cost of Alternate One ranges from $639,460 to $719,610.

Alternate Two includes finishing the second floor of the unfinished space of the Family Life Center in the Base Bid, finishing the second floor of the Lobby Connector, and installing an elevator. The estimated construction cost of Alternate Two ranges from $834,200 to $926,200.

The members of the Building Committee are:  Addie Baldwin, David Baldwin, Charles Billings, Jim Gourley, Hillary Evert, Diane Jones, Steffanie Felder, Verna Munn, Barry Oren and Jane Lewis.

Ex Officio:   The Pastor, The Minister of Education & Evangelism, Youth Director, and the Chair of the Trustees, the Chair of the Finance Committee, and the Chair of the Administrative Board.

The estimated total cost (construction and other costs) of the new Family Life Center (Base Bid) is over 2.5 million dollars. The Building Committee will continue to work in concert with the Finance Committee to develop alternative sources of funding including grants, if available, bond programs, and financing options to present to the Administrative Board.

Should you have any questions or comments about the new Family Life Center or the Master Plan, please contact Charles Billings at (410) 987-5359.

Capital Campaign: The 1/2 Million Dollar Mark!

Capital Campaign Pledges and Collections as of December 27, 2007 are as follows:

Total Pledges/Gifts                $856,168.50

Total Amount Collected        $502,254.21

We are most grateful and thrilled to have now hit the ½ million dollar mark in our campaign. Statements for your contributions to the Capital Campaign for the year 2007 will be prepared in January. Thank you for your support of the future of our church.

Family Life Center – Design Phase

The architectural firm of Althouse, Jaffe and Associates, LLC and Jack Althouse as the Principal Architect has began the design phase for the new Family Life Center. Architectural drawings should be prepared during this summer.

As we embark on defining the actual design and functions of the new Family Life Center, the Building Committee will be asking for your input. This is the time to make your comments, suggestions and opinions known. This will be an exciting time. It is our turn to build for the next generation. We must be bold and go out on faith. And with your prayers, personal help and financial support, we will build this facility. We recently gathered together on June 23rd with the architect and members of the congregation to begin designing this structure in an Architectural Workshop. Updates to this session’s accomplishments will be available on the church website.

Although the estimated cost of the new Family Life Center is over 2.5 million dollars, a more refined cost will be available as the architectural drawing and the project proceeds. The Building Committee will continue to work in concert with the Finance Committee to develop alternative sources of funding including grants, if available, bond programs, and financing options to present to the Administrative Board this year.

The Greater Odenton area is a growing community and is expected to grow even faster with the announcement of the expansion of job opportunities at Fort Meade and NSA. With the new facility, Nichols-Bethel UMC will be able to offer a broader array of ministries to the Community and for our members.

Building Committee Interviewing Architects

With the assistance of Hogg Construction Company, the Request for Proposal has been sent to six architectural firms and interviews of architects will be held during the month of March, 2007. We should have an architect hired by April, 2007 and soon thereafter architectural drawings should be prepared.

Although the estimated cost of the new Family Life Center is over 2.5 million dollars, a more refined cost will be available as the architectural drawing and the project proceeds. The Building Committee will continue to work in concert with the Finance Committee to develop alternative sources of funding including grants, if available, bond programs, and financing options to present to the Administrative Board this spring.

The Greater Odenton area is a growing community and is expected to grow even faster with the announcement of the expansion of job opportunities at Fort Meade and NSA. With the new facility, Nichols-Bethel UMC will be able to offer a broader array of ministries to the Community and for our members.

Should you have any questions about the new Family Life Center, please contact Charles Billings.

Capital Campaign Q&A

1. What will the annual cost of operating the new building be?
We estimate the cost of operating the new building for utilities, insurance and cleaning to be about $34,000. This estimate may be high or low depending on how heavily the building is used. Any additional program cost estimates will have to be developed based upon the specific activities and the required staffing.

2. What about pastoral housing?
Currently we have a parsonage on the grounds that costs about $10,000 annually to provide. This cost includes utilities, insurance, repairs, etc. and varies depending on the required maintenance and repairs. Were we to replace the residence with a housing allowance, the current Conference recommendation is $15,500. It should be noted that 55-60% of pastors in our Conference now receive such allowances. It is likely that regardless of our building plans, we will need to move in this direction in the future.

3. What percentage of the current budget will the additional annual costs be?
The percentage would be about 7.6% of the current budget. The Church's approved budget for 2006 is $520,772. The operating cost of the new building and the increased cost for providing a housing allowance are estimated at $39,500.

4. How much does the consulting company think our church will be able to raise; what size debt is the church willing/able to manage, estimate yearly payments on various debt sizes?
Our consultant projects that we should raise $725,000, based upon the anonymous suggested giving of the Campaign Leadership Team. However, this Church is a very generous church; and when asked to give, the needs have been met. If we only raise $725,000, we would have to borrow 1.5 million dollars to meet the projected cost of the new Family Life Center. If we borrow 1.5 million dollars, at 8%, for 30 years, the monthly payment would be $11,006.47 per month or $132,077.64 per year. If we borrow 1 million dollars, at 8%, for 30 years, the monthly payment would be $7,337.65 per month or $88,051.80 per year. The cost of borrowing is very expensive. The more we pledge/give now the less we will need to borrow and the less the project will cost. We will be good stewards of the funds raised.

5. What are the church's current assets/debts?
We estimate the current Church's buildings and ground to be worth in excess of four and half (4.5) million dollars. Including the cemetery funds, the liquid assets of the Church are about $440,000. The Church essentially has no debt except for two outstanding bonds totaling $5,000, which are owed to two members of the Church.

6. What are the planned uses of the new building? What groups or activities have expressed a need/desire to use the space?
During the development of the Master Plan for our Church, the architect spent over 25 hours in consultation with all the major building usage groups (by age, fellowship and ministry group). By far the most pressing needs and desires fall in areas a Family Life Center can achieve, which is flexible, multi-use space with expanded storage and commercial kitchen, fellowship and praise areas, accessibility for seniors and disabled, and recreation space. Churches with such facilities report constant usage and blessings, limited only by square footage and imagination. The Master Plan Presentation, Campaign Brochure and Campaign Video are additional sources of information on a Family Life Center.

7. How many of us are there to share the journey?
There are over 700 households on our rolls, at home here, out of town, across the country and around the world (military, etc.). About 240 of these give contributions of record, others give through loose offering or occasional special gifts. Across the year on regular Sundays, about three hundred sixty or so are with us here at church. Special occasions and seasons add to these numbers, giving us about three hundred ninety as a yearly official average.

8. How much of the initial 2.5 million dollars are we looking at raising directly, through fund raising; through other sources?
We would like to raise as much of the needed amount ($2.5 million) as possible. A capital stewardship campaign normally raises at least two times the annual income. We will seek other sources of funding including grants, if available.

9. What sort of decisions will be made at the end of the capital campaign? Will they be based on pledges or actual dollars on hand?
As pledges are assessed when the commitment phase of the Envision The Dream, Building The Future campaign draws to a close, we will know what decisions will need to be made. These decisions will be made based upon a combination of the commitments (pledges) and the projected cash position of the Church. Any changes to the building plans for the Family Life Center will be made in consultation with the individuals who pledged the funds for this purpose as well as with the congregation as a whole.

10. What level of money do we need to raise to begin constructing the new building?
We seek to position the Church to have as little debt as possible. We believe that we need to raise at least $725,000 to take the initial steps to proceed with the building, and, obviously, other sources including financing would be required.

The Greater Odenton area is a growing community and is expected to grow even faster with the announcement of the expansion of job opportunities at Fort Meade and NSA. With the new facility, Nichols-Bethel UMC will be able to offer a broader array of ministries to the Community and for our members. Should you have any questions concerning the Capital Stewardship Campaign, or have any questions about the new Family Life Center or future building plans, please contact Charles Billings at (410) 987-5359.



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