The final revised design for Phase one (shown) and the budget for our proposed new SJU church home were approved by a vote of the congregation June 14, 2009.

SJU Builds - A Chronology

 

VIBRANT COMMUNITIES

After the Vibrant Communities presentation on January 11, 2015, members of the Vibrant Communities teams met together to brainstorm ideas for addressing our space needs and identified 2 main themes for further development as alternatives to the previously developed building plan for the corner of the property: (1) build a multi-use facility on the corner portion of the property that would serve both as worship space and to meet a community need such as affordable housing, day use in support of the community, or shared space with mission/aid organizations; (2) renegotiate our worship time, building use, and power base in our current location to then consider our investment in the future and redevelopment of the WLIFC.


BUILDING STEERING COMMITTEE

The year 2014 was a quiet year for the Building Steering Committee. We have continued to have discussions with the SJERC Planning Team as they plan for the possible renovation of the building. SJERC invited a representative from SJU to join their planning committee and our representative has been Lon Chestnut.

Lon has met with the SJERC Building Committee on a number of occasions and has presented our list of facility requirements as outlined in last year's Annual Report. SJERC has commissioned an architect to draft renderings of what the renovation to the building might look like based upon our recommendations and SJERC needs. The Wilde Lake Interfaith Board and the SJU Council have approved the concept renderings. These renderings and proposed renovation plan must be approved by the Archdiocese of Baltimore before any final drawings or plans can be drafted.

We will continue to meet with SJERC to develop a merged and prioritized list of needs for both congregations, which will drive any future joint renovation/expansion efforts.

As reported in the 2012 annual report, the committee agreed to transfer the bulk of the capital building funds to a low risk investment account in order to earn a higher rate of return. At the end of November 2014 the total amount in the investment account was $953,415, and the total amount in the local account (including the $15,000 temporarily used as operating fund income in 2012, $30,000 used in 2013, and $15,000 used in 2014) was $66,015, for a capital fund year-end total of $1,019,430.

The committee, led by Rich Parker, included Phil Barnes, Lon Chesnutt, Caroline Evans, David Douds, Mary Ka Kanahan, and Alvin Thompson.



BUILDING STEERING COMMITTEE

SJU Council November 2013

Approved a letter from the building team to Father Bowen SJRC

“The Council of SJU wishes to retain the right for the future use of the land at the corner of Trumpter and Twin Rivers Road of  the WLIFC campus!”

The year 2012, unlike the fairly busy 2011, was a quieter but important year, including:

(1)   Termination of new building approval processing by Howard County;
(2)   Continued committee discussion of future plans and possibilities within the committee and with the Planning Team of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic (SJERC) congregation;
(3)   Completion of our oversight of the ongoing process of capital fundraising for our future plans; and
(4)   Investment of the bulk of our Capital Funds in order to realize a higher rate of return than that available from CD's.

This report summarizes our activities during the year relating to the above four topics and  documents the final status of our fundraising efforts.

As we reported in last year's Annual Report, during the summer and fall of 2011 the committee confronted the three realities of high building costs, operating budget growth, and debt service costs in a new building, over against our decreasing capital fundraising and operating budget capabilities. We reluctantly but firmly concluded that SJUcould not proceed with construction of a new separate building. We reported these conclusions to the Council in October 2011, to the SJERC Planning Team in November 2011, and to the congregation in February 2012. Finally, we terminated approval processing by Howard Co. in February 2012.

During further discussions with the SJERC Planning Team in November 2012 and early January 2013 concerning the possibility of joint action to renovate and expand the existing WLIFC building, we presented the following list of SJU needs for the building:

  • Dedicated worship space for SJU Sunday morning worship with seating for 250 to 300 plus choir seating for 30 - space would be dedicated to SJU on Sunday morning from 9 am to 12 noon, but would be available for shared use at all other times;

  • Dedicated fellowship space for SJU on Sunday morning from 10 am to 1 pm -currently used space in Rooms 10/11 would be sufficient, so long as ready access from the above worship space to the fellowship space is available;

  • Christian Education space for SJU on Sunday morning from 9:00 am to 10:30 am, consisting of not less than 5 classrooms - currently used space in JJFC would be sufficient;

  • Dedicated office space, consisting of not less than 3 offices, Administrator's work space, storage closet, and shared work room space - currently used 3 offices, center work space, storage closet, and work room in IFC would be sufficient; and

  • Access to sufficient IFC parking.


We will continue to meet with SJERC to develop a merged list of needs for both congregations, which will drive any future joint renovation/expansion efforts.

The SJU Capital Campaign began in 2006 with three-year pledges toward a new building.

The total amount pledged and paid through December 31, 2012 was:

Adjusted First Campaign Pledges                               703,351    (deaths &. moving away)
Paid thru 12/31/12                                                        676,200
Non-pledge offerings thru 12/31/12                            19,466
Total First Campaign - Final Status                             695,666
Second Campaign Pledges                                          318,413
Paid thru 12/31/12                                                        270,657
Non-pledge offerings thru 12/31/12                            32,355
Total Second Campaign - Final Status                       303,012
SJERC First Payment to Building Fund                       150,000
Interest earned on CD's thru 12/31 /12                       45,600
Total Capital Funds Raised and Earnings               1,194,278
Expenses on Building Project thru 12/31/12           -260,133   (Site Engineer, architect, attorney, labs, Howard County fees)

                           Cash Balance Remaining                $934,145


Beginning in April 2012, the committee considered transferring the bulk of the capital funds to a low-risk investment account, in order to earn a higher rate of return than that realized from the existing Certificates of Deposit (CD's). After hearing proposals from two local Financial Advisors and the investment arms of the two denominations, the committee, jointly with the Finance and Stewardship Committee, proposed to the Council that we make an investment through one of the local Financial Advisors in the amount of  $900,000. Arrangements for that investment were completed in December 2012. The remaining capital funds on hand, in the amount of $34,145, were retained in a local account for use in the event that additional capital expenses should arise.

The committee, led by Rich Parker, included Phil Barnes, Whitty Bass, Sandy Collins, David Douds, Alvin Thompson, and Lon Chesnutt.

Submitted by David Douds


2012 BUILDING COMMITTEE & CAPITAL FUNDRAISING STATUS REPORT TO THE SJU ANNUAL MEETING FEBRUARY 12, 2012

During the summer and fall of 2011, the committee confronted the two realities of high building costs, together with operating and debt service costs in a new building, as compared to our limited capital fundraising and operating budget capabilities.  We reluctantly but firmly concluded that SJU would not have sufficient funds in-hand to break ground in Spring/Summer 2013, as previously planned.  We further concluded that SJU could not proceed with Phase 1 of the new building in the foreseeable future.  We reported these conclusions to the Council, and we presented them to the St. John Roman Catholic (SJRC) Planning Team in November.

In discussions with the SJRC Planning Team after our presentation, we brought forth two possible alternatives for moving forward:

1.After completion of the Second Capital Campaign, cease fund-raising and devote remaining existing funds (currently about $900,000 for SJU) to joint action with SJRC to significantly expand and remodel the existing WLIFC building, including a dedicated worship space for SJU; or

2.Redesign the building plan to include only worship space (and possibly fellowship space), with a physical connection to the existing building and use of education and office space in the existing building.

In addition, one of the SJRC Planning Team members mentioned a third possibility – build the planned new building jointly and share it, with a dedicated worship space for SJU.  It was agreed that we would meet again in January for a brainstorming session on the three possibilities for moving forward together.  Subsequently, we were advised that SJRC needed more time for internal discussions, and they would not be ready to meet again until after Easter.  We are currently on-hold and waiting to hear from SJRC on the scheduling of the brainstorming session.

The SJU Capital Campaigns began in 2006 with three-year pledges toward a new building.  The total amount pledged and paid through December 31, 2011 was:


Adjusted First Campaign Pledges        703,351     (deaths & moving away)
Paid thru Dec. 31, 2011                         676,200
Non-pledge offerings thru 12/31/11     19,466
Total First Campaign                              695,666


The Second Capital Campaign began in 2009 and will extend thru 2012.  The total amount pledged and paid through December 31, 2011 was:

Second Campaign Pledges                               318,413
Paid thru Dec. 31, 2011                                     259,179
Non-pledge offerings thru 12/31/11                   9,290
Total Second Campaign thru 12/31/11           268,469
Interest earned on CD’s thru 12/31/11             44,945
Total Capital Funds Raised and Earnings    1,009,080


After adding other income and subtracting building-related expenses thru 12/31/11, the total for cash on-hand as of 12/31/11 was $904,701.


UPDATE STATEMENT TO CONGREGATION ON STATUS OF BUILDING PROJECT AFTER INITIAL MEETING WITH SJRC
December 18, 2011

As reported to you on November 6th, the Council and the Building Committee have agreed to postpone the 2013 construction start date for our new building because of financial constraints.

We met with the SJRC Planning Team on November 14th, and informed them of our current situation, including our inability to proceed with our current building plans because of financial constraints.  The meeting continued with a cordial and constructive discussion of future possibilities in general terms.

It was agreed that we would meet again in January 2012 for a half day brainstorming session to further define our joint future plans.  In the meantime, SJRC will more clearly prioritize their future needs for worship and fellowship facilities, as we have already done.

We will report to the congregation on further developments at our Annual Meeting on January 22nd.

November 6, 2011 The Council and the Building Committee have agreed to postpone the 2013 construction start date for our new building because of financial constraints.

We are currently exploring our options for going forward, and we plan to meet with the SJRC Building Planning Committee in about a week.  Before the end of the year, we plan to provide an update report to the congregation on our future plans.

In the meantime, the Congregation with leadership from the Council will focus on our strategic goals – growing our membership, maintaining and strengthening our ministry, and strengthening our membership involvement.


An Update from the Building Steering Committee-David Douds -June 26, 2011

For the past several meetings, the Building Steering Committee has been reviewing in-depth the entire building situation and related financial status.   The purpose of the review was to develop several alternatives for going forward with the building project, and then make a recommendation to the Council and the congregation on where we go from here.

In view of the fact that several Council members are currently doing a review of our congregation’s current status and strategic plan for the future, to be completed by the end of the summer, the Building Committee will wait until the that review has been recommendation on future building-related actions, including a report to the congregation in the September/October timeframe.

March  2011 Council report-There was a revised estimate for building costs which decreased approximately $50,000 from March 2009. The Building Committee is planning on a presentation to a Congregational Meeting to be scheduled in the spring. Current question is how to handle the debt service which is currently estimated at $35,000/year for a $500,000 mortgage.If there is an additional Capital Campaign, it will be directed at reducing the mortgage requirements.

October 2010- We continue to move along the new building planning timeline shared with and approved by the congregation in May and June 2009, which includes a third phase of capital fundraising in early 2011 and actual ground- breaking during the first half of 2013. Our current cash balance in the Capital Campaign accounts is $832,970, reflecting completion of most of the expected First Campaign pledges, near-completion of a major portion of the Second Campaign pledges, and some significant special gifts to the campaign.

       We plan to provide a comprehensive new building up- date to the congregation in February or March 2011, prior to kicking off the Third Capital Campaign. The update will include current and projected financial status, a current estimate of building construction costs, and an update to our 2009 estimate of future building- related operations costs.

      We ask for your prayers, patience, and understanding as we continue to move toward this important goal for our future together.

                                               Dave Douds for the Building Steering Committee

Happenings since the June 2009 SJU council meeting

¨  6/29 Met with SJERC committee to present revised phased approach to building along with revised timeline. This was well received by the committee ¨

6/30 Met with Wilde Lake Village Manager and Architectural Representative. They proposed presenting a package of revised drawings in summer of 2011 and clearly define this as a revision. Start the county process during the summer of 2012

¨  7/21 Presented revised timeline to construction management company and architects and requested a moratorium. They agreed although highlighted that the window of opportunity for reducedmaterials will likely have closed by that time.

¨  8/03 Sent letter to Howard County PlanningCommission requesting a delay through the end of 2010. Will submit subsequent request at the end of   2010 .

          The congregation voted (above) on the motion to continue the building process approving the following motion by 39 (for)-23(against) 2 (present) votes on Sunday June 14, 2009:

“That the congregation approves proceeding with the SJU New Building Project, in accordance with the Revised New Building Plan presented at the Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 31, 2009.  In particular, the congregation approves conducting a Third Capital Campaign — soliciting pledges  in the Fall of 2010, with the campaign to run for 2 years, beginning in May 2011, with a goal of $350,000 to $400,000.  In addition, the congregation approves a project schedule which envisions breaking ground not later than Spring or Summer of 2013.”


Congregational Meeting was held after worship on May 31st, and the congregation was brought up-to-date on the status of the new building project and related financial information by means of a PowerPoint presentation by Dave Douds, a member of the Building Steering Committee.


The presentation included:

  • a historical timeline of the new building process from 2004 to the present;

  • a floor plan and several 3-D views of the proposed Phase 1 of the new building design;

  • floor plans of the proposed Phase 2 (addition of 4 Christian Education classrooms) and Phase 3  addition of the Sanctuary), together with a 3-D view of the completed new building (all phases);

  • the current and projected financial situation for Phase 1, reflecting a balance outstanding of $350,000 (after both capital campaigns, the SJRC contribution, and a  $500,000 mortgage);

  • the projected impact of mortgage debt servicing on future operating budgets, with comparison to the projected cost of “staying put” in our current arrangement;  a relative timeline for the remaining steps required to complete construction of the new building (Phase 1); and  a brief description of the three financial actions required to support completion of Phase 1 and leading to breaking ground within not more than four years (Spring/Summer 2013).


          After several questions and a brief discussion, the meeting was adjourned with the understanding that there will be small discussion groups on the presented material, led by Building Steering Committee and Council members, after worship on June 7th and 14th. (The congregation will vote on the proposal at the June 14th meeting.)  Handouts, with a summary version of the presented material, were available at the conclusion of the meeting.


New Building Status and Congregational Meeting

Sunday May 31st

                  

                We will be meeting after worship on Sunday, May 31st to hear a report on the current status – and proposed future status – of the new building project for St. John United. As Lon Chesnutt indicated in his newsletter report last month, the question posed at our Annual Meeting in January was, “What is to happen with the construction of new SJU facilities?”

The Building Committee has been working hard since then on a proposal for how best to continue “Building a New SJU.”

            First of all, we will present the design history of the proposed new building. This began with the architect’s preliminary drawing, included in the Capital Campaign brochure of 2005, with estimated construction cost of $2.2M. The design continued to evolve through the initial complete design of Spring 2007, which was submitted for the Wilde Lake review process. The construction cost for this design rose from an initial daunting level of $3.5M to the untenable level of $4.2M, largely due to inflation in cost of materials during 2007. The committee began to consider cost-reduction options for a phased construction process, and recommended delaying construction of the sanctuary portion of the original design, as presented to the congregation in July 2008. After completing a Second Capital Campaign in the Fall of 2008 and again reviewing our financial situation, we worked with our architect on further cost reductions and developed the final design, which will be presented on May 31st.

            This final design includes delaying the sanctuary (with worship in a reconfigured fellowship hall), lowering the Narthex roof height, reconfiguring the Christian Education space, and changing some exterior finish materials. These changes reduced estimated construction cost to $2.3M – you could say we’ve come full circle. We believe this design represents the most cost-efficient approach to meeting SJU’s needs, while moving significantly toward resolving our financial dilemma.

           Secondly, we will present our current and projected future financial situation. Our dilemma has been balancing the impact of construction and related costs against the impact of the new building on future operating budgets. This comes down to the question of how large the mortgage loan component of construction financing should be – the larger the loan, the larger the debt servicing impact on future operating budgets; and the smaller the loan, the larger the capital

costs. Our future financial proposal will be our best effort to fairly and realistically balance the impact of debt servicing and capital construction costs.

          Finally, we will present an outline of the time required for the remaining steps in completing the new building construction process.

         We fully understand and share your concerns about this whole lengthy and difficult process. This has not been easy for any of us!! However, we remain fully committed to bringing the process to a successful conclusion, and we pray that you will continue your past outstanding support and confidence in our future.

                                                                For the Building Committee,

                                                               Dave Douds


From the April 2009 SJU Newsletter- At our January Annual Meeting, the congregation asked, “What is to happen with the construction of new SJU facilities?” Accordingly, the Building Committee has been hard at work to produce a concrete proposal for the May 31st report to

the congregation.


The obstacles have been substantial as the initial cost estimates of $4.2 million were beyond the reach of SJU’s resources. This was true even after the Second Capital Campaign added $317,000 in pledges to our Reserve Funds.


The Building Committee is considering alternatives such as: two phases of building to reach the final design, seeking alternative construction methods to reduce costs, and changing the floor design for efficiency. These efforts, plus consulting with many friends and professionals, are moving the Committee slowly but deliberately toward a solution for SJU’s dilemma.


At the annual meeting of the congregation January 25th Lon Chesnutt reported that we  have raised $317,000 in pledges to build the new church building-far short of the $500.000 needed to start construction.    The Building committee has asked for a six month extension from Howard Country to postpone construction and will ask for a second six month postponement as we study and discuss with SJRC a way to move foreword on this project.



From Sept Council meeting-The Building Committee submitted a recommendation to build the new facility in two phases.  Phase One would not include the Sanctuary. Worship would be held in the Fellowship Hall. This would save approximately $712,000 of construction costs. Other options were explored but this option would have the greatest potential savings and least amount of impact on Phase Two.

Phase Two would include the Sanctuary as originally designed. A letter will be sent to the Wilde Lake RAC to inform them of our phased approach to complete the new building. This phased approach will be presented during the Congregational Meeting. The initial Building Campaign is scheduled to conclude in April 2009. There will be an extension of the Building Campaign for three years to conclude in April 2012. Groundbreaking will begin when 50% of the estimated  construction costs have been obtained


From the SJU Council minutes of their August meeting -At a meeting with SJRC, a request was made for additional funding of $500,000 contribution. That request was denied. Other requests were accepted which included extending timelines for completion of building and move of our congregation from current facility. The Building Committee is also suggesting extending the current campaign from May, 2009 until May, 2012. The Committee will be holding several meetings during this week to define more specific estimate of deficit. The Council voted to conduct a special Council meeting on Monday, August 25 to review this information and plan Congregational Meeting scheduled for Sept. 21.


At a Special Congregational Meeting, held after worship on July 27th 2008, Rev. Bass, Dave Douds, and Lon Chesnutt explained the history of the project that began in 2002 and where we are now.  


    *The 2002 proposal for a new building for SJU with financial input from SJRC based on SJU’s share of the total equity in WLIFC.  

    *The timeline concluded with our most recent action, which was Council approval of the selection of Henry Lewis Contractors of Owings Mills as our Construction Manager for the new building. (Much of the timeline since 2006 has been detailed in this chronology.)

    *We have a current Balance On Hand of $475,000.  A report on projected income and expense for the entire project, because of inflation over the past six years, reflected a deficit of expenses over income in the daunting amount of $1,362,500.  

    *Rev. Bass affirmed that the SJU leadership was committed to seeing this project through.

    *That we would be planning an extension of the Capital Campaign and we encouraged all members and friends to submit their thoughts and suggestions on how best to proceed.  

    *Lon Chesnutt stated that we have postponed our groundbreaking date, in view of the funding gap, to a future date.  


The Joint SJU/SJRC Team met on Tuesday evening, July 29th.  This team was formed as a forum for discussion of items of mutual concern throughout the SJU new building project.  SJU then announced that we would commit to:


    *An extension of the current Capital Campaign by another 2 to 3 years,  

    *Raising additional funds with an emphasis on upfront payment of pledges;

    *Consideration of a phased building approach to spread the total cost over a longer period;

    *Minimizing the delay in the groundbreaking date, consistent with the developing financial situation.  

    *We then requested that the SJRC, consider segregating their remaining contribution into a CD account and adding the interest to the account balance, as a means of hedging that amount against future inflation;

    *That SJRC consider making an additional contribution in the project to cover inflation to the project over the past six years. to assure successful completion of our joint project;

    *That SJRC agree to flexibility in their application of the “three year window to complete our building” in our legal agreement of November 2006.  


There will be a Congregational meeting  after worship on Sunday July 27th to hear a progress report on our new building.



From SJU Council News July/August 2008-Howard County has approved the site development plan.  The next step is to hire a construction company for pre-construction planning.  After interviewing six companies, it was recommended to extend an offer to Henry Lewis Company from Owings Mills, MD.  They will complete the pre-construction plan which includes value engineering for cost savings as well as an initial bidding process from trade companies for accurate pricing.  They have built about 200 churches since 1981.  The charge for this consulting is $30,000, which would be included in the building cost if they are the construction company chosen by SJU.  A motion was made by Sandy Collins and seconded by Stacy Mogren to approve this pre-construction engagement with Henry Lewis Co.  It is estimated that once ground is broken, it will take approximately 12 months to complete construction.


COUNTY APPROVES SITE DEVELOPMENT  The Howard County Planning Board approved St. John United’s Site Development Plan on May 22 with a 3 - 0 vote that opened the way for SJU to take another step in its countdown to a new building.  The approval dealt with all the work necessary to prepare the ground for a new building, i.e. water and sewer connections, grading of the land, water runoff.  SJU’s site engineering company, Patton, Harris, and Rust, had prepared the proper drawings to meet the needed specifications, and the Planning Board had only a few questions and comments before voting unanimous approval.

In the public hearing, three persons spoke against the proposal and tried to raise objections to the cross on the external building, but the Board Chair said that issue was not in their purview of responsibility.  Father Dick Tillman and pastor Whitty Bass had both given brief statements emphasizing a continuing inter faith cooperation and request for approval.

The next task before the Building Committee and the SJU Council is the choosing of a Construction Manager.  That person would assist the Church as liaison in the final phase of planning and would also be SJU’s onsite representative when the construction phase actually begins.


The next hurdle is the meeting in the process to build a new SJU church building will with the Howard County Planning Board on May 22nd.  This session will be seeking approval of the plans for preparation of the site for construction of the building, which means all the preparation for the underground work of securing water, sewage, storm water, and electrical arrangements in proper form.  Members are encouraged to attend this hearing in the Ellicott Room of the George Howard Building at 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City at 7:00 PM on the 22nd.  Building Committee Administrator David Douds said he thinks all the necessary papers and drawings for County approval have already been or are about to be submitted. But, in the long road to gaining permission to build, a glitch can occur at almost any point, and we (SJU) must be ready to respond.


Meanwhile, other preparation continues so that SJU will be ready to move ahead when the final building plans are approved by the County Department of Planning and Zoning.  The Arium Inc. architectural firm has been authorized to complete the specification drawings for the new building, which means the actual drawings of where walls are to be placed, interior connections are to be made, and roofing is to be secured.  All the committees who made initial plans for the interiors of the building are completing their work so that SJU will have the look and feeling desired in the advanced planning.


The Building Committee has drawn up a short list of firms that could act as the ‘Construction Manager’ for the rest of the building process.  Upon selection of a firm, probably some time in May, the on-site representative of that firm will assist SJU in the final phase of securing necessary Howard County building permits, seeking bids for a general contractor to construct the building, helping the Building Committee to evaluate the bids and choose a contractor, and then be the on-site coordinator and liaison as the builder proceeds to do the work.


All of this must be underwritten by SJU’s financial means to complete the planning phase, receive the pledges from the Capital Campaign, secure a mortgage to insure payment for the construction, and include a debt-payment plan for the congregation.  The Building Committee is currently engaged in developing a plan that will meet these needs.  That plan is to be shared first with the SJU Council and then, in the near future, with the congregation.


SJU began this process of seeking a new congregational home as an act of faith and a trust that we were adequate to the task.  As we continue on that journey, SJU needs the enthusiastic support of every member.

The “Cross” issue and the community - since the RAM report from the Wilde Lake Architectural committee was overturned by the Wilde Lake Village Board April 7 and approved the decision to let SJU build its church building  as planned with the  Christian Cross that will face Twin Rivers and Trumpeter Roads. There have been several  stories in the local media: The Baltimore Examiner story (04.14.08) “Concerns raised as cross approved for Columbia Interfaith Center.”


The Columbia Flier story (04.17.08) “Critics say cross at interfaith center exclusionary”  See: Columbia Flier story; The Flier also ran an editorial, “Balancing faith, tolerance is Columbia’s cross to bear” by Doug Miller, (05.07.08).  He  began the with the question, “….people who don’t live in Columbia …even though those who live elsewhere…when they hear of a controversy over a church that wants to put a cross (on its new building).  After all that’s what Christians do just about anywhere ….But in Columbia it’s a little more complicated than that… …exterior religious symbols have been more or less taboo at Columbia’s interfaith centers…He concluded, “Envisioning Columbia’s big picture without a healthy dialogue about what’s wrong and right with the interfaith centers individually and as a concept would be a leap of faith we should not take.”  That editorial generated several letters of  comment both pro and con from the Columbia community. The Washington Post story (05.13.08)  followed with the story, “Plan for Cross Shakes Columbia to Its Core Values”    The following day  (05.14.07) almost every  local TV station news crew came and interviewed SJU members at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center and  some radio stations in the Baltimore Washington  area carried the cross issue that was generated by the Associated Press.  


The Wilde Lake Village Board approved the plans for  St. John United’s proposal to build a new church building at Twin Rivers and Trumpter roads at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center on Monday April 7.   The Board rejected the earlier RAM decision that the cross and denominational symbols be removed and by a 3-2 vote restored these items to the plan.


The SJU Building Committee will be appealing the decision on external symbols in the RAM report to the Wilde Lake Village Board (sitting as the Architectural Committee).  The SJU Appeal Meeting with the Wilde Lake Village Board  will be Monday, April 7, 2008 at 7:00 pm at Slayton House


The RAM report is in.  Kristin Shulder, Wilde Lake Covenant Advisor writing March 17th to break a tie vote of the RAM over SJU’s proposal to build our church building:

“I am writing to inform you that your application #18-08 to construct a new building has been approved with modifications.  Modifications include removing the symbols from the back of the building facing Twin Rivers Road and Trumpeter Road and moving the two smaller symbols to the sides of the front entrance doors of the building.”


At the January 2007 meeting of  the SJU Council -Dave Douds reported on recent activities related to the new building, focusing particularly on the current status of the shared parking agreement between the Interfaith Center and the Howard County Public Schools.  The agreement is currently undergoing final review by the Interfaith Board (and was approved at the IFC Board meeting in January). The school system,  as raised the question of student parking in the IFC parking lot, along with the related question of possible compensation by the school system for daily student use of the IFC lot.  Once these questions are settled, the agreement should be completed and signed very quickly. (The Howard County Schools agreed to the parking agreement March 1st).  If all goes well we are scheduled to meet with the RAC on March 11. We can then proceed with the Wilde Lake and Howard County approval processes for the new building.


In a later development the new Chair of the SJU Building committee, Rev. Lon Chesnutt reports that our architect, Steve McLaughlin, is encouraging us to go ahead and hire a Construction Manager.  He also reports that our consultants at Harris Patton continue to work with and for us on the Site Development Plan.  


Report of the RAC meeting October 23th  Rich Parker, chair of the SJU Building committee  reported on this second meeting with the RAC came after the members of the committee and SJU and SJRC representatives met at the site last week to fully understand the plans SJU is making to construct a new sanctuary on  the WLIFC campus.  After testimony was heard on parking concerns, the height of the new building,  it set back, the religious symbols proposed and questions about its compatibility with the present WLIFC, landscaping, and construction traffic control It was agreed that the RAC would compile a list of its  concerns and forward same by the end of the week. We would then reconvene next week at a date and time to be determine to try and iron out the concerns of both the RAC and the SJU building committee.


Report of the RAC meeting October 11th. Dave Douds  reports that the first of two meetings was held Wednesday October 11 with the Wilde Lake Village Resident Architectural Committee (RAC) who will make recommendations to the Wilde Lake Village Board to approve the new church building that St. John United has proposed to build on the WLIFC campus.  Questions were raised about handicapped parking and shared parking with the Wilde Lake High School, compatibility between  the new and existing building, and the lighting of the cross on our proposed building.   The RAC proposed a site visit and more discussions October 18th and a second meeting with the RAC on October 23rd at 7:30.


From September SJU Council minutes: Dave Douds reported on recent new building activities, particularly the informal meeting last Wednesday evening, September 12th, with representatives from the Wilde Lake Village Board and Resident Architectural Committee.  The meeting was amicable and informative for all concerned, and resulted in a list of questions for us to answer.  If that is accomplished by September 25th, the first public step in the review process, by the Resident Architectural Committee, will occur on October 9th at 7:30 pm in Slayton House.


From August SJU Council minutes:   Dave Douds reported on recent activities related to the Building Steering Committee, including (1) the status and schedule for review meetings by the Wilde Lake Village Architectural Committee, (2) the results of additional geological testing, recommended by a Howard County planning engineer, which will allow elimination of a storm water management protection basin under the lower parking lot at a savings of at least $90,000, and (3) starting the process for competitive selection of a Construction Manager for the new building.


Howard County Planning Board approves our plans for a new church building! By Dave Douds, Clerk of the SJU Council


The Board unanimously approved FDP-76-A-III as recommended by the Howard County Planning Board Staff June 21, 2007.  A summary of the presentations and  discussions follows:


1.  After an introduction by Dave Carney at ≈7:40 pm, our lawyer for this meeting, Msgr Tillman testified for SJRC & Rev. R. Whitfield Bass testified for SJU, both highlighting the disadvantages of the current situation. Bass told his "crying bride" story, about the bride he discovered weeping when she was told that, due to a scheduling conflict, her wedding would be moved from Room 1 to Room 4 (or this awful room, as she described it).    The Planning Board Chair asked about parking & was assured there would be enough.  The chair was also concerned about maintaining the interfaith concept, and she was assured that interfaith activity would continue.  Another member (Mr Alexander) expressed concern about parking & related traffic patterns.  


2.  Pete Stone (our Site Development Engineer with Patton, Harris & Rust) pointed out that additional cross-parking agreements with external entities (Wilde Lake High School and the Village Center) would be necessary in the event of future growth.  


3.  The Chair of the Wilde Lake Village Board testified (he said as an individual) about his concern re adequacy of parking in the future.  He indicated that he was not opposed to our building plans per se.  


4.  The General Growth Properties representative testified briefly and was supportive of the overall plan (SJU & SJRC), particularly since it involves expansion on the existing IFC land and not use of multiple parcels.  


5.  Mr Alexander recommended that the Planning Staff look at the coverage percentage issue for religious facilities in general for Columbia, since other IFC's may also need/want to raise their coverage percentages.  


6.  Mr Alexander moved approval of the staff recommendation to approve FDP-76-A-III (our submission) and Mr Grabowski seconded.  After discussion with the staff, with staff support for 25% coverage as allowing us to plan for the future, the Board unanimously approved our FDP request at ≈8:45 pm.  


SJU BUILDING PLANS TO BE HEARD BY THE HOWARD COUNTY PLANING BOARD JUNE 21, 2007!


SJU submitted our plans for our new church building on May 22 to Howard County.   The SJU Final Site Development Plan will be heard by the Howard County Planning and Zoning Board June 21st . The plan,  asks for zoning approval of future plans of both SJU and SJRC for the WLIFC campus.  See the proposed campus paper that was to be heard by the Board.



VOICES IN BUILDING A NEW SJU: Five areas of the new building were presented to the congregation by groups of members who have studied the needs in: worship space, education/nursery, welcome area, fellowship and bathrooms, and offices/storage areas on Sunday June 10, 2007.



NEW SJU BUILDING SHOW AND TELL!  SUNDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2007 FROM 10:00 AM TO 2:00PM.  Display and presentations/discussions in room 10-11 on the new look for the Wilde Lake Interfaith Campus with SJU’s newly planned church building.  Pastor Whitty Bass and Father Richard Tillman and representatives from both congregations and the architect will be available for discussions


February 2007 SJU Newsletter- The year 2006 was the turning point as SJU acted decisively in the process of building a new facility within the Interfaith Center complex at Twin Rivers and Trumpeter Roads.  Aspect one covers the work in planning, negotiating with related groups, and engaging an architect to draft building plans.  The second aspect of this report reviews the Capital Campaign in which the congregation committed itself financially to this building process.

The SJU Building Committee accomplished three major tasks during 2006:

♣Finished the conceptual design and site layout for the new SJU building

♣Finalized plans in conjunction with the St. John Roman Catholic congregation and jointly submitted a Site Development Plan (SDP) to the Howard County Planning and Zoning

♣Continued to interface with key organizations on our plans

This committee, led by Ken Rebeck, included Whitty Bass, Ruth Anne Becker, Cradelia Birdsong, Ralph Blevins, Tenney Brown, Rob Conley, David Douds, George P. Miller, Rich Parker, Alvin Thompson, and Ann Wicke.

Contracts were signed early in 2006 with Arium Architects and Patton Harris Rust & Associates, PC (our Engineering company). Meetings were held with the SJU congregation to obtain input and ideas on the building design. Preliminary reviews of the design were conducted with the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning and with General Growth Properties (GGP). We received favorable responses in both of these meetings, but also found some key items that needed to be resolved.

The main items concerned an existing site restriction on land coverage for future buildings and/or building expansions, building setback requirements, and parking concerns. To properly address these, it became necessary for the SJRC congregation to do some conceptual planning for their future expansion needs (which was not something we were previously expecting). This  accomplished, a formal application for a Final Site Development Plan (FDP) was submitted to the County in November, and we are currently awaiting their feedback.

During this process, we discovered some excellent reasons to move the building a bit further from the corner of the lot and to rotate it slightly to better align with the existing building and present a more engaging entrance from the parking lot. The architect also developed vertical design concepts for the building that are now being finalized. The new building will be attractive, very visible and inviting, making a strong statement that it is a church.

Organizations that have been kept apprised of SJU’s new building plans include the denominational representatives from the Presbytery and United Methodists, The Columbia Association, the Archdiocese of Baltimore Division of Facilities Management, KIMCO Realty (who is responsible for development at the Wilde Lake Village Shopping Center) and the Wilde Lake Village Community Association.

As part of this process we updated our SJU incorporation documents (from July 8, 1975) with the State of Maryland and will use the name “St. John United Church, Inc.”  The legal agreement between SJU and SJRC was also finalized.

The second phase was the Capital Campaign.  The Capital Campaign Executive Committee, with guidance from fundraising and management consultants Douglas Himes Associates, LLC, developed and conducted a capital and endowment campaign.  Efforts began in 2005 with development of a proposed campaign framework, a congregational survey, and focus group discussions to assess the feasibility of conducting such a campaign.  The results of these efforts culminated in SJU Council approval of the consultants’ recommendations to proceed with a capital/endowment fundraising campaign in 2006.

The Campaign Executive Committee members are:  Lon Chesnutt (Campaign Chairperson), Debbie Parker (Campaign Committee Chairperson), Tenney Brown (Treasurer), Whitty Bass, Sandy Collins, Dave Douds, Mike Hayman, Evelyn Mogren, Guy Moody, and Alvin Thompson.

Continuing under the guidance of the consultants, Dr. Douglas Himes and Rev. Dr. Errol Smith, the Capital Campaign Executive Committee developed and carried out the capital campaign, which included:

oAn advance leadership campaign which resulted in $ 450,000 in advance pledges

oDevelopment and publication of a brochure which provides the information about the campaign as well as a brief history of SJU

oA Campaign Kick-off Service on Sunday, March 19 which launched the official campaign

oTeams of volunteers’ visits to SJU members to share information about “Building a New SJU” and secure pledges.

oA Campaign Celebration Service on Sunday, May 21 to give thanks for all the pledges received and to celebrate our commitment to “Building a New SJU”.

At the celebration, it was announced that $782,868 had been pledged over three years to the capital fund and an additional $253,000 pledged in endowments. As of year-end 2006, total pledges amounted to $807,125 for the capital campaign, of which more than $240,000 has been received.

Symbolizing all these efforts is a new banner entitled “Building a New SJU”, which was created and presented by Judy Miller and Judy Brown, a visual reminder that Covenant and Christ will continue to be our foundation as we build a new SJU.

The congregation will soon hear about opportunities for all the membership to help in the planning for the new building.


Submitted by: Ken Rebeck, Building Steering Committee ChairpersonDebbie Parker, Capital Campaign Executive Committee Chairperson

Lon Chesnutt, Capital Campaign Chairperson


DECEMBER 2006 SJU NEWSLETTER   Ken Rebeck


On October 16th SJU and SJRC jointly submitted a request to General Growth Properties (GGP) for revisions to the Final Development Plan (FDP) for the Wilde Lake Interfaith Religious Center. The FDP is a critical step in the master planning process for expansion of the interfaith center campus, with the immediate goal of adding a new church building for SJU near the corner of Twin Rivers Rd and Trumpeter Rd. GGP has agreed to support the congregations by assisting in the formal submission and defense of the FDP to Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning during the week of November 20.


The design of SJU’s new building has gone through several changes over the past few months while considering building elevation design concepts and orientation of the building on the site. The Building Steering Committee recently reviewed several physical mockups (constructed of cardboard) for the building vertical design. The current plot plan concept is illustrated in the sketches below. The entire interior as previously reviewed with the congregation has been retained, but the physical arrangement has been modified somewhat. The resulting building will house an impressive worship space and narthex, classrooms, a fellowship hall, and offices.


The worship space will be the prominent architectural feature, with angled front walls and a high peaked roof. The new building will be immediately recognizable as a religious facility. The building vestibule entrance will be clearly visible and inviting from the parking lot, and the design will blend architecturally with the existing building and consistent with future interfaith center expansion plans.


The FDP submission requests that the property building coverage restriction be increased from the current 10% to 25% to accommodate the new SJU building and the future expansion needs of SJRC. Parking requirements and internal lot line setbacks are also addressed to support the expansion design and accommodate property subdivision needs.


With the FDP behind us, the SJU Building Steering Committee will now concentrate on the final elevation layout of the building and the internal design details. The committee will be reviewing concepts with the congregation over the coming months


October 29th 2006 SJU Congregation members were shown the proposed plans for their new church building to be built on the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center campus by Steve Mc Laughlin of Arium Architects.

 

September 1st 2006 –SJU News Letter-

 

NEXT ON THE  CAPITAL CAMPAIGN . . .PAYING THE PLEDGES

 

As the solicitation phase of the Capital Campaign has been successfully completed with over $800,000 (+$200,000 for the Endowment Fund) pledged toward the new congregational facility proposed at the corner of Twin Rivers and Trumpeter Roads, SJU now moves into the next step in the building process—actually paying the pledges!

 

Campaign Treasurer Tenney Brown reported that over $165,000 has been received so far and is being held in CDs and an interest-bearing account.  Expenditures so far are covering Campaign and administrative expenses until the ’building phase’ begins sometime next year.  If you would like to pay your pledge through appreciated stock, contact Tenney Brown or Lon Chesnutt.

 

The Building Committee Chair, Ken Rebeck, reports that negotiations for approval of the new building are progressing as anticipated.  The Wilde Lake Merchants Association is supporting the proposal and a presentation to the zoning board will occur soon.  Also coming in the not-too-distant future will be the actual architectural drawings so that the congregation will be able to visualize how the building will look.

we are also about to sign our legal agreement with SJRC and the Interfaith Center.

                                            -Lon Chesnutt

 

“Our new legal name, St. John United, Inc., has been approved by the State of Maryland.”

       –from the SJU Council Minutes for August 2006

 

May  21, 2006

 

Rev. Lon Chesnutt Chairman of our SJU capital campaign announced on Sunday May 21st that we have received more than $1 Million in pledges for our new building and the endowment fund!

 

September 1st 2006 –SJU News Letter-

 

NEXT ON THE  CAPITAL CAMPAIGN . . .PAYING THE PLEDGES

 

As the solicitation phase of the Capital Campaign has been successfully completed with over $800,000 (+$200,000 for the Endowment Fund) pledged toward the new congregational facility proposed at the corner of Twin Rivers and Trumpeter Roads, SJU now moves into the next step in the building process—actually paying the pledges!

 

Campaign Treasurer Tenney Brown reported that over $165,000 has been received so far and is being held in CDs and an interest-bearing account.  Expenditures so far are covering Campaign and administrative expenses until the ’building phase’ begins sometime next year.  If you would like to pay your pledge through appreciated stock, contact Tenney Brown or Lon Chesnutt.

 

The Building Committee Chair, Ken Rebeck, reports that negotiations for approval of the new building are progressing as anticipated.  The Wilde Lake Merchants Association is supporting the proposal and a presentation to the zoning board will occur soon.  Also coming in the not-too-distant future will be the actual architectural drawings so that the congregation will be able to visualize how the building will look.

we are also about to sign our legal agreement with SJRC and the Interfaith Center.

                                                 -Lon Chesnutt

 

“Our new legal name, St. John United, Inc., has been approved by the State of Maryland.”

       –from the SJU Council Minutes for August 2006

 

May  21, 2006

 

Rev. Lon Chesnutt Chairman of our SJU capital campaign announced on Sunday May 21st that we have received more than $1 Million in pledges for our new building and the endowment fund!

 

May 1, 2006

 

Your SJU Building Steering committee, under the capable leadership of Ken Rebeck, continues to meet and has conducted preliminary discussions with several local officials, community representatives, and church leaders. Meetings have been held with denominational representatives from the Presbytery and United Methodists, the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning, The Columbia Association, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore Division of Facilities Management. Initial contacts have also been made with KIMCO Realty (who is responsible for development at the Wilde Lake Village Shopping Center) and the Wilde Lake Village Community Association. We are continuing to work with Tom Terry, a representative from SJRC and a member of the WLIFC Board, to work out our communication guidelines for the project. The SJU members most actively involved in the above activities have been Ken Rebeck, Dave Douds, Rob Conley, Ann Wicke, and our pastor, Whitty Bass.

 

We are updating our SJU incorporation documents with the State of Maryland and will use the name “St. John United Church, Inc.” instead of the old name “The Church of St. John the Evangelist (United Methodist-United Presbyterian)” that was used in the original document filed July 8, 1975. We are also finalizing the legal agreement between SJU and SJRC to make all this possible.

 

The actual process of “building the church” will take some time. Our architect, Stephen W. McLaughlin, A.I.A. of Arium Architectural Engineering, has suggested a timeline that we are working to meet:

1  October 2006 - Initial approval of the plan by Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning. This would include the conceptual layouts, parking study, topographic survey on-site, boundary survey, and Record Plat.

2  November 2006 - July 2007 - Design phase which includes public, water and sewer plan, landscape plan, site renderings and Planning Board attendance, cost estimates, permit processing and assistance, and meetings and consultations.  Hopefully these negotiations and plans would be complete and a Construction Permit obtained by July 2007.

3  August 2007 - Late 2008 - Construction phase

4  Late 2008 - Occupancy if all goes well!


 2005-SJU SEES FIRST CHURCH DESIGN

 2004-SJU APPOINTS ARIUM AS ARCHITECTS

 2003-SJU ACCEPTS SJRC PROPOSAL

 2002-SJRC OFFERS  SJU A BUY OUT!

 
 

 

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