PBC Facility Remodel

Frequently Asked Questions

[Posted June 6, 2015]:

What happened to the significant funds raised for the purchase bid on an adjacent property in 2013?

The fundraising at the time welcomed contributions and pledges contingent on that particular purchase. Since the PBC bid was unsuccessful, most of the amount we were able to offer was not retained by the church at the conclusion of the process. Those donations that were unconditional were added to the building fund (remodel fund did not exist yet). Money from the building fund has been used to pay for design services from architects, structural engineers, and others to get us to this point. Some of the remaining money in the building fund will be used for the remodel project, particularly for further design and preliminary work prior to September 2015. The remainder of the building fund will be reserved for unanticipated maintenance outside the intended scope of the remodel. Please designate contributions to this project to the 'Remodel Fund'.

Will there be additional handicapped parking spaces to alleviate the problem that finding one available is a problem almost every Sunday?  Could there be fewer compact and more full size parking spaces?

We did try to increase the number of handicapped parking spaces, but it proves to be a tough balance since these take up more room and we are required to meet a minimum number of spaces very close to what is in the lot now.  We're also tied by what the city requires for number of compact spaces.

[Posted May 31, 2015]:

Why are we doing a remodel?

We seek to update the facility to be a revitalized base for continuing ministry of the saints for the next 50 years, should the Lord tarry. Our plans are informed by careful evaluation of the present state of the buildings, the needs and opportunities of ministries in our midst, and realistic consideration of the cost of major construction. The remodel primarily addresses maintenance, safety, and accessibility problems, the current
scattering of ministries and staff across the campus that undermines community, and the need for more effective and flexible spaces for ministries.

What is the monetary goal?

The total amount to fund the complete remodel plan is $6M, which is the budget established by the elders.

What if the financial goal is not achieved?

If the funds available from donations are less than what we need to complete the entire plan, we will proceed to build a coherent subset that we can afford to finish. We will not continue soliciting additional funding throughout the entire construction period in an effort to achieve the original goal, but instead will gratefully accept that it is the Lord’s will to reduce the scope of the project. We cannot tell in advance exactly what will be built for different levels of funding, nor the timing of all these decisions, since they depend heavily on such things as understanding what requirements the city will impose on a reduced scope.

Will remodel contributions be in addition to regular giving?

Yes. Regular giving to the general fund supports the PBC operating budget which pays pastors and staff and all the routine expenses of ministries and facility operation. Plan remodel contributions to be over and above your regular giving, and please designate them to the 'Remodel Fund' explicitly.

Besides making a gift, what else can I do to support the project?
You can support the project through prayer. There will also be opportunities for practical volunteer service.

Can I volunteer my time to work on the project?
Yes. There will be opportunities for volunteers to serve in general workdays on such things as preparation for construction, demolition, and landscaping. If you are a licensed construction professional willing to volunteer your time to the project please let us know, as there may be certain needs that you could help meet. Please understand that for a project of this scale we require the services of a highly qualified general contracting firm, and to allow them to execute the project effectively as well as for liability reasons we cannot involve volunteers in most of the construction itself.

Why don’t we sell the property and relocate instead of remodelling?
There is no question that the property of the current facility in residential Palo Alto would bring a high value if it was placed on the market, so it is reasonable to ask if it would be more effective to use the funds from a sale to build afresh somewhere else. The elders are convinced that God is calling us to continue to meet and shine a light in Palo Alto, which means we would be looking for a new home in the city or possibly in a
neighborhood of Mountain View very close by.

We would need a comparable size of property to accommodate an effective facility with the level of parking likely to be required, so to be financially beneficial we would need to find cheaper land zoned for nonresidential use. There is a lot of demand for commercial property in this area these days also, and it would probably be hard to find such a large parcel. Thus although the remodel team did consider the possibility of a move, we did not conduct a serious search and we believe that the best course is to build on the legacy left to us by the founding generation of PBC by remodelling the facility we have.

Can I financially contribute other than by cash donations?
Yes. There are a variety of forms of donation that PBC can accept other than cash. If you would like information about how to give such a gift please contact Kelly Lind in the accounting office. Online contributions may be made using PayPal through the website, but these cost us a fee to receive. We do not believe God would call any of us to take on debt in order to support this project, so please do not consider borrowing funds to donate. Other than borrowing, however, there may be creative options that would work in your financial circumstances.

How will PBC acknowledge contributions?
PBC applies the principle that righteous giving is a matter between the individual and the Lord (Matthew 6:14) and this extends to the remodel. We will maintain only minimum required records. Knowledge of contributors and amounts given is limited to those who issue receipts, which are prepared annually for gifts of $250 or more each or on request at time of donation for smaller amounts. Gifts to support the remodel need to be distinguished from regular giving so please designate them for the 'Remodel Fund'. Receipts from PBC always identify separately the contributions to special funds from those to the general fund, so you will be able to distinguish remodel from regular giving.

How do I make a gift to support the remodel?
For cash donations please use an envelope from the pew and write ‘Remodel Fund’ on it. For donations by check, please write ‘Remodel Fund’ on the memo line of the check. For online donations, please enter ‘Remodel Fund’ as the designation. For securities or other noncash contributions please contact Kelly Lind in the accounting office for instructions.

How is the planned remodel different from concepts I have seen previously?
Based on cost estimates from contractors and input from the elders about the budget, we have scaled back the planned work from what was earlier presented in concept and schematic drawings. Some of the major items eliminated were opening the center courtyard by removing the existing nursery/preschool building (B) and replacing it with a new nursery/preschool building in the area of the side patio, changing the outer shell of
A and C buildings with new arrangements of doors and windows, enlarging windows in the Fellowship Hall, relocating and replacing outdoor playground areas, extensive concrete replacement and landscape work, and installing many operable partitions in children’s ministry classrooms.

How will pledges work?
We ask you to prayerfully consider what God is calling you to give on top of regular donations over the course of the project and to complete a pledge card indicating how you would like to give this over that time such as weekly, monthly etc. Return the pledge card by September 30, 2015. Pledged donations are needed starting in October 2015 (start of PBC fiscal year) through December 31, 2017.

Your gifts are between you and God and our accountants who are the only ones to see the amounts. In order to keep them private, please submit your pledge card in a sealed envelope with Pledge written on it but not your name. We do need your name on the pledge card itself so we know it comes from someone in our church and is not a hoax.

We welcome gifts of any size on whatever schedule is possible for you, so do not feel you have to pledge according to a rigid schedule, such as a weekly or monthly basis, for the entire period. Please just make clear what you are committing to give and when, in order that we can accurately count and plan for the cash flow.

When are funds needed?
It is most helpful to have funds as early as possible, as that simplifies planning, and permits us to complete the maximum amount of the work early which tends to control the cost of work items. The remodel fund is open for donations now so if you are able to give immediately we encourage you to do so. We would like to receive onetime contributions (not pledged) by the end of 2015. Regardless of these guidelines, however, we encourage everyone to participate as they are able and led over the course of the project. Making a pledge commitment in advance and giving according to your pledged schedule will be tremendously helpful.

When are pledges needed?
Pledges are needed by September 30, 2015 in order to plan for the initial phasing of the project. If for some reason your circumstances change later so that you are able to pledge more, or if you have joined our community and become aware of the remodel after that date we would welcome added pledges later.

How long will the remodel take?
Our plan is to complete the work of this remodel by the end of 2018.

Will PBC borrow money as part of funding the remodel?
It has long been the practice of PBC to avoid assuming any long-term debt as we trust in the Lord to provide for the needs of the church through faithful giving as He directs. The elders have reaffirmed again for the remodel that we will not borrow for any extended period, such as by issuing bonds or obtaining a mortgage. Short-term borrowing (bridge loans) may be used if necessary to allow work to proceed before all
the pledged funds have been received.

Why are we not significantly increasing the size of our facilities?
As we have done in the past, our preference is to plant a new church versus expanding our current facilities.

Why are we not enlarging the main kitchen?
Enlarging the main kitchen while meeting the building code requirements that would be imposed on a kitchen design would be costly both financially for the kitchen itself and in floor space in the facility. The remodel team studied this question extensively and concluded that the best stewardship is to address some of the limitations of the kitchen by adding adjunct space without touching the perimeter of the kitchen or moving it,
either of which would trigger expensive upgrades.

The remodel plan includes a room we are calling the “kitchen annex” located in the space occupied by the present men’s room with convenient access to the foyer, patio, fellowship hall and kitchen. The annex will alleviate some of the storage pressure on the kitchen with nearby added storage, will allow the coffee service machine to be moved out of the kitchen proper thus freeing some counter space, and will allow us to separate drink and snack preparations from cooking so there is less conflict between those parallel activities at times like Sunday mornings.

While this is not an ideal solution for all kitchen uses, we believe that it is an appropriate compromise and that the kitchen can serve our needs reasonably. We do plan to replace the broken ventilation in the kitchen.

Will some programs be cancelled during construction? Will we be unable to meet at the facility for a period of time?
There will likely be temporary disruptions to our normal schedule, which might include cancelling certain classes for periods of time or changing the times or locations of meetings. The disruptions to use of the auditorium are likely to be somewhat limited so at this time we do not anticipate needing to move main services off campus at any point during the construction. We expect to arrange phasing as well to provide maximum flexibility during transitions, such as by starting with fellowship hall upgrades so adult events like Step Closer can move there when D building is disrupted
Who can answer other questions?
The remodel team is able to answer other questions. The remodel team is Lars Lee, Laura Lai, Jim Thornton, Kathy Means, and Dan Van Elderen. There will be an opportunity to see the plans and ask questions of the Remodel Team after services through the month of June in room A-15.

How realistic is the cost estimate?
The cost estimates we are working with are based on schematic design drawings, estimates from our experienced general contractor and representative subcontractors, consultations with the city about requirements for things like accessibility, and value engineering work to reduce costs. The estimates include contingency amounts to cover for unforeseeable or changing costs. Therefore we believe these are as realistic as reasonably possible given the design stage we have reached. On that basis we have
been able to establish a budget and adjust expectations of reasonable scope. As donations and pledges come in we switch to a mode of fitting the project to the budget and carry on the design to the point of detailed construction drawings.