March News Regarding the Foundry Management Board

Friday, April 4, 2014

Update on the Foundry Management Board Mission Possible Town Hall

This report covers the March 25 Management Board meeting and the March 30 Mission Possible Town Hall.

Foundry congregation to vote on renovation funding by early summer

A major Foundry renovation project has gained momentum, with a congregational vote on financing likely to occur at the beginning of the summer.

The Foundry Management Board is considering an early June church conference whose agenda will include action on a loan proposal. At its April 22 meeting, the board is likely to give Foundry staff approval to begin negotiating loan terms with WashingtonFirst Bank.

Leaders of the renovation effort, known as Mission Possible, told the Management Board at its March 25 meeting that the church is likely to be approved for a $4 million loan. The amount actually drawn down will be closer to $3 million.

Details of the loan proposal will be reviewed by the Management Board Finance Committee at an April 15 meeting that is open to the Foundry community.

The congregation was updated on the progress of the project at a Town Hall meeting on March 30 after the 11 a.m. service.

Paul Hazen, co-chair of the Mission Possible Capital Campaign and Chair of the Finance Renovation Task Force, said that the goal is to keep the loan small.

“We want to pay this debt off as quickly as possible,” Hazen told an audience of about 35 people.

The financing would augment the $3.1 million the church has raised in pledges so far through the Mission Possible capital campaign.

The first phase of the project is estimated to cost about $5.5 million and will center on creating an expansive new fellowship space and reception area in the central wing of the church, refurbishing the sanctuary by replacing pew cushions, carpet, sound system and the hearing assistance equipment, installing a new elevator in the Tower Lobby area,  expanding bathrooms on the main level and improving the heating and air conditioning system in the sanctuary and central wing.  The Finance Renovation Task Force as applied for grants that could potentially provide for needed equipment improvements in the Kitchen during this phase of the project.

“It has a common theme – making Foundry welcoming,” Linda Schakel, head of the Building Renovation Task Force, said at the March 25 board meeting.

The work on phase I will begin in early 2015 and should be completed in the first half of 2016, if the congregation approves the financing. The overall renovation project is estimated to take about 15 years to complete. The first phase was modified when Foundry’s capital campaign fell short of its original $4.5 million goal.

Foundry has collected about $1.525 million of the $3.1 million raised in the Mission Possible campaign. That church’s cash on hand for the project is above the usual collection rate for such an undertaking, according to banks that responded to Foundry’s request for a loan proposal.

The church is currently debt free, another factor that puts it in a stronger position than most churches that launch capital spending efforts.

“We’ve tried to position this [project] with the smallest loan possible,” Hazen said at the March 25 board meeting.

The loan would be paid off using capital campaign funds rather than church operating funds, Mission Possible leaders said. Future capital campaigns are planned to retire the debt and move on to the next phases of the project.


- Mark Schoeff Jr. on behalf of the Mission Possible Communications Team