As you hopefully saw in last week’s bulletin column, our vestibule expansion project is moving forward, full steam ahead! I didn’t give you many updates during the month of May because there were lots of behind-the-scenes details that we had to work out in order to determine a path forward. I’ve been saying all along that the construction market is extremely volatile and unpredictable right now, and so the bids we got back from potential contractors were extremely high, much higher than we were prepared for. So, with the help of our architect, landscape architect and mechanical contractor (all parishioners), we spent the month of May coming up with an effective strategy to respond to this development. Gratefully, we were able to secure some additional funding that enabled us to move forward without sacrificing any of the features or square footage that we presented you during the fundraising. (The one feature we presented to you that we had to eliminate from the design is the accessibility ramp up to the rectory.) Additionally, we worked out some design changes that saved us a good amount of money without impacting the integrity or quality of the design. I’m very grateful for all of the talented people who put so much effort into making this possible.
So with that, we are ready to move forward! You should start seeing construction crews in our north parking lot very soon. The first phase of the project, which we expect to last until the beginning of the school year in mid-August, will be to redo the entrance onto 933. Please note that at some point this will require us to close this entrance temporarily and route traffic to Darden Road instead. Also be aware that the drive directly in front of the church will still be open during this time, but constricted. I’ll pass along more information on that as it becomes available, but it might be a good idea to use caution while driving in the parking lot (always a good idea) and to take advantage of the throughway at the rear of the church instead.
I know that the question on everyone’s mind is, “When do we lose the front entrance?”. We expect the existing front entrance to be closed in mid-August, when the entrance to 933 is complete and the contractor thus shifts their focus to the vestibule. I will provide details about that for several weeks beforehand so that you know what to expect.
Finally, we’re still in the last stages of our fundraising efforts. We’ve had a great response so far, so now I would encourage everyone who hasn’t yet participated to donate as you are able, even if it’s not at one of the suggested giving levels. All parishioners who haven’t donated yet will receive something in the mail with instructions on how you can contribute.
Many thanks to you for your support, which has allowed this project to move forward in a very challenging construction environment. I also thank you in advance for your patience and charity with the inconveniences that construction will bring. They will be well worth it when we are blessed with a beautiful new vestibule for our church!