Darnestown Presbyterian Church BEAR Blog

HAWP Approval

front with greyLast evening, the Montgomery County Historic Commission approved DPC’s application for an historic area work permit focused on Phase 1 of the BEAR project.  Such an approval is necessary before securing a building permit for an historic structure in Montgomery County.  The Commission approved our application in all respects except with respect to the color of the addition.  The Commission is requiring us to make the addition some color other than white so that, in their view, the historic part of the white church will be more prominent.  The photo above was submitted to obtain agreement on the color change.  It shows the addition in a greyish taupe with the historic structure remaining white.

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Congregational Meeting Update

21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 3On Sunday, January 31, the BEAR team and architects Lemay, Erickson, Willcox updated the congregation on the progress of the project and presented a well-received “fly-through” of the new construction in the areas of the narthex and sanctuary.  The architects have completed the design development documents and they are currently in the hands of the recently selected contractor, Whitener & Jackson.  Whitener & Jackson (WJ) is one of the most experienced Church builders in this region.  WJ is working with the drawings and securing bids from subcontractors this month.  By later in February, we will have a solid idea of the overall cost of this Phase 1 of the project.

You can view the fly-through that was presented at the meeting below.

Video Credit: Lemay, Erickson, Willcox.

This is a very basic view of the construction.  The video will take you in the front doors of the new narthex.  Notice the windows and courtyard on the right providing excellent views of the Church and stained glass windows.  21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 6From there, you will enter the new gathering area (think: Parlor).  Imagine the indoor and outdoor gathering that can take place in this area with access to the front.  21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 4A video screen will be housed here for service overflow and other uses.  Next, exit the gathering area and go back to the lower narthex, and then up the stairs to the upper narthex.  In the upper narthex, you will have a wonderful view south into the cemetery, and again, north to the stained glass windows.  21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 5You will enter the sanctuary from the upper narthex and proceed to “walk around” the new and original spaces.  21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 7Notice how well the new areas marry with the old.  As much as is possible, the new construction will continue the basic, conservative feel of the original building, but also provide for additional room in both the chancel and seating areas.

21301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 921301-DPC-2015-A - 3D View - 3D View 8

Every aspect of the project has been designed with accessibility in mind.  An elevator is located near the steps to the upper narthex and provides access to the basement as well as up to the sanctuary level.  New, accessible bathrooms area also planned in the new narthex, as well as a warming kitchen for coffee hour use.  As always, please contact any member of BEAR if you should have any questions!

Historic Commission Submission

DPC COVERThe BEAR committee will be meeting with the Montgomery County Historic Commission for the third time on February 24, 2016 to finalize several issues.  The attached file is the application provided to the Commission in advance of the meeting.  The file provides an excellent overview of the project addressing numerous details required by the Commission, as well as exterior images.  A second file includes drawings of the civil engineering work necessary on our site.  Hopefully this will be our last presentation to the Commission in an effort secure a HAWP – an Historic Area Work Permit – for the project.

November 2015 Newsletter BEAR Update

We’re happy to report that the Building Expansion and Renovation (BEAR) effort is making steady progress on multiple fronts:
Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).
BEAR members and our architectural and legal reps presented revised architectural plans to the HPC in a second preliminaryconsultation in August. The Commission was very laudatory of our revisions, and left little doubt that they would approve a variation of these plans after further minor adjustments.
Architectural planning.
As noted, we have made significant progress towards final architectural plans. Current plans incorporate an expanded chancel, additional sanctuary seating, new bathrooms adjacent to the sanctuary, dedicated Narthex and Gathering spaces for enhanced fellowship, connection of the Andrew Small Building to the sanctuary, and full handicapped access and enhanced life safety systems.
Selection of a General Contractor (GC).
The Committee is now meeting and screening GCs as potential partners for the construction phase of the project, focusing on each firm’s history, reliability, cost effectiveness and experience with similar projects. We anticipate selection of contractor by the beginning of 2016, and ultimate groundbreaking in the Spring of 2017.
BEAR Capital Campaign.
We have now received nearly $2.5M in pledges in support of BEAR. These pledges, plus $1.3M in Session approved funding now provide for over 90% of the estimated cost to execute the Phase One plan described above. Many thanks to those donors who increased their pledges by 20% to help bridge the funding gap! Capital Campaign reps remain available to discuss your pledge today.
May God continue to bless and guide our efforts to provide for future generations at our beloved church

Second Review with Historic Commission

Old Church SketchOn the evening of August 12, the BEAR team met with the Historic Preservation Commission for its second preliminary review.  The Commission responded quite favorably to the changes that were been made in response to the comments received from the Commission in the first preliminary review.  The Commission concluded that we are ready to formally submit an application for an Historic Area Work Permit (HAWP).  The drawings reviewed with the Commission and the cover transmittal letter do a good job outlining what was covered at the meeting.  The transcript from the meeting is also available for review.

Capital Campaign News

DPC Capital Campaign KickoffAs the active portion of our campaign draws to a close, we are proud to announce that, thanks to the generosity of our members, we have raised more than $2 million for renovations to the church and building for the future! We still have pledges coming in and will continue to accept new pledges, so we expect this number to grow – stay tuned! After services on June 21, the BEAR Committee and Capital Campaign Committee will give an overview of the renovation budget and plans as we move forward.

We sincerely thank everyone who has pledged during the campaign, as well as all of the volunteers who made this campaign possible.

Session Sets Preliminary Project Budget

Last evening, Session reviewed the recommendations of a joint meeting of BEAR and the Stewardship Committee relative to preliminary project budget.  It is expected that the Capital Campaign will raise about $2.3M.  To establish a project budget of $3.5M, Session voted to draw $900,000 from the Investment Fund and to “borrow” from ourselves an additional $400,000 from the Knighten and Cemetery Funds.  This is intended to cover only Phase One of the project which focuses on the expanded sanctuary and a new narthex.  Work will continue to determine if the Phase One of the project can be completed within that budget.