Transform is a campaign to ensure that our physical campus can support the next 100 years of ministry at HP Pres. The scope of construction project, which began in October 2018, includes substantial renovation of existing buildings, as well as the addition of new spaces, most significantly a reconstructed Hunt Center with two levels of underground parking for approximately 150 cars. Construction for all aspects of the project is scheduled to be completed in December 2020.
You can read the Transform – The FInal Stretch brochure online here.
You can always read the latest news about Transform on our news page, transform.hppres.org/news.
We are called to lead all generations to become transformed followers of Jesus for the flourishing of our church family, our city, and beyond. Our buildings were created to be a base camp and training ground for launching people out as God’s rescue mission in the world. Updating our campus will create a more vibrant, welcoming environment that enables us to better equip people of every generation to transform lives in their families, the city, in communities, and across the world. As a result, the physical transformation of our campus as part of Transform is absolutely critical to fulfilling our mission and the goals outlined in our vision.
Recent, strong growth in our church has accelerated the need to modernize our physical space and eliminate current barriers to ministry, as well as to ensure that the campus can support our next century of ministry. In addition, several building systems are reaching the end of their expected lifespan. Acting now enables us to accomplish these goals and better support our mission of helping people of every generation find and follow Jesus.
The original budget for the Transform initiative was of $73 million. Since the project started in October 2018, several elements have been added to the scope increasing the budget to $80M.
The most significant added element is a gymnasium. The original project and budget included a “half-court, sports court” on the third floor of the Hunt Center. The gym that is now included in the project will be on first floor of the Alexander Building (our Next Generation ministry area) and will include a full-court (middle-school dimensions) basketball court.
Other additional elements are the addition of a new playground to replace the one in the location of the new gym, and the renovation of all other playgrounds, and an upgrade of the Sanctuary lighting system.
The response to the Transform fund-raising initiative in the Spring of 2018 was overwhelming. The financial goal of the initiative to receive pledges to cover the project budget of $73M was reached, with over 900 families participating.
Each time the Session approved increases to the scope and costs of the project, it identified funding sources that do not involve raising additional funds from those who have already pledged. These sources include existing financial assets of the church, additional pledges made by the Session, the Campus Vision Team, and others when the gym was added, a pledge from the Day School, a targeted fund-raising initiative to give persons who have not yet made a pledge or recently joined HP Pres an opportunity to participate, and possibly the borrowing of funds if needed.
The Transform initiative features major additions and updates to most of our campus, the most prominent of which will be a completely reconstructed Hunt Building with two levels of underground parking, all new structures and major renovations to the Alexander Building (our Next Generation ministry areas), and additional renovations intended to improve substantially the flow and use of our entire campus. Current plans call for the addition of approximately 68,200-square-feet of new above ground space, and an additional 70,000 square feet for two levels of underground parking.
Other prominent new features will be a new gymnasium, a new playground, and connecting corridors between the Sanctuary and the Hunt Building, and between the Sanctuary and the Alexander Building (the Kid and Student Ministry area), which is already complete.
Approximately 70,000 square feet of the remaining facilities (including all of the Alexander Building) will receive some sort of renovation or update. The renovation of the northern half of the Alexander Building has already been completed.
After careful study and consideration, multiple architects, consultants, and our planning committee determined that placing underground parking below a rebuilt Hunt Building resolves the greatest number of challenges, provides the most benefits, and does so in the only financially prudent and feasible location. Other proposed locations were determined to be untenable for a myriad of reasons, from cost, to complex utility and zoning issues, to neighborhood impact. Underground parking below the Hunt Building enables us to keep construction within our existing campus footprint. The planning committee also wanted to ensure that our investment would focus on facilities that truly transform the church and its ability to create followers of Jesus Christ for the next 100 years, and not on a cost-prohibitive, stand-alone parking structure. Finally, underground parking below the Hunt Building enables us to retain all the value and future flexibility in our west block between Shannon Lane and Westwick Road.
All of our worship services will benefit from the enhanced flow on campus, new common gathering spaces, and improved accessibility. The most transformational element of the plan is a completely new space for worship and other community gatherings, which are currently housed in Elliott Hall. The worship hall will allow direct access into the spacious glass-walled atrium along the Rhodus Garden, while improving the seating arrangement and capacity. In addition, modern acoustics, lighting, staging, and sound will have a profound impact on our contemporary worship service. The Sanctuary, which was significantly refurbished in 2009 and recently received new audio and video equipment, will receive lighting updates.
A new multi-purpose sports court was originally planned for the third floor of the rebuilt Hunt Building; however, the planning committee and the Session were never quite satisfied with the size and location of this sports court. An exciting new location – on the first floor/street level of the Alexander Building — was recommended by the project architects and immediately accepted by the planning team and Session. This gymnasium is the heart of the Kid and Student Ministry area, as well as the Day School and Hillier School. Its location is much more convenient and accessible than a third-floor location. It will include a full-length basketball court (junior high dimensions) and will provide a setting both for large gatherings as well as a recreational space. Two ceiling mounted partitions will allow for flexible use of the space for recreation and ministry.
Since this new gym will be built in the location of an existing playground, a new playground will be constructed. In addition, the outdoor playground north of the Alexander Building and the Schoellkopf Children’s Garden courtyard, and the interior play area known as the Woods will be completely rebuilt. These recreational and play areas will provide spaces for families to use year-round and creative opportunities for ministry and outreach.
Our libraries will be more visible, accessible, and welcoming to encourage more use and create small gathering areas. A library and resource center will be located on the second floor of the rebuilt Hunt Center, at the heart of our adult discipleship environments. A new Children’s Library has already been completed within the new connecting corridor between the Sanctuary and the Alexander Building.
Transform calls for classrooms to be updated with a fresh look, including new paint, floors, windows, and furniture. Redesigned spaces will further our mission and provide the best learning environment for our students. Both schools will remain active and open throughout construction. Some classes will be relocated within the church campus for a portion of the school year, but the temporary rooms will still provide the same safe, nurturing environment.
The Columbarium will not be modified or relocated as a part of the Transform initiative.
Construction has taken place in phases and been staggered strategically to minimize the impact on worship services and weekly ministry activities. Temporary relocation and rescheduling of events and activities during construction, as well the temporary closing of familiar doors and access paths have been challenging, but our congregation has displayed an amazing spirit of flexibility. We have remained focused on fulfilling our church’s mission throughout the full construction schedule.
We are committed to minimizing the impact on surrounding areas during construction. The City of University Park is experienced and skilled in shepherding projects like ours and will guide our efforts to substantially mitigate the impact on our neighbors.
Yes! If you have not yet pledged, you do not want to miss this opportunity to participate along-side over 900 families who have pledged over $75M.
Although the church-wide fund-raising initiative “officially” concluded on Commitment Sunday in February of 2019 and although the response was overwhelming, every additional dollar is significant.
Please go to our Give page for more information on how to pledge.
Your decision to give to the Transform campaign should be the result of a thoughtful, prayerful process to discover how God would have you respond. This is a true legacy project for our church, and our hope is that every person in our church family will fully commit to supporting Transform with a sacrificial commitment above and beyond their ongoing, faithful giving to the ministry of Highland Park Pres. Every gift matters; it is not so much about the amount as it is about partnering in the vision to which God has called us as a flourishing church.
Unforeseen circumstances may cause you to increase or decrease your giving commitment in the future. At any time you can review or change your commitment by notifying the finance office.
If more funds are raised than are needed for the project, the surplus will be placed into the Capital Asset Replacement Reserve and will be utilized only in connection with the physical facilities of HP Pres or used to establish an endowment to defray the cost of operations and maintenance of the new facilities.
We’re grateful to everyone who has helped make the Transform initiative possible. Special thanks to:
HP PRES CAMPUS VISION TEAM
Art Harding, Moderator
Steve Van Amburgh
HP PRES FUNDRAISING – Spring 2018
Ellen and John McStay, Honorary Chairs
Laurie and Mark Connell, Chairs
We’d love to hear from you! The Campus Vision team can be reached on the contact page.