This week we set a new course for St. Stephen’s.
After almost a decade of research into redevelopment possibilities, we are being asked to approve a $1.1 million campaign in support of the first phase of a new vision for our buildings and property.
Having concluded that “doing nothing is not an option”, the challenge has been to turn our ageing facilities into an asset, an extension of our mission and ministry. The vision sees St. Stephen’s becoming a hub of the Beltline, removing barriers and creating a welcoming and useable community centre.
Phase I focuses on a few immediate needs: upgrading the mechanical / electrical fabric “behind the walls” (something we have been committed to since 2003); completing the renovation of the sanctuary to create a more flexible and accessible space both for worship and for the performing arts; installing washrooms to accommodate large gatherings; and the construction of an elevator to allow access to all levels of our facility.
Phase II will push the vision further with improved street presence and access, enlargement of program space (both for ourselves and as rental space), and a new level of flexibility for our worship space. But all in due course.
First we commit ourselves to raising the money and completing the plans for Phase I. Later in the year we approve those plans and start the renovation. Then we revisit the vision and prepare ourselves for Phase II.
One way or another, this week we step into a new future.