New Sanctuary Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Sanctuary “finished?” Yes and No. The majority of the work is complete. We continue to seek feedback and are working through a small punch list of remaining items with contractors. As we “live” in the space, we’ll continue to make adjustments along the way.
Are the current acoustics how it will be? Acoustical panels will be added to the back walls over the next 4-6 weeks, which will add audio clarity and remove some of the liveliness of the room. These panels were always a part of the plan and will be covered in a fabric that matches the paint on the back wall.
Is the current lighting the way it will be? The lights in the sanctuary are in place. Some track lighting is yet to be installed to brighten the wall to the left of the platform. Additional stage lighting is in place that adds a significant amount of light to the platform These lights can be set at any color or temperature. We will be testing various options over the coming weeks and working with lighting professionals.
Why were the platform stairs off limits? The local building inspector asked us to install hand rails for those steps. Our architect has designed a good solution to address this requirement.
Why is the floor flat? A flat floor allows us to reconfigure the seating and creates greater flexibility for worship and other ways we may use the space. In order to provide a good view for everyone in the room, we set the platform at an appropriate standard height. An additional platform extension is being built that will be slightly lower and placed in front of the main platform. It is designed as a semi-circle and can be disassembled if it isn’t needed.
What’s backstage, behind the platform? Many items are located back stage. This includes storage, a room for a future snowmelt boiler (if funding allows), a room for audio video equipment, a “green room” for people to gather before or after a service, and also a handicap accessible bathroom.
Are we allowed to have coffee in the new Sanctuary? Yes, coffee and other non-staining drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary. We would ask that you use a cup with a lid in order to prevent spills.
Where is the “tree” we keep hearing about? Near the Cross at the front of the Sanctuary you will see a large beam that supports the room. At the top you will notice architectural elements that look like branches on a tree. This symbolizes the tree of life in Genesis (fellowship with God and each other) and the tree in Revelation for the healing of the nations (mission in the world).
What about the sanctuary furniture like the Lord’s Table and Baptismal Font? We are working with a local artisan to design and create special furniture for the space. This is able to be done because of a generous donor.
Why is the Cross located where it is? Will it be back-lit? As you enter the Sanctuary, your eye follows the line of perspective to the north-west corner, which is the high point. We placed the Cross there to give it prominence. Although in a different place than our former Sanctuary, the Cross remains central to our worship, life and mission. We hope to add lighting for further accent.
What is the seating capacity of the new Sanctuary? The Sanctuary is rated for 675 people. We have initially purchased 650 chairs, and currently have 575 set out. The Sanctuary is the right size for the building and allows us to make room for new people without losing a sense of intimacy.
Why is the roof of the new Sanctuary a different color than the rest of the building? Because of the angles of the slanted roof, shingles were not an option. The material used for the roof only comes in a few color choices, and gray was the best option. While it is different from the rest of the building, it blends in well with other aspects of the facility structure.
Where are the new bathrooms located? You will find a handicap accessible family bathroom at the top of the ramp on the South side of the new Sanctuary. There are also women’s and men’s bathrooms located just off the Gathering Place across from the office and the nursery. Diaper decks and sharps containers are also located in the new bathrooms.
Did we hear there is a Sensory Room? Yes, a Sensory Room has been created next to the nursery. This room will be a support for families with children who need a calming space that has less auditory and visual stimulation.
What is being renovated in the Gathering Place and when will it be finished? Cracks have been repaired and the room was given a fresh coat of paint (including covering some of the brick). Carpet was installed to help quiet the room and connect it to the Sanctuary narthex. A coffee bar was installed to help the space be more welcoming and support additional use throughout the week. We plan to replace the ceiling tiles, add new furniture, and provide ways to listen or watch the Sunday service.
How do you enter the new Office Space and why is it designed to be so open? Fellowship has many exterior entrances. In order to be more welcoming, we have moved the main entrance for the office to the Bell Tower entrance. The office is designed to have a combination of private spaces along with open spaces. The open spaces encourage collaboration and provide flexibility. Anyone is welcome to stop by anytime the office is open! The staff loves visitors!
What are the plans for the former Sanctuary? Two-thirds of the former Sanctuary will become our new Youth Center. One-third will become a gathering place that will support small groups and community activities. We are also identifying a location for books and resources that support spiritual growth.
Are there any other renovations happening with this current project? The children’s education wing, current youth center, and adult discipleship (MC) wing will all receive new carpet and paint where needed. These updates will happen in the near future. Once these updates are completed, our youth will move into the former Sanctuary, the children will move to the former youth room and MC wing, and the art studio and adult discipleship will move to the children’s education wing. Lots of shifting, but it will be a great solution!
It has been a tremendous privilege to be on this journey with you! Thank you for your patience, prayers, support, constructive feedback, and encouragement! Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine...to God be the glory!
The Facility Planning Team (Steve Braunius, Bob Ellis, Barb Eriks, Scott Engelsman, Kent Frye, Brian Keepers, Susan Timmer, Bill Van Eck, Jan Wagner, and Bob Weurfel)