Woodlawn United Methodist Church will soon be sporting a new look and updated facilities, if the facility vision committee’s plans are successful.
The church’s current facility at the corner of Woodlawn and Kay streets has been a familiar sight in Derby for nearly 50 years since it was built beginning in 1963. For the past year, a facility vision committee chaired by Steve Pierce has worked to craft a plan for the church’s future.
After months of planning, consulting with church members, visiting other churches, and consulting with MJC Architects, the facility vision committee unveiled the proposed $1.1 million plan to the Woodlawn congregation two weeks ago.
“I’m very excited,” said Senior Pastor Paul Wilke. “The plans reflect both the immediate needs in regard to the growth of our current ministries and also reflect our longer term needs.”
A youth center, fellowship hall and improvements to the aging sanctuary are primary areas of focus for the facility’s initial round of improvements. The committee used a 15-year plan as a guideline.
The committee worked to incorporate many elements that serve both the needs of the congregation and the needs of the many community missions in which they are engaged.
While many of the proposed improvements involve updating or expanding the church’s meeting spaces, some changes will address ways to better integrate the church within the surrounding neighborhood. Rebuilding an earth berm and creating a water detention area to meet city requirements and protect low-lying houses are needed improvements, but the park the church plans to add is a bonus feature that will benefit the church and the neighborhood.
Meeting changing needs for future generations was a driving force in creating a new facility vision.
“At Woodlawn, we believe our calling is to serve this community,” said Wilke.
Adding tools to help fulfill community missions such as the food bank ranks high on the list of priorities for Woodlawn. Incorporating safety protocols into the new design help bring the childcare services the church offers in line with 21st century norms. A secure check-in process and the ability to have complete facility lockdowns in emergency situations are some of the ways the facility vision committee seeks to adapt the current facility to modern times.
The results of the “Walk by Faith” full stewardship campaign to raise capital for the church improvements will help decide how many resources can be devoted to the expansion and how quickly construction can proceed. It will not be until January 2013 that Woodlawn decides with what portion of the master plan they will proceed.
“Expanding these facilities just gives us even better tools to offer to our communities to use,” said Wilke. “Woodlawn really does want to be a viable part of Derby’s future and to remain a central place to serve the community and to be a part of making this a great community in generations to come.”
Projected cost budget
Fellowship Hall/ Church Anew: $464,723 Floor Area – 5,633 sq. ft.
Entry Addition: $428,680 Floor Area – 2,156 sq. ft.
Sanctuary: $99,842 Floor Area – 4,036 sq. ft.
Detention Pond: $12,150 Earthwork and Reseed – 19,386 sq. ft.
Bus Barn: $105,444 Two Structures with a total of 2,929 sq. ft.
Total cost: $1,110,839