Construction Updates

Attention church members and guests: Church renovation construction has begun. As you arrive Sunday, you will notice that some doorways and hallways will be closed off. If you have any questions, please ask one of our friendly volunteers for assistance. The schematic below shows which areas will be blocked off.

Construction Updates

Serious construction began last week as a large portion of the church facility was blocked off with partitions and temporary walls to become a true hard-hat construction zone. This has dramatically changed the paths through the church that many people use each Sunday. These are some of the major changes as of Dec. 8, as well as some suggestions regarding access and parking:

Entrance to the Sanctuary is no longer available from the south door of the Narthex (entrance area). Access is available through the main church doors on Main Street, the entrances on the north side of the church, and through the door at the front of the church (from the hall leading to other parts of the church).

Entrance to the Contemporary Worship Center is available through the Portico entrance (near the offices) and through the doors on Illinois Avenue and Baird Street.

Entrance to the Chapel is through the outside chapel entrance. A protective wooden entrance area has been erected there to provide access during the construction phase.

Parking will remain available in all church lots. Parking will not be available along Main Street. The City of Midland has granted us the use of their parking lot (west of the church) on Sundays. Persons attending Contemporary services may park there and enter the church via the Illinois Avenue door. Contemporary parking is also available along Baird Street east of the church.

Golf carts will be available to transport worshippers from the more remote parking locations to an appropriate entrance.

The hall leading from the Sanctuary to the remainder of the church (past the old Parlor and Room 107) will remain open throughout the construction, but may be restricted somewhat in size as construction moves near that area.

All the current operating classroom and choir areas will remain open throughout construction though attendees may need to find new paths to their particular rooms. One good idea would be to examine the maps posted throughout the church and locate the best doors and stairs for access.

The elevator will remain in operation throughout the construction period.

Handicap access may not be available or limited in some area. The access via the Portico should not be disrupted by the construction. Updates on other areas will be provided as access status changes.

Please allow a little extra time to get to worship to avoid last minute frustration. First Impressions members and church staff will be glad to help direct worshippers if you are unsure of how to reach a particular spot.

Let’s all do our best to remain excited and cheerful as we live through these slightly disordered days and remember a couple of things. First, at the end of these months we will have a beautiful new space in which to meet and worship. And, perhaps as important, we never know what new folks are visiting to check us out. May they encounter only excitement, energy, and smiling faces.

The Connecting Building Project: The Next Phase of the Journey

A special Charge Conference of First Methodist Midland took place on May 4, 2015, with District Superintendent Derrell Patterson presiding. Joining the Church Council were members of the Building Committee and several guests.

Ron Stroman, Building Co-Committee Chairman, provided a summary of the history of this project, from the original study and deliberation by the Long-Range Planning Committee through the first phase of proposed changes and the capital campaign to the growing realization that a bolder project was needed to achieve this vision for the church’s future.

Tim Culp, Building Committee Co-Chairman, then explained how the new project design required a commitment of $11 million dollars and outlined the plan for funding this project. The parking areas west of the church would be upgraded, with proper curbing, lighting, marked street crossing, etc. The church plant renovation would include a major redesign of the current Meditation Garden area into an enclosed gathering space connected to a better-defined main entrance to the church and the development of a Worship Center constructed to provide a more contemporary-style worship. The construction cost for this expanded project would be $9 million. An additional $2 million is projected for the associated “soft costs,” including such items as new furniture and fixtures, consulting fees, audio and video costs, security and the costs associated with temporarily relocating the contemporary worship service to the Activity Center.

Following his explanation of the expanded project costs, Culp outlined the financial plan developed by the Building Committee. The Connecting Capital Campaign raised $6, 262,471 from 253 pledges. An actual collection of at least $6 million is projected. The First United Methodist Church Foundation approved a gift from the Foundation of $1 million. $2 million of oil and gas revenue from a mineral estate deeded to the church by former church member Leona Bryant Smith was undesignated and available, if approved at the Charge Conference. The remaining $2 million would be covered with a bank loan and through additional pledges.

Having outlined the financial plan, Culp then presented the Resolution of the Building Committee to the Charge Conference. The resolution concluded,

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the FUMC Building Committee recommends and seeks approval from the Charge Conference to contract The Beck Group to initiate and implement the Building Project and use approximately $2,000,000 in undesignated oil and gas royalty income to assist in financing the Building Project. These funds were generated over the past 5 years from producing oil and gas mineral interests owned by FUMC and operated by Chevron in Midland County and are currently held on account and managed by our Foundation Trustee, Bank of America/U.S. Trust.”

District Superintendent Patterson asked for any questions or discussion on the Resolution then called for a vote by the members of the Church Council to approve this resolution. The Council members approved, with no dissenting votes. Patterson then declared the Charge Conference adjourned.

While everyone present realized there would be the usual discomforts associated with any building project, there was also a clear sense of resolve and excitement in the room as a vision years in the making entered a new phase of the journey to becoming reality.

Actual construction is projected to begin in June with renovations to the parking lots.