January 2016 St. Mark’s wardens and vestry call a new rector, the Rev. Ian Burch, to come and support a revitalization effort at the parish.
2016-2019 The vestry spends over $300,000 in repairs to the boiler, dishwasher, smoke alarms, flooring, lighting, as well as asbestos remediation on the 1949 building along with rising utilities for the 30,000 sq ft. of the 1949 building.
August 2019 The vestry decides to explore a capital campaign to renovate the 1949 building and make it fully accessible. The wardens and vestry contract with the Episcopal Church Foundation, a church-related fundraising consulting firm, for several months, as well as call for proposals from architects to improve our space–ADA compliance, mold and asbestos remediation, fire suppression, etc. On Oct. 1, 2019, members of the parish are invited to a round table conversation about their dreams for both the 1949 building and the vacant lot to the north of the parking lot. After a great deal of deliberation, and with the assistance of a capital campaign task force under the leadership of Judith Miller, the vestry concludes that raising money for a renovation of that scale is not feasible.
November 2019 At the suggestion of a parish member, the vestry meets with a local land developer to explore the possibility of selling a portion of our land to fund a new, fully accessible and energy-efficient parish hall.
March 2020 COVID strikes and the parish moves all of its worship, fellowship, and business online in keeping with guidelines put in place by the bishop.
August 2020 The vestry hosts five, hour-long round table discussion via zoom about some of the different building ideas suggested by the land developer–possible renovation, possible land sale, possible new parish hall. We also host one in-person meeting after an outdoor service in the church courtyard.
Fall and Winter 2020-2021 The pandemic makes it difficult to continue an aggressive pursuit of a solution to our building problems. The rector, wardens, and vestry take a break for several months to focus on the needs of the parish during this difficult time.
Summer 2021 In addition to the DeMichelle Company–the developer that the vestry and wardens spoke with initially in 2019–the vestry considers development offers from Ann Pieper as well as Cushman and Wakefield, companies suggested by architects in the parish. The vestry decides to continue the conversation with the DeMichelle Company as the best fit for our project. In particular, the DeMichelle Company has introduced the parish to Catalyst Builders–a specialist in non-profit projects, and HGA–an architecture firm with vast experience combining the needs of old worship spaces with new administrative spaces. Both Catalyst and HGA also have extensive experience working with the Historic Preservation Commission, under whose aegis any project we entertain falls.
September 2021 Ministry heads at St. Mark’s are surveyed about what parts of the building they use and what could be improved for their work.
October-November 2021 After meeting with the Standing Committee of the Diocese, the wardens, rector, and vestry meet with the chancellor of the diocese to discuss the logistics of selling a portion of our property.
December 2021 Bishop Jeffrey Lee, in consultation with the Standing Committee of the Diocese, signs a letter of intent to sell St. Mark’s vacant lot and use the funds for a new, accessible parish hall. All parish property is held in trust by the diocese, and all land sales go through the Standing Committee of the diocese with advice from the Chancellor.
February 2022 The wardens and rector sign a sale agreement for 200 ft of frontage to the DeMichelle company with the expectation that the sale monies will be used toward the building of a new, fully accessible and energy-efficient parish hall.
March 2022 At the request of our builder and architect, the rector put out a call for applications for parishioners to sit on the building committee, whose job would be to take the data from the building use surveys and, along with the architects and builders, to turn that into schematics. The building committee convenes and begins meeting regularly. After several meetings, it becomes clear that a building that meets the needs of the parish will cost somewhere between 3 and 4 million dollars.
Late April 2022 Under the leadership of Jr. Warden Vince Katter, a transition committee forms. For the next several months, parish members meet on Saturday mornings to slowly prepare the 1949 building for demolition as well as the sanctuary for housing all activities during construction.
July 2022 The parish hall is approved by the city for demolition. The city noted the disrepair of the 1949 building and commented that in several places, the stone lintels were being held up by plastic windows rather than by proper supports.
Summer-Fall 2022 Members of the parish testify at several city meetings in support of our project and, after 18 hours of meetings that invite community members to provide input, the new parish hall and rezoning of the vacant lot are all unanimously approved.
November 2022 St. Mark’s is provisionally approved for financing up to one million dollars. The vestry and wardens, in consultation with the building committee, begin the process of crafting a strategy to fund the new parish hall with a combination of land sale revenue, financing, and a capital campaign.
October 2022 The architects and building committee host an all-parish meeting to give updates on their progress.
November 2022 The rector begins making silent phase capital campaign asks with the goal of raising one million dollars toward our project. After a ten-week silent campaign, the project raises $713,000.
January 2023 At the parish annual meeting, the results of the silent phase are announced and the capital campaign committee is selected.