After almost three years of work by various teams of staff, leaders, and elders, we are excited to share with you more details regarding a new Campus Development Plan.

THE PLAN

This plan addresses a number of different facility needs as well as ministry values we hold as a faith family.

FACILITY NEEDS:

  • The modulars outside our main building, the exterior wall of our lobby, and our front parking lot were all intended to be temporary and have long outlasted their expected lifetimes.
  • We lack space in our main building for fellowship and community as well as adequate restrooms.
  • We have a growing list of deferred maintenance items.

MINISTRY VALUES:

  • We value children being able to both worship with their families and participate in age-appropriate small groups of their own. This necessitates the provision of on-campus small group space for children, as well as some portion of our adults.
  • We value offering space that fosters community by providing areas for fellowship and creating a welcoming environment.

 


This plan consists of three primary components that would involve new construction:

  • Ministries space for BH Kids and adult small groups
  • Expanded lobby and commons area
  • Site-work and parking

Additionally, this plan also provides for a number of improvements, updates, and maintenance needed in our current building. Some of these items include:

  • An update and repurposing of the 3rd floor for adult small groups
  • An update and refreshing of the 1st floor Preschool Ministry area, including security improvements
  • Improvements to the preschool playground
  • A new roof on the existing facility
  • Replacement of the fire alarm panel in the main building
  • Upgraded HVAC controls throughout our existing facility
  • New carpet in the worship room

ARTIST RENDERINGS & DETAILS

Displayed here are artist renderings of what some of these spaces might look like to help you visualize the scope of this plan. We’ve also provided some additional comments to explain what you’re seeing. These are not final. So, don’t get too concerned with colors or signage, but they do a good job of helping us consider what we might see at the completion of this plan.

This is an overview of our main campus buildings, what we sometimes refer to as “up the hill.” To help you envision the scope of the proposed project, everything pictured with a white roof would be new construction and the areas with a gray roof are our current buildings. Two things to note, however: 1. A new roof for our current buildings is also a part of this project. 2. The roof colors will not actually be white and gray. Those colors are simply used to give distinction.


This perspective is from the smaller parking lot currently outside of our main lobby. The plan is for this parking lot to be completely redone in order to make it permanent. Everything you then see in this image would be new construction. To the left is a new room for large group meetings that then leads to a new fellowship area. In the middle is a entrance into the new lobby that leads straight to the doors of our current worship room. To the right is a new two-story building for adult small groups and children’s ministry that includes a covered drop-off to a thoroughfare leading into the new lobby.


Here you can see a closer look of what would be the entrance into our new lobby that leads straight to the doors to our current worship room. The hope is to be able to utilize glass around the entry to allow in natural light and create a more vibrant and welcoming lobby area. To the right is the new two-story building for adult small groups and children’s ministry.


This is a look at what is currently our main entrance from our circular drive. Notice the drive is still present. However, the awning and covered drop-off has been removed and replaced by a new drop-off in front of the new two-story building pictured to the left that will house adult small groups and children’s ministry. This entrance has also been expanded as part of the new lobby and will potentially house a new welcome and information area for guests.


This is the covered drop-off area outside of the new two-story building for adult small groups and children’s ministry. This drop-off would replace the current awning near our circular drive outside our main entrance. Once dropped off, you would enter this new building and proceed straight through into the new lobby and welcome area.


Here is a picture of what you might see after being dropped off under the covering outside the new two-story building that will house adult small groups and children’s ministry. Straight across would be access into our expanded lobby, the preschool hallway, and the elevator to the second and third floors or our current building. To the right and left of this thoroughfare would be several classrooms for adult small groups of all sizes.


This image is what it would potentially look like just inside our new main entrance near the circular drive. There would be a stairwell directly up to our new children’s ministry area and the current offices. The new welcome area to the right, if it were in place now, would actually be sitting outside of our current entry doors, which helps show how much this lobby would possibly be expanded. The windows to the upper right are for Room 201, which currently looks out over our upper parking lot.


This is a perspective from the opposite end of the new lobby from the main entrance. Just to the left is what is currently Room 130, but it would be opened up to become part of a new fellowship area. To the right is a new large group meeting room, the windows to which could possibly also be opened like garage doors to expand our fellowship area even more. Also, down the lobby to the right, past the large group meeting room, is the location planned for new restrooms which will serve our worship room well by being much closer in proximity.


Here is an even better look at what the proposed fellowship area could entail. The intention is not necessarily to operate a working cafe, but to provide more opportunity to better practice hospitality on our campus by providing seating for people to gather as well as space that could be used to serve food or drinks to various groups when needed. The area to the right is our current Room 130 and everything to the left would be new construction.


This image is looking at the outside of the new fellowship area and large group meeting room, as if you were standing near Hwy 119. We hope to provide some outside fellowship space, as well as what would be inside. The new large group meeting room to the right would expand into what is currently the beginning of our modular area. In this new plan, however, it is worth noting that those particular modulars are all gone.


Here is a rendering of the entryway to the children’s ministry area on the second floor of the proposed new building. To the left would the check-in/pick-up area for BH Kids with a place for information. Through the doors would be children-specific small group rooms and two rooms for large-group meetings, one for younger elementary and another for older elementary. To the right, off image, is the entrance to our current second-floor office area. Connecting the two would be a new bridgeway that would look to the new lobby over either side.


This is what one of the large-group rooms in the new children’s ministry area could potentially look like. There would be two of these type rooms, one slightly larger for our younger grades and another for our older grades These would also be surrounded by classrooms for BH Kids small groups.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHY DOES THE CHURCH NEED TO PURSUE A PROJECT LIKE THIS?

There are two primary factors driving our consideration of a plan to develop our campus.

  1. Ministry Values: Because we value children being able to both worship with their families and participate in age-appropriate small groups of their own, this necessitates the provision of on-campus small group space for children, as well as some portion for our adults. And, because we value connecting with others through meaningful community, we desire to provide space that fosters fellowship and creates an environment of hospitality.

  2. Facility Needs: The modulars outside our main building, the exterior wall of our lobby, and our front parking lot were all intended to be temporary. After many years, they have long outlasted their expected lifetimes. Additionally, we lack space in our main building for fellowship and community. We also have a growing list of deferred maintenance items that need to be addressed.


WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROCESS TO THIS POINT?

The broader discussion of addressing our facility needs began with our Administrative Elder Team three years ago. Specific work related to this project began about two years ago. In the fall of 2016, the elders approved the formation of a team that would begin exploring options to address some of our most pressing facility needs. This team consisted of various ministry leaders who visited a variety of churches in metro-Atlanta and Birmingham to get an idea of how others were effectively and efficiently developing their campuses for ministry. Brook Hills also engaged the Live Design Group, the architectural firm that developed the design and plans for our current campus, to help us think through possibilities and develop potential concepts.

Once we estimated costs on an initial conceptual design, our elders determined that the cost proved too high. From there, church leaders spent several months exploring different alternative solutions and eventually landed on this current plan we are considering.


WHAT ALL IS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS PLAN?

This plan consists of three primary components that would involve new construction:

  • New ministries space for Brook Hills Kids and adult small groups

  • An expanded lobby and commons area, including new restrooms

  • A permanent parking lot (and related site-work) adjacent to the lobby

Additionally, this plan provides for a number of improvements and updates needed in our current building. Some of these items include:

  • An update and repurposing of the 3rd floor for adult small groups

  • An update and refreshing of the 1st floor Preschool Ministry area, including security enhancements

  • Improvements to the preschool playground

  • A new roof on the existing facility

  • Replacement of the fire alarm panel in the main building

  • Upgraded HVAC controls throughout our existing facility

  • New carpet in the worship room


HOW MUCH WILL THIS PROJECT COST?

There is still some essential work to be done (i.e. detailed drawings and construction plans) before we can know what final costs will be. However, our current preliminary estimates put the cost between $12-14 million.


HOW WILL WE PAY FOR THIS PROJECT?

The Elder Council and Stewardship Ministry Team intend to propose a three-fold approach to funding.

  1. Available Undesignated Cash: The combination of your generous giving and our staff and elder’s good fiscal stewardship has resulted in us ending each year receiving more funds than we spend. This means we have a savings of available undesignated funds which will allow us to get a strong head-start on this project. Even while still retaining a healthy cash reserve, we believe we could have $3.5 million (or more) available by the project’s completion.

  2. Church Budget: By God’s grace, we were able to pay off all of our current debt this past summer. Moving into 2019, we would like to keep approximately 10% of our general budget allocated for debt management. We believe this would allow us to finance over half the cost of the project, if needed, with reasonable borrowing terms.

  3. Additional Gifts: Most importantly, we desire for every member of Brook Hills to prioritize giving faithfully to our general church budget. We will also encourage everyone to continue to give sacrificially each year to our Global Offering. Beyond these two priorities, we would like to ask our faith family to consider if/how God might lead you to make a special investment in our church’s campus. We prayerfully anticipate that some will make an early contribution in 2018, while others may look to do so in 2019 or 2020, as the project progresses. These additional special gifts will be important, not only to make the project possible, but they will directly impact the amount that will need to be financed and/or the length of the borrowing term. We are trusting God and His grace for this provision.


HOW WILL THIS IMPACT OUR BUDGET?

As far as funding this project is concerned, our goal is for it to not impact our budget in any significant way. We will simply maintain our current line-item for debt service.

At the completion of this project, we do anticipate some impact related to increased utility costs and facilities management due to the increase in square footage. The impact will be somewhat limited, as we have already been maintaining the modular buildings, as well as our current lobby.


WHAT WILL WE DO IF WE RAISE MORE MONEY THAN WE EXPECT?

First of all, we will obviously praise God for His provision and thank Him for your generosity. More specifically, we would not anticipate a generous provision of funds to change the scope of the project, but rather it would reduce the amount that would have to be financed and/or shorten the borrowing term.


WHAT IS THE PROCESS AND TIMELINE MOVING FORWARD?

While a great deal of work has gone into getting us to this point, there is still much to be done, both as we prayerfully consider this endeavor and then, Lord willing, as we execute the plans. With so much work yet to do, it is difficult to say with certainty what will happen when. However, a general overview of the project timeline could look like the following:

October 28, 2018 – Campus Development Informational Meeting
Presentation of additional information that was not included in the September 16 Faith Family Gathering, as well as a question and answer session with various leaders involved with the project.

November 18, 2018 – Campus Development Proposal
In each of our regular worship gatherings, our elders will recommend a formal Campus Development Proposal to the faith family as part of the 2019 General Ministry Budget approval process. 

November 18-December 2, 2018 – Prayerful Consideration
Per our church bylaws, we will have a two-week period of prayer and consideration of the Campus Development Proposal, as well as the 2019 ministry budget. There will also be additional Q & A opportunities during this period. 

December 2, 2018 – Vote of Affirmation
The elders will ask the church for a vote of affirmation regarding the Campus Development Proposal, as well as the 2019 General Ministry Budget. 

December 3, 2018 – Drafting Blueprints and Construction Details Begin
If the church affirms the Campus Development Proposal, the process of developing detailed architectural drawings and construction plans would begin. This process should take approximately 6 months.

January-May 2019 – Prayer and Planning

We will spend extended time as a faith family praying for this project, considering if/how the Lord may be leading us to support the project, and making plans for ministry adjustments that may be needed during the construction phase.

Summer 2019 – Summer Planning Begins
 

Summer/Fall 2020 – Construction Complete/New Buildings Open for Use


HOW WILL MINISTRIES BE AFFECTED DURING THE PROCESS?

Without firm construction plans and timeline, it is difficult to know exactly how our ministries will be affected. Our desire is to limit the impact as much as possible, especially when it comes to Wednesday night ministries and Sunday gatherings. However, this process will require some measure of flexibility and compromise from each of us.

More specifically, the greatest impact will likely occur with the removal of some portion of the modulars outside our main building. We are unsure when exactly these will need to be removed. However, when they are, it will affect primarily adult small groups as well as some groups that meet throughout the week. When possible, we will accommodate these groups with other space on campus. However, we will also need to explore some alternate solutions. John Butterfield and Jay Gordon are currently thinking through those considerations and will work with small group leaders once we know more.


HOW WILL PRESCHOOL MINISTRY BE HELPED?

Though a new space for Preschool ministry is not in the current plan, we are confident we can significantly enhance our ministry to families with preschoolers. We have already begun making some cosmetic improvements and changes to our current preschool area and will continue to do so. Additionally, we plan to renovate the playground areas, including a shade cover that will make it more useful during the warm weather months. We also anticipate being able to improve security in the preschool areas with the addition of new parking and entrances to our main building. This will allow us to restrict hallway access as we redirect the traffic flow on Sundays and Wednesdays.


HOW WILL WE USE THE FELLOWSHIP (CAFÉ) AREA?

The proposed cafe/fellowship area will provide us with a new and improved environment for practicing hospitality on our campus. It will include a serving area for food/drinks and also provide a casual seating area for people to gather both informally and for organized ministry events. The space adjacent to this area is designed such that a mid-sized meeting room, smaller breakout classrooms, and a set of bathrooms are all in close proximity, This combination will allow for a wide variety of ministry uses. There is no current plan for this space to operate as a working “cafe.”


HOW WILL WE CONTINUE TO PRIORITIZE MISSION?

Over these many months of discussion, planning, and prayer, our elders have remained intent on preserving our commitment as a church to mission. We will continue to prioritize mission in many of the same ways we currently do. We will continue to call members to give sacrificially, over and above their regular tithes and offering, to our annual Global Offering. In addition, we will continue to send members on Short-Term, Mid-Term, and Long-Term mission, and also challenge them to engage locally through initiatives like Rock the Block and Love Oliver. In fact, our hope and prayer, is that this project will help us solidify a healthy base for ministry here so that our work might ultimately become stronger there.


HOW WILL WE ADDRESS OUR SPACE NEEDS IF WE GROW?

We don’t want to be presumptive regarding any future growth that the church might experience. However, our prayer is certainly for the Lord to add to our number those He is saving here at Brook Hills, in our city, and around the world.

While the proposed project does allow for some degree of growth, we wanted to be careful not to over-build or unwisely outpace our financial capacity. There are various ways to address the challenges that come with growth we may experience, such as increasing the number of sessions or gatherings, schedule adjustments, multiple uses of space, and sending out members to help plant churches here in our city.

If, in the future, it is determined that additional space is needed on our campus, our elders will lead us to consider how we might best address those needs at that time.


HOW CAN I SUPPORT THIS PROJECT?

First, we ask that you join us in prayer for God’s wisdom, discernment, and guidance as we consider this plan.

Second, engage with us in considering this plan. In addition to praying, offer us input and ask us questions. You can send any you might have to campusdevelopment@brookhills.org.

Third, we hope you will consider how you might take a step forward in your giving. Do you need to begin giving regularly to our church budget? Are you currently giving sacrificially to our Global Offering? If you are already giving through those two avenues, would you consider additional giving to invest in the development of our campus? For more information on giving, visit brookhills.org/give.