Sunday, November 4 presentation was as follows:

This past Sunday, November 4, 2012 Westheights Community Church celebrated 34 years of ministry to the west side of Kitchener-Waterloo. We thank God for sustaining this ministry over that period of time and for continuing to bless Westheights’ ministries.

This past Sunday evening, we also had the opportunity to focus on the future. We gathered as the Church Board hosted a special council meeting to review the challenges we face with limited facility space and to review opportunities to help current and future ministry needs.

As we fulfill our mission to “help people find and follow Jesus”, we have been blessed with numerical growth in attendance over the past several years. This is not our goal but we consider it a positive sign of a healthy church. The exciting opportunity here is that new attendees add more skills, finances, experiences, and time to our ministries as they become involved in the life of the church. As we grow, we are also challenged with maintaining the sense of community in our church and maintaining our focus on our ministry while facing the challenge of limited space.

Dave Wigg, Chairman of the Board and presenting on behalf of the Church Board, reviewed these challenges at the June 3rd, 2012 special council meeting including worship service seating capacity, children’s ministry space and parking. We run the risk of not being able to respond to the opportunity God is presenting to us if we ignore these challenges. The possible approaches to addressing our space challenges, as discussed at that meeting, included church planting, multiple services, service alternatives, relocation to another site or expansion on our current site. The Board explored the feasibility of many of these options and concluded the best option at this point is to renovate our current facility.

The Board presented an option in June 2012 that increased the seating capacity in the sanctuary from 248 to 297 (19%). This option also reconfigured our internal space by moving the nursery downstairs, combining two classrooms to make one larger one and adding two new classrooms. These renovations were estimated at $300,000.

Upper Level Proposal

Subsequent to the June meeting, the Board continued to investigate available options and some new options came out of the June meeting. The new plan presented at the November 4th meeting:

  1. increase sanctuary seating capacity by 24%, from 248 to 308
  2. move the library to a brighter corner location
  3. an addition to the building would allow space for a lift to be added and enlarge the foyer. This two-level addition would also have a basement where a new classroom would be located
  4. ultimately, we would see a gain of one new classroom, while the four reconfigured classrooms would be larger than any existing classroom
  5. the downstairs Hub area would increase in size
  6. improved air flow and ventilation would be added to the entire basement

Extending our building in this manner allows us to continue to grow our Sunday morning attendance to the point where we can add another service, just as alive and vibrant as our current service..

Lower Level Proposal

The new plan also does not address on-site parking. The Board continues to explore parking options including at the Long Term Care facility, the medical building at the corner of Westheights and Highland, and the shopping plaza.

The current plan presented at this meeting has a projected cost of $550,000 estimated by an itemized budget including contingencies and is supported by a professional estimate. The Board would conduct a capital fundraising campaign in the spring of 2013 with a possible mortgage being taken if necessary.

As a reference, it was noted that the portable project had a cost of $220,000. At that time, a $200,000 mortgage was taken out.

The Board presented a motion to the Congregational Council as follows:

That the Church Board be approved to:

  1. undertake a building project to expand the sanctuary seating capacity, the foyer and children’s facilities, and
  2. conduct a fund-raising campaign to support the building project

… with the limitation that the project will be returned to the Congregational Council for re-evaluation if:

  • cost estimates based on full-project drawings will exceed $550,000, or
  • if the mortgage required after fund-raising will exceed 75% of these cost estimates

Voting will take place by ballot and will conclude on November 25, 2012 at which time next steps will be determined. The evening finished with discussions and questions.

Feel free to talk to any Board member with regards to the information presented.

The Church Board

Dave Wigg, Randy Buhrow, Amy Terpstra, Heather Gallian, John van Dijk, Paul Slater, Doug Braun

NOTE: If you were not at the meeting but would like to vote on this proposal, please speak to Todd Lester to pick up your personal membership ballot.