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    Author: Gerry Gingras

    Category: The Pulse 2019, The Pulse - 2019.02 Issue 2, The Pulse - 2019.03 Issue 3

    Taking a Peek at Proposed Phase II Renovations

    AS MOST OF OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS KNOW, in 2017 we decided not to move forward with a major expansion of our building facilities at 511 Maple Street. As the doors of our anticipated expansion project began to close, we noted that other doors began to open, especially in the area of planting new churches. Our vision to expand the Lord’s kingdom through disciple making has not change, but the path we are taking for doing so has. Like a “Macedonian Vision” where the Lord closed one door while opening another, we revised the direction of our Expansion Fund goals and are presently moving along two avenues

    On the first avenue, we are building a program for planting new churches in our Central Connecticut River Valley. Working with the New England District Association (NEDA), we developed a pastoral residency program for providing coaching, training and hands-on experience to potential new pastors who have a heart for church planting. This program is well underway with our first participant, Steve Durgin, who joined the program in September and is residing with his wife, Olivia, at our newly renovated home at 543 Maple Street. Our second and most recent participant, David Rucquoi, joined the program in November, and commutes with his wife, Josephine, from his home in Darien.

    On the second avenue of our vision, we are making much needed renovations to our church and campus facilities. Phase I of these renovations completed in 2017 included a new church roof, steeple renovation, new sanctuary windows, renovation of the pastoral residency home at 543 Maple Street; renovations to the home at 495 Maple; parking lot repairs; and, clearing of the wooded area behind 495 Maple. It also included the restorations completed earlier last year to the two bathrooms adjacent to Fellowship Hall.

    Phase II plans being considered by the Executive Board include interior renovations to our sanctuary and our kitchen; replacing all of the remaining older windows in the church; installing air conditioning in the remaining areas of the building, replacing carpeting; painting throughout; as well as upgrading our sanctuary lighting, video and sound systems. Participants helping to develop our Phase II plans included Janice Catrone, Linda Jensen, Jim Marquardt, Esther McNany, Colleen Smith, Dave Sylvester, Jim Tripoli, and Kirsten Trumbull as well as a few outside consultants. Estimated total costs for Phase II plans are $840,000. Currently, we have $690,000 in the Expansion Fund.

    We are excited about these plans and are anxious to share them with you. They will give our facilities a new, fresh and inviting look that will serve our members and guests for many years to come. This month, you will see professional renderings and a mock-up model of the sanctuary improvements as well as design boards of the colors and materials we plan to use in the sanctuary, kitchen and other areas.

    Our proposed Phase II plans will be presented at the next congregational business meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 pm. We are also planning a "WEFC Conversation" for Sunday, February 10th at 6:00 pm to discuss details and answer questions. Please come and share your thoughts. Click here to RSVP for the Sunday gathering, as a meal will be included in our time together. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Gerry Gingras at 860-944-5282.

    Click here for artist renderings and/or sketches of the proposed renovations.