God has blessed First Church with steady, healthy, and vibrant growth, a loving and supportive congregation, and a beautiful facility in which to warmly welcome and nurture our community in growing as disciples of Jesus Christ. Since the purchase of a plot of land on Bonita Beach Road in 1978 and the construction of Price Chapel, the church’s building and grounds have been expanded and beautified in response to the community’s growth. The Building and Grounds Committee is charged with stewarding the resources that God has entrusted to First Church.
We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your generosity in caring for the church’s capital needs. We also wish to share how these resources have been used, upcoming projects, and anticipated endeavors for our long-term future. As you may know, aside from the normal cost of maintaining the buildings and campus of First Church, there are frequently major repair and enhancement projects that fall outside the scope of budgeted maintenance. These projects leverage Facility/Capital Improvement resources that are designated each year in our Stewardship Campaign.
The Building and Grounds Committee has overseen and plans to oversee the completion of the following projects:
- Right Turn Lane: This project for Bonita Beach Road east-bound traffic was completed in 2020 to reduce potential collisions and ease traffic flow entering the parking area.
- Hurricane Protection Doors: East and west entrance doors in the narthex, in addition to other smaller entrances, were replaced with new impact glass.
- Roof Repair: The facilities staff noted that several areas in the facility had developed minor roof leaks. Needed roof repairs were completed in the spring prior to hurricane
- Sanctuary Lighting: The original lighting in the Sanctuary is made up of over 140 fixtures and an assortment of spotlights. The fixtures are old and use high-wattage unique light bulbs which are replaced semi-annually; this requires repositioning many pews and the costly rental of a 40-foot lift to access the ceiling. Over the last several years, the Building and Grounds Committee has researched alternative lighting and concluded that the most fiscally efficient course of action is to replace all the fixtures and install LED lights which provide a longer life expectancy with a significant energy cost savings. Session has approved this project and the work is expected to conclude late this summer.
- Street Signage: The large monument sign on the north side of the church along Bonita Beach Road is worn beyond repair and will be replaced later this year.
In 2020, the Building and Grounds and the Finance Committees developed a Building Reserve Fund to cover capital projects planned for the foreseeable future in coordination with the Asset Replacement Schedule. Though not yet fully funded, we are making progress and anticipate these long-term projects:
- Air Conditioning Units: The 28 air conditioning units on our campus range from 4 to 16 years in age. We plan to order new refrigerants and replace the oldest units.
- Roof Replacement: In addition to the recent short-term roof repairs, we will be scheduling a long-term roof replacement.
Your Building and Grounds Committee has been hard at work stewarding the resources that God has provided through your generous giving. Once again, thank you for your generosity. Our hope is to continue to provide the physical resources necessary to welcome and nurture our growing faith community.