“It’s all about Sylvia,” said Tracy Holladay, at the conclusion of yesterday’s presentation on proposed plans for our facilities. He was referring to Hollan and Kate Holm’s daughter who had been dedicated earlier in the 11:00 service. “We’re talking about preparing Highland for its present, for our children like Sylvia, and for future generations. We’ve been the beneficiaries of a former generation’s sacrifice and stewardship. Now it’s our turn.”
Sunday’s Congregational Conversation about the proposed renovation of Highland’s children and youth space presented the work of the Implementation Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by Bob Harrett, with Bruce Rogers, architect, and Julie Meehan, interior designer. The presentation included schematic design and cost estimates. In addition to the report, Bruce and Julie brought a unique perspective on this endeavor as members of Highland who utilize the space every week.
The report suggested that the proposed renovation encompass five main work areas: 1) second floor children’s space and infill project (enclosing the walkway between the bell tower and the educational building), 2) second floor youth space, 3) first floor children’s space, music suite, and HVAC systems, 4) circulation and way-finding, and 5) outdoor site work, including memorial garden.
The cost estimates for each area were shared, with the total project cost estimate being $3,714,400.
Holladay, chair of the Capital Campaign/Fundraising Ad Hoc Committee, reminded the congregation of the “why” behind this project. Beyond moveable glass walls, stairwells, and furniture, we were reminded that we have been called as a community of faith to tell the stories of Jesus and sing the songs of faith for children. If we take that charge seriously, we were reminded that the limitations of aging spaces can hinder this from happening to its fullest measure.
As the meeting concluded, next steps were delineated. The congregation now enters into a time of discernment as various ministry groups and committees evaluate the report of the architecture firm and make recommendations regarding how to engage the proposed phasing of projects, culminating in the delineation of a specific project and vote on that means of moving forward at the October 28 Quarterly Church Conference.