This winter St. John’s engaged Ratcliff, a local architecture firm, to help create a master plan for our campus buildings and property. The goal is to develop a long-term plan for our campus, drawing on our prior investments in the invitation bridge and the work of the Campus Committee to optimize the safety, beauty and functionality of our property and facilities.
A search committee of church members selected Ratcliff for this project, based on their excellent reputation, knowledge of the area, and experience working with schools and churches. We expect to provide a full report to the Parish later this summer, with the architects on hand for a report and Q&A, and renderings of proposed improvements.
A steering committee, chaired by Debi Stebbins, leads the project for St. John’s. In the first phase, Ratcliff met with the Vestry, steering committee and three user groups to establish priorities that support the Church’s mission and vision, as well as to review the “guiding principles” that inform our campus improvements. Approximately 20 church members participated in these sessions.
Based on these discussions and guiding principles, the vestry approved a two-pronged approach. We are prioritizing improvements to the sanctuary and courtyard and a scaled back and less expensive version of the bridge project, which we have renamed the Gateway. Reflecting our guiding principles, the Gateway project dramatically improves the safety, access and approach to out campus. Improvements to the sanctuary and adjacent courtyard will provide a more flexible space that connects to the outdoors and capitalizes on the beauty of our campus.
Ratcliff is working with Sandis, the engineering firm we used for the earlier work, and construction company Oliver & Co. to determine the costs and timetable for the proposed improvements and sequencing of the work. Concurrently a Project Financing Task Force co-chaired by Vestry member Ed Likely and David Brown, is exploring multiple options for financing the desired improvements. This summer we expect to have more details along with renderings to show possible redesigns. “The project will be multi-year, rather than something we can complete in the next one or two years,” according to Fr. Scott. “We are excited by the wholistic nature of this plan and process, which will give us a roadmap to the future.”
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