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Building Project

Below are the details concerning the Essex Gospel Building Project.

Update Photos - Sept 2020

Sanctuary Facing Stage Sanctuary Facing Stage
Sanctuary On Stage Facing Sound Booth Sanctuary On Stage Facing Sound Booth
New Seating New Seating
Entrance to Sanctuary from Lobby (back of sound booth) Entrance to Sanctuary from Lobby (back of sound booth)
Cafe Entrance from Lobby Cafe Entrance from Lobby
New Main Office New Main Office
New Entrance into front Lobby New Entrance into front Lobby
Multipurpose Room - Behind Sanctuary Multipurpose Room - Behind Sanctuary
Pastor's Office Pastor's Office
Hallway Ceilings Hallway Ceilings

Building Project Slideshow

We thank you for all your questions. Below we hope to answer them in more detail.

Re: Comfort Seating

Q: Will there be a hook to hang your purse off the back of the seat in front of you? Will there be a place for communion cups?

A: There will be no hooks on the backs of the chairs as this could pose a risk to children and hook people’s clothes as they walk past. Purses can safely be stored underneath the row ahead, just like we do now. Comfort seating comes with a tithing/envelope holder and place to set communion cups.

Re: Fire Code

Q: With the increase in seating in the sanctuary (25%). Are we within the limits of fire codes?

A: Yes.

Re: Energy Efficiency

Q: Will the glass proposed in the new foyer decrease our energy efficiency?

A: Glass is not as efficient as a solid wall structure, there are window treatments and/or glazing that we could look further into.

Q: Are the faucets and/or lighting going to be on motion sensors to save energy and prevent water damage?

A: This has not been previously considered but the committee will look into the cost savings and expenses for these items.

Re: Library

Q: Will we still have a library?

A: Yes, the library will be integrated into a combined café/resource area.

Re: Automatic Doors

Q: Will the installation of automatic doors create a heating and cooling issue?

A: We have incorporated the rough-in of an air curtain into the design, to be installed if needed.

Re: Acoustics

Q: Will we be providing technology for the hearing impaired?

A: The building committee acknowledged that we hadn’t looked into it, but that it will be taken into consideration.

  • further information provided that listening devices should not go into the person’s ear (due to hearing aids already being in place)

Re: Flooring

Q: What type of flooring are we proposing for the sanctuary?

A: Carpet squares, as these squares can be replaced individually as needed.

Re: Tornado Shelter Areas

Q: Will the tornado shelter areas remain?

A: Yes.

Re: Long-Term Phasing

Q: Can the purchase or replacing of some items be delayed to a later date to decrease the amount borrowed (ex. Kitchen appliances)?

A: There are pros and cons to this idea. Some of the cons would be the fatigue created by the length of time the project would take to complete. The committee had decided that If the proposed budget was higher that this was something that we may have had to pursue, however there is a general consensus that this is a manageable level of debt for our congregation.

Re: Pews

Q: What will be done with our current pews?

A: No decision has been made. There is the possibility of blessing another assembly.

Re: Accessibility

Q: What is being done to make the building more accessible? Why are we waiting until this becomes mandatory?

A: We are adding a koala infant change table into the universal bathroom. When mandates come into effect the infant change table will be changed to an adult change table.

  • The committee continues to research adult change table options.

Q: Is the church going to install an elevator to access the youth area?

A: This topic was discussed at length within the forward and building committee. The cost of installation and yearly maintenance exceeds our current budget.

Re: Alternative Seating

Q: Did the committee look into chairs that hook into each other as a seating option?

A: Yes, however with our floor being sloped this is not a viable option.

Re: Quiet Room

Comment: Using the proposed quiet room as a dual purpose space for both nursing mothers and children that are having difficulties during the service may not be possible.

A: Building committee realizes this may not be an ideal situation and will look into ways to address this. 

Re: Counting Room

Q: Is there still a counting room?

A: Yes, it is still located within the same space. It is labeled as office/ministry space on the floor plan.

Re: Covered Drive Thru

Q: How does the church propose to continue without a covered drive thru entrance?

A: This was also a topic much discussed within the building committee. The main reason we decided to eliminate this feature is zoning by-laws. If we increased our current foot print under roof the renovation would fall under different by-law requirements. 

  • Congregant attending open house shared that many churches do not offer a covered drive-thru.

Re: Washrooms

Q: Will renovated washrooms be unisex to be welcoming to all?

A: We are renovating the washrooms with stalls to be floor to ceiling so that if the time comes that we must provide gender neutral washrooms we can take down the male/female signage. Plan to protect was taken into much consideration when designing bathrooms.


Q: Are we replacing our current HVAC system (like for like) or are we looking into more smart technology. What has been selected?

A: The contractor explained that we are looking to upgrade the system. The quote given includes a certain amount towards automation. The contractor to ask the HVAC subcontractor about further upgrade in technology and cost for this feature.

Re: Café

Comment: A congregant recently visited a church that had a café and was impressed by the beehive of activity when she entered. She felt that it was a very positive experience.

Re: Brick Staining

Q: How durable is this product?

A: Brick staining provides a superior finish compared to simply painting the brick as the stain absorbs into the brick. The architect provided addresses for local buildings that have used this technique and the committee had strong consensus that this process would help to modernize both the exterior and interior of the building. Brick staining is a durable process that should last upwards of 10 years. 

Re: Children’s Washrooms

Q: In the design, the private stall areas are all drawn as standard size washrooms. Can the plan be modified to have 2 larger stalls to allow for increased mobility and maneuverability needs?

A: David Skillings from Valente Construction, voiced that the space in that bathroom should be able to accommodate 2 larger washroom stalls to allow for increased maneuverability. The Universal washroom, by the gym, will meet accessibility standards for our congregants. 

Re: Adult Washrooms

Q: Will the removal of the wing walls in the current bathrooms make them more accessible?

A: Yes. Taking out the wing walls will make it easier for people with mobility issues to get in and maneuver around the bathrooms.

  • a further comment was made regarding a request for an automatic door opener to be put on the washroom by the café/resource area.

Re: Limited Access Through Children’s Wing

Q: On a Wednesday evening, if there is an activity taking place in the fellowship hall and there is no access through the children’s wing, how will people who need to access the Universal washroom be able to?

A: There will be a hall monitor in the children’s wing, if anyone needs to access the Universal washroom they will be accommodated. They will not be made to go the long way around.

Re: Parking

Q: With the expansion of the foyer there will be a loss of handicap parking spaces. Has the committee taken this into consideration?

A: Yes. New handicap parking spaces will be created in the appropriate spaces.

Re: Glass Foyer

Q: Has the committee identified that the glass foyer is a potential hazard with regards to motor vehicles losing control and potentially injuring someone if a car was to jump the curb. Are there barriers that can be installed?

A: The committee had not considered this. David Skillings from Valente explained that there are cost effective and visually appealing products that can be utilized to address this if required.

Re: Vote

Q: What will the vote be about on Sunday?

A: The members will be voting on the scope presented at the meetings on August 27th and September 7th which is the full project.

Re: Debt

Q: Who would be held liable for the debt if the church should default on payment?

A: The church is Incorporated. As such, no member or adherent is personally responsible for the debt. The church is in a strong financial position and this scenario is extremely unlikely.

Q: What is the likely annual cost of the project?

A: This information can be found on page 25 of the slide presentation. Likely, early annual interest costs will be $50,000 a year (based on $1 million dollars borrowed) plus a principle payment of approximately $50,000 a year as well. The total cost of the project, through the life of the loan, depends on interest rates and how quickly the congregation pays down the principle. The sooner that the loan is paid off, the more we will be able to reduce the overall project costs.

Re: Bathrooms, Acoustics

Q: Have you engaged subject matter experts when considering design?

A: Yes, the committee is actively engaging professionals for the entire scope.

Re: Seating Configuration/Removal of Doors

Q: The current seating configuration, with the removal of the aisles and doors on the far wings of the church sanctuary, seems to limit easy exit and entrance from the longest rows of those sections. Does this create egress issues for our congregants during a disaster scenario such as fire or active shooter?

A: The current design, that has the two wing doors removed, meets and exceeds the fire code. Our architect has an obligation to meet the fire code as a minimum-we have exceeded the minimum. Code requires that the maximum number of seats between any two aisles is 42, the most we have in any one row between two aisles is 12.

  • The committee has recommended that once we are settled after the renovation, fire safety training will be delivered to everyone in the building, both for our Sunday Gathering and Mid-Week Programs, and that fire drills be conducted on an annual basis. 
  • Our trained Emergency Response Co-Ordinator for EGCC has reviewed the plan and is advocating for the removal of both doors as it relates to an active shooter scenario. 

Q: Can we keep the doors at each of the far sections?

A: The Board and the Building committee are committed to do everything we can possibly do to protect our children and to provide a space where our kids are safe and cared for. The wing door (closest to 101) would open up into the children’s area, specifically right at the children’s washroom, and is also on a corner, which makes this door unsafe and also creates inconsistencies in our Plan2Protect policy. There was strong consensus among the Building Committee that the two wing doors remain removed. 

Q: With the proposed seating plan, the comfort seating goes all of the way to the wall, has the committee considered that people may not want to walk past the entire row of people to exit during the service. Will these seats have limited use anyway?

A: The building committee met to address the feedback that was received regarding the proposed seating plan. The committee took very seriously the feedback you provided, and a lengthy discussion took place. As a strategy to address the concerns regarding the ability of congregants to easily enter and exit the rows of seating in the wing sections, where there are up to 11 seats that extend to the wall, the committee will modify the design of the seating to create more space between rows- this could be accomplished by removing one row of seating, which would allow each row that has 8 seats or greater to be spread further apart, creating easier egress from these rows.

Re: Use of Legacy Funds

Q: Has there been any consideration given to using the Legacy Funds to finance the Building Project?

A: For the purpose of the presentation we followed the current Legacy policy (voted on by the congregation) on page 24 on the building slide presentation - the Board will exercise the option of withdrawing 5% of the fund value which is approximately $58k.  The spirit of the Legacy Fund is to fund future outreach initiatives that are not part of the general ministry budget. The board will consider all options including this one when deciding on the best strategy for the short and long term financing of the project.