1. How does a church building fit with our missional philosophy of ministry?
We call our model of ministry ORBITAL because it is based on two key components:
- HUB – Our ministry has a strong base at the core. This base includes our weekend worship services, children's and youth programs, our pastoral and office staff, and of course, our facility. While this is our base, we recognize that in an increasingly secular world, this base is not accessible to all people.
- ORBIT – The purpose of our hub is to create an environment of empowerment. Our goal is to launch people into mission and ministry throughout the greater community and the world. As we work with the greater community, we aim to see new expressions of God's kingdom come to being. Where our hub may not always be accessible, our orbital ministries can be.
Our building facility supports both the hub and orbital components, as a venue for worship, education and community collaboration.
2. What motivated us to design the expansion the way that we did?
We had some pressing needs that our building was unable to meet:
- Internally, we just did not have enough space for our growing children's ministry. On Sundays we were consistently running at 85-90% capacity (with spikes beyond that!). Meanwhile this did not afford us any space for adult discipleship or training during our services.
- Externally, we saw a significant uptick in our rentals (up over 300% from 2011 thru 2014). We had to turn away many groups and individuals due to our limited capacity and options. There continues to be a significant need in Cochrane for affordable social space. We think we can be part of the solution.
3. Did we consider relocation?
Yes, we did. From our estimates, to build a new facility comparable to what we completed would cost almost twice as much, and we would lose our prime central location in the community. We believe that for the next 10-15 years, the wisest use of our resources would be to maximize what we can do with our current location.
4. Will the expanded building adequately accommodate our anticipated growth? What will that growth look like?
Yes, we believe it will. Regarding our weekend activities, by conducting three worship services we could accommodate 1200-1500 attendees. Within those attendance figures is the capacity for 360-450 children attending Sunday school.
5. Did you consider keeping the building the way it was, and just plant a satellite church?
Yes, but we decided against that for now for the following reasons:
- We recognize that our hub activities are not accessible to everyone, so we're not convinced that a satellite church (reproducing those hub activities) is the most effective way of reaching into the community.
- We anticipate some of our orbital activities will gain traction in the coming years and take on a life of their own. In the future we may take on new projects in support of these. They may look like satellite churches, or then again, they might be something completely new and unique.
6. Do we plan to expand the sanctuary in the future?
The sanctuary size dictates the number of parking stalls that are required on our site. We cannot expand the parking of our current site permanently or economically. So, our sanctuary is constrained to its current capacity. However, with our multiservice approach, we can accommodate our parking needs in proportion to our current sanctuary size.
7. Was a phased approach to building considered?
Yes, it was. Breaking the project into phases would have involved extra years of construction, and a significant increase in costs. We opted to do the entire renovation at once to minimize the disruption and costs.
8. How can I give to Cochrane Alliance?
9. Did the renovation project go over budget? If so, why?
The renovation costs came in approximately $600,000 higher than our $4.2 million budget (about 14%). Some of the extra costs were due to change orders to optimize the building (e.g. changing to efficient L.E.D. lighting throughout the building, new stucco on old walls instead of painting old stucco, etc.).
As with any renovation however, the bulk of the costs were incurred by unforeseen (and inescapable) issues that had to be addressed. A few of the costlier examples include:
- The structure of the main wall at the back of the sanctuary (grid line 7) did not match the “as built” drawings from 1996. The entire wall needed to be rebuilt to meet current structural code.
- The boiler we planned to repurpose from the old building needed to be replaced.
- The backfill excavated for the new part of the building could not be reused due to organic material. It had to be replaced and disposed of.
10. How did we pay for the renovation?
The total cost of the renovation was approximately $4.8 million. The Open the Door campaign raised $2,063,200 toward that amount. The balance was funded with a loan from the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance of $2.8 million.
Our target over the next two years, is to raise $1.8 million from the Built to Build campaign to reduce the loan balance to below $1 million. If you would like to partner with us financially in this project, please visit our page on pledging or talk to the office staff.
11. Assuming we reach our Built to Build fundraising target, what additional funds will be needed?
The church will continue to carry a loan of approximately $1 million at the end of the Built to Build campaign. This will be paid from our operating budget. Of course, we hope to pay that off within a few years.
12. How are we paying for the interest costs on the loan that is now outstanding?
Interest costs are currently paid from money raised for the building project. Interest payments remaining after Built to Build is completed will be paid from our general operating budget. If we meet our Built to Build target, our monthly costs will reduce by $5,600. Instead of servicing debt, these freed-up funds can be used to serve our church family and community.