The Renovation Plan

April 6, 2003

THE RENOVATION PLAN by Ray Pritchard The next time you walk toward the West Wing of the church, I encourage you to look across the lawn to the cornerstone embedded in the wall. It’s a wonderful monument to the faith of a previous generation. The stone says “1930.” That’s when the West Wing was built. At that time these facilities belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Oak Park. The cornerstone is a monument to their faith because 1930 was a very difficult year for America. Despite the crash of the stock market and the hardships of the Great Depression, the members of First Presbyterian had enough faith to construct a Christian education building that would last long beyond their day. Without their vision to build for the future, we would not be able to minister effectively today. That same vision lies at the heart of the renovation plan now being considered at Calvary. The elders are proposing a renovation plan with five parts: First, we want to enclose and expand the portico leading to the West Wing so that it becomes an all-weather entrance. Second, we are converting the Resource Center into a brand-new crawler nursery and a new adult meeting room. Third, we are completely renovating the gymnasium with a multipurpose floor, new furnishings, new lights, a sound system and a video system. This will allow us to use the gym for classes, seminars and possibly for an additional worship service. Fourth, we are replacing the gym stage with two floors of classrooms and offices. Fifth, all of the aforementioned areas plus the rest of the West Wing will be air conditioned. Our two guiding principles throughout the planning process have been flexibility and usability. We believe we have identified some creative ways to reclaim unused spaces and make them functional for a variety of purposes. In a few days you will receive a letter with a fuller explanation plus drawings so you can visualize these changes. If you would like more information about the plan, we invite you to visit the church’s website ( We also encourage you to attend one of the information meetings that are scheduled for Monday, April 21 (7:00 p.m.), and Friday, April 25 (7:00 p.m.). On Sunday evening, April 27 (6:00 p.m.), there will be a special business meeting to present the plan and ask for a decision from the membership. Between now and April 27, the Renovation Team will be working hard with the architect and contractors to finalize the cost estimates. We expect the final total to be somewhere between $1.9 million and $2.1 million. Thanks to your generous giving, Calvary already has about $800,000 in reserves for this project. The remainder will require a loan, but we hope to pay it off within two years. God has blessed this congregation in many ways throughout our history, and we have no doubt that he will again provide what is necessary for the future.

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