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Dear Highland Park Pres Transform Partners,
We want to thank you for your amazing generosity and give you an update on the Transform building project at Highland Park Pres. Like us, you may have asked questions like this:
Is construction continuing during the pandemic? Yes, construction continues to progress, and the project is on track. Completion is still scheduled for this December. Rogers-O’Brien, our general contractor, has been diligent in instituting safety practices to protect everyone working on site.
What’s the status of current projects? The Alexander building north wing and connector from the Sanctuary to the Alexander Building are complete. The Hunt Building is progressing rapidly (see transform.hppres.org/live-camera). We are currently installing a required sprinkler and fire suppression system inside the sanctuary, which will be completed in July. Early school closures allowed us to begin work on the southern wing of the Alexander Building, which will be finished in August. Several other projects have commenced, including the construction of the new gym, the renovation of the Bell Center, and upgrading the existing playgrounds.
How are Transform finances impacted by the pandemic? We are so thankful to have already received over $65 million in gifts. In order to help us finish this project with a strong foundation, here’s what we would ask: if you are able to complete your commitment by the end of the Transform pledge period, February, 2021, please prayerfully consider doing so. If, given the economic uncertainty, you need to extend your commitment timeline, please let us know, by contacting the finance office at 214-525-4268. This will allow us to make the necessary adjustments.
If anything, these shelter-in-place days have helped sharpen and clarify our vision, and the purpose for our church buildings. They were never meant to be a destination of comfort and security, but a vital base for training mature disciples and then launching them out to be part of God’s rescue mission in the world. And we believe people will be hungrier than ever to gather in spaces that foster genuine, life-changing community.
Thank you again for your partnership and generosity. Please keep praying for our family of churches and our leadership as we seek to spread the hope of Jesus to those within our church and beyond.
Bryan Dunagan, Senior Pastor
Art Harding, Elder, Transform Moderator
We are reaching the highest point of our construction project, and to celebrate, we are inviting everyone to write a note, prayer, or Bible verse on the topping beam this Sunday! Sharpies will be available before and after our 8:45, 10, and 11:15 am services for signing outside of the Sanctuary.
As we begin the new year we are also beginning a new phase of construction as part of our Transform project. With the new Connector between the Sanctuary and Alexander buildings fully opened, it’s time to begin projects on our campus that will help update our Sanctuary building.
During the month of January, work will be taking place on the walkway in front of the Sanctuary. Beginning on Monday, January 13, 2020, the main entrance will be closed, but thanks to our new Connector building, easy access to worship can still be found (see map above for paths to the Sanctuary). Work in this area is expected to last 3–4 weeks, with normal access to the Sanctuary being restored in the first week of February or earlier.
By entering on McFarlin Blvd. you can walk due north through the courtyard and turn west to enter the transept of the Sanctuary. Alternatively, you can use the Connector to enter the East end of the Sanctuary Narthex. To get to the Connector, you can enter from the Circle Drive on Park Street and walk through the Alexander building, or take the sidewalk that connects from the new Parking Assistance stand on university blvd. South into the Alexander building.
The Sanctuary renovations will begin earlier, on January 5, and last through the Spring. The Sanctuary will be open on Sundays for worship, but closed during the week. Work taking place includes replacing the decades-old HVAC system underneath the Sanctuary. Because of this you can expect to see temporary air ducts which will be used to bring air and heat into the Sanctuary.
The area behind the Sanctuary, known as the Sanctuary building, will begin renovation at the start of January as well. From January until just before the start of Summer, this portion of the building will be closed. During this time, Wynne Chapel will only be accessible by entering the outside doors on McFarlin Blvd., as the entrances from the inner hallways will be closed.
In many ways, this phase of construction will require the most flexibility from the Highland Park Pres Church family. However, we know that these updates will help us fulfil our church’s vision, in the same way that the updated Alexander Building and Connector are already aiding in our ministry. We’re looking forward to sharing our new spaces with you and with generations of Christ-followers to come.
Our Transform project is moving along swiftly, and this December, we’ll be excited to unveil the progress that has been made on the new Connector, east of the Sanctuary (exterior work in progress picture above).
The Connector (interior work in progress picture above) will help usher kids and families from our recently updated Alexander building into the heart of worship in our Sanctuary. This space is more than just a hallway—it contains an area to gather, restrooms, and our new children’s library. We’re excited to be opening the Connector on December 15!
Update: When the Connector opens on December 15, it will be fully functional. However, certain finishing touches will still be in progress, such as parts of the slate roof, and concrete molding.
Progress is being made quickly with the reconstruction of our Hunt building too. After months of work below ground on the foundation and parking garage, visible changes will begin taking place this month. Soon, steel will reach from the ground to the sky as the framework for our new building takes shape. We are eager to open this new space and share it with you in time for Christmas 2020.
After the Connector opens, construction will begin in new areas of our campus. The above map will give you an idea of what areas will be closed for the season, including the space behind the Sanctuary. While the blocked off areas are substantial, the ministry of transforming lives will continue as usual here at Highland Park Pres during construction.
Exciting things are happening around HP Pres as our Transform campus renewal project moves forward. We want to bring you up to date on some of the construction and the financial progress. We are nearing several important construction milestones:
Thank you for your prayers and wonderful financial support to Transform. You will receive a giving statement in mid-December showing your total year-to-date 2019 giving record. So far, we have collected $50.5 million of our $77.9 million Transform goal. What a blessing. But we also know that the last third of a campaign is often the most difficult to complete. We all need to focus on finishing strong.
As you think about your year-end giving and completing your commitment to Transform, we hope you will consider giving appreciated investments. This is a great way to make tax-smart contributions that, not only save taxes, but potentially increase your cash flow. To learn more about how this strategy can be a win-win for you and the church, go to hppres.org/tax-smart-giving. If you have questions or need to talk to someone, please contact Andy Raub, Director of Generosity and Stewardship.
Again, thank you so much for your support, your prayers, and your enthusiasm for this project. Please keep praying that what we do and how we do it will honor God and raise up Jesus for others to see and follow.