Renovation News to Know –
- Entrances to the church for Sunday worship include the Armory Avenue and Mitchell Street doors. Some activities may use the Fellowship Hall doors as well.
- We have a working water fountain with waterbottle filling station in the office hallway!
- Men's, Women's, and Family restrooms on the office level are now open! (Some minor repairs may remain to be completed.)
- Additional available restrooms include those near the Multi-Purpose Room and near Fellowship Hall. For handicap accessible restrooms, take the elevator to the 2nd or 3rd floor of the Education Wing.
- The Octagon cabinet & sink areas are undergoing construction work.
- Areas of the parking lot near the church are under construction or fenced off for safety reasons.
- Doors and sidewalks around the office, Sanctuary, and parking areas may be closed! Look for signs.
Out of Service:
- Portions of the parking lot nearest the church are unavailable.
- The sidewalks between parking lot and church have been demolished in preparation for new walkways, lights, and ramps.
- The Memorial Garden and Columbarium (while not directly under construction) are not accessible due to work in the area.
- The parking lot door is unavailable.
- We are unable to take drop-off/pick-up items in the office, Narthex, or other areas.
- The phone system has been disconnected.
- The Octagon is closed.
Weekday Closures During Renovation – Renovations are underway! We do plan to hold worship each Sunday in-person in the Sanctuary as regularly scheduled. No visitors can be allowed in the work zones. The office is open Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM but appointments are strongly recommended. Phone lines have been temporarily removed! Email is the best way to reach your St. Paul’s staff during construction.
While we will work to minimize disruptions, we know that temporary challenges to our operations are sure to occur during the construction period, projected to last 4-5 months. We will also include a "Renovation Update" in each weekly email newsletter! You can sign up to receive the email newsletter of read it directly from the website HERE - no email required.
Work is underway in earnest outside as accessible sidewalks and new storm-water management regrading continues. Indoors, we have a shiny new waterfountain with bottle filling station and the Family Restroom is open in the office wing. Additional restrooms are awaiting new sinks and fixtures held up briefly in supply-chain shipping delays. Work continues on the Octagon on the sink & counters.
The smaller cloak area will allow people to move more easily through the Narthex and still give us space to hang coats come winter.
The Narthex ceiling has been removed during this phase of work.
The accessible bathrooms in the office wing are starting to come together with fixtures already installed.
The Narthex is under construction but in a slightly more cleaned-up state.
Asbestos abatement and demolition work has begun un the Narthex. Please use caution in these areas!
Work continues inside and outside! Pictured here - retaining wall preparations, new sidewalk and ramp preparations, and new drainage in the areas around the parking lot and front of the church.
Concrete has arrived for the bathroom work. Additionally work continues in the Parking Lot areas. See below for building access updates. Thank you!
The sidewalk and stairs between the building and the parking lot have been demolished! Parts of the parking lot have been roped off. We will be getting new ramps, walkways, and lighting plus improved storm water run-off management. Branches and trees obstructing these areas have been removed. Plumbing work continues inside in the new bathrooms near the library.
After jackhammering up the subfloor, this phase required digging into the dirt for new plumbing for the new bathrooms.
The "family bathroom" gets its walls removed, a new wall goes up to make the senior pastor's office smaller (and make space for the larger restrooms soon to be added on the other side), and the main office serves as a command center for the renovation project managers.
Week of May 23: The Octagon courtyard is full of building materials, the Octagon kitchen is looking emptier and emptier, and the floors and walls are changing in the bathroom areas!
Follow the activity and see what other behind-the-scenes snapshots our construction crew are sharing on our Renovation Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/St-Pauls-Kensington-Renovation-101272955926659
and on the St. Paul's home Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulskensington
Scroll down to the next section for information about which doors to use and what to expect when you arrive at St. Paul's in-person for Sunday worship.
Demolition of old spaces is underway! Here is the view of what used to be the senior pastor's office, hallway bathroom, and finance closet.
Renovation begins with contractors on site at 6:00 AM on Monday, May 9!
Here are things for our members and friends to know:
- Yes, we do plan to hold worship each Sunday in-person in the Sanctuary as regularly scheduled! Please see the Weekly News email or bulletin announcements for updates.
- All groups and committees have been asked to move meetings and events off-site if possible, or use Zoom during the construction period. Please check with Tracey Furman, facilities manager, in late July when we should (hopefully) have a better understanding of the project's end-point and can start scheduling events for Fall 2022!
- Starting Monday, May 2, all items in the cloak area, Narthex, Octagon kitchen, and main office will be moved into storage.
- For safety reasons, there will be no drop-in access to the church during the week.
- On-site staff availability will be limited and by appointment only. Email is the best way to reach staff while offices are affected by construction.
Other temporary challenges are sure to occur during the construction period, projected to last about 4 months. Thank you for your grace and understanding. The Building Committee plans to share weekly updates in our email newsletter, and will post pictures and video.
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, St. Paul's UMC held a Special Church Conference to address the building renovation project. The Rev. Gerry Green, District Superintendent, presided with members and friends in attendance live over the computer and telephone conference call. As with all Church Conferences, only present, full members were able to exercise voting privileges. Non-members and constituents were welcome to attend but do not have voting privileges.
With Pastor Kate facilitating the meeting and guiding users through the technology, committee chairs Mike Barnes and Tim Simpson offered a presentation on the state of the renovation plans, followed by a Q&A session and the vote. Erin Steele, Membership Secretary & Church Administrator, tabulated votes, verified voters' membership status, and shared the outcome with those in attendance. Rev. Green accepted the results and Pastor Pat Allen will submit the necessary notice to the Baltimore-Washington Conference office.
The question: Are you in favor of proceeding with the Building Renovation Plan in its current and updated form as it is presented this evening?
Total Voting Members: 97
CLICK HERE to view the SLIDESHOW presented at the Special Church Conference, or scroll down for the video recording of the conference.
How we got here:
- In 2015, the church voted by special Church Conference to move forward with planning building renovations.
- Initial goals were: improve access into our church building; open up the Narthex to free up usable space; build larger bathrooms in the vicinity of the Sanctuary; expand the kitchen in the Octagon area; convert two existing courtyards into usable indoor spaces with natural light; open up Fellowship Hall with new ceilings, lighting, flooring and windows; connect the two heartbeats of our church (the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall) with a simpler flow through the building.
- Our architect at the time gave an estimated cost of $3 million for the project
- The Capital Campaign Committee was formed to raise the funds
- However, due to the unanticipated requirement for code-mandated fire protection for the entire church property, new electrical service and transformer, and a new plumbing service, the total cost estimated by our contractor in 2019 rose to over $5 million - far beyond our initial estimate and campaign scope.
- We obtained a permit for project as originally drafted in August 2019, which has since been under a stop-work order pending revisions.
Where we are now:
- The scope of work has been revised to provide the most value at this time.
- A contractor has been identified and is under contractual agreement for the work.
- The Montgomery County Office of Planning and Permits released the stop work order and issued a current building permit
- An audit of the Capital Campaign Funds determined that as of August 31, 2020, the amount on hand purposed for the building project was $1,253,116.71
- There remain $287,001.57 outstanding in unmet pledges.
- The Capital Campaign Committee established a plan to reach out to those who have either not fulfilled their pledge or who joined the church after the initiation of the campaign. All are encouraged to fulfill pledges by December 31, 2020.
Revised Project Includes:
- Improved access into our church building and use of existing space
- ADA ramps that allow all people to enter our church through the front door from our parking lot or from Armory Ave.
- Re-grading our parking lot for new ADA accessible parking spaces and improved water run-off management
- ADA ramps from our parking lot that allow people to enter the building by the music office
- Additional outside lighting along entry paths
- Build larger, ADA compliant accessible bathrooms near the Library.
- Expand the Octagon kitchenette; remove the small bathrooms by the Octagon
- Open up the Narthex by removing a portion of the coat area (while keeping a smaller coat closet)
- Does not extend into or enclose the courtyards
- Asbestos abatement in the areas of work
- The total cost of this revised project scope to include allowances for unforeseen complications is $1.2 million dollars -- which we already have on hand.
- This revised project would allow for a phase-in of the remainder of the original project in the future, while not doing any work that would need to be “undone” later.
If you have questions, please use the form below to contact the committee leaders or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the video below for the recording of our practice webinar for the upcoming church votes!
The feel and functionality of our church is essential to our mission and service goals. It is an extension and reflection of who we are and it is the vessel through which we fulfill our commitment and connection to Christ.
By altering and modernizing our inner walls and exterior sidewalks, stairs, ramps, and parking areas, we can provide a more welcoming environment for visitors and current members, shape a more accessible space for our community to gather, ensure our church is ADA compliant, and - maybe most important - provide better access for our ever-growing ministries.
Our Building Committee and Capital Campaign Committees, working together, have helped us move toward this renovation. Design professionals have drawn up architectural plans, surveys, permitting, and other necessary paperwork. Our fundraising effort is ongoing and you can read more about our original goals, expenses, and pledging support on our Giving page.
Initial goals for the renovation were identified over a multi-year discernment process. The Capital Campaign Committee was tasked with raising funds sufficient to meet renovation needs. Once we were able to determine the ceiling on our dedicated building renovation donations, the Building Committee was tasked with bringing the architectural plans into alignment with our actual budget.
We have already invested financial resources in site inspections, architectural plans and revisions, and permits.
There is currently a freeze on building efforts while we revise our plans again to match projected costs and solicit bids from contractors. This freeze also means the community of St. Paul's has time to find our way through this season of uncertainty in the global United Methodist Church and time of covid-19, insofar as the deadlines imposed by the county's permitting process will allow.
Here are some of the original goals:
- Our plans create ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant entrances into our building, including from the parking lot to the front door on Armory Avenue, and to the Fellowship Hall. In addition, a new elevator is proposed to directly connect the sanctuary level to the Fellowship Hall.
- Reworking of the Mitchell Street and parking lot entrances will create a more direct pathway to our sanctuary to ease navigation both for new visitors and for those with limited mobility.
- Space adjustments to the Octagon kitchen and coat room area will create a more open space for fellowship opportunities and allow better accessibility, including changes to the small bathrooms.
- A renovation of the Fellowship Hall will create a more welcoming entrance from the street and greater opportunities for hosting fellowship and ministry work.
- Install fire suppressant systems and upgrade aging electrical systems to protect the church we love and invest in long-term safety.
Still have questions? Please write to email@example.com.