If you were to come to my office in the past week you would have noticed construction going on. If you didn’t come down the hall to my office you may not have noticed it. But we’re installing an elevator!
The elevator shaft has been hidden behind the sheetrock and paint, waiting to be born since this part of the building was new. We have opened the wall and are making it happen!
Why? Well, we have plans for the portion of the basement under the offices that is currently unfinished. Those plans include a room for the choir to rehearse in, a room that may serve as a meeting room. A visioning team, led by Ellan Muyskens, has been meeting on and off since I arrived here a year ago. The specifics of what that “unfinished basement” will look like when it is finished is still not completely determined. But if we want people to have access to that part of the building, we’ll need an elevator, no matter what purpose that space will serve when it is complete.
One of the ideas the vision team has considered is to have a recording studio, complete with state of the art sound and video equipment. Another idea has been to make it a versatile room with movable or semi-movable walls. One idea was to make into a youth music center. Still another idea has been to make a larger meeting room where we can meet without having to heat up large portions of the church in winter or cool them in the summer. That room would also be available for the choir can warm up and the bell choir can rehearse. Depending upon who you talk to on the visioning team, there are a variety of answers to the question. All of the concepts at this point include restrooms and office space. We have asked an architect to help us sort out the possibilities within the existing budget. We are waiting for their suggestions before proceeding.
What is clear is that we will need an elevator, no matter what the room will look like. It is far enough away that the other elevator will not adequately serve the space. And having ready access near the office door also allows us to provide better security when we are using the room.
The Trustees knew that the Visioning Team was not ready to begin construction on the room yet, but the elevator would be less expensive this year than next. So, the Trustees authorized the use of existing Capital Improvement funds to complete the elevator, an elevator that has been waiting to be born for several decades.
And that’s why the hallway outside my office has looked like a construction zone for the past few weeks!