View the video of our Kick-Off Forum here to learn more from our leadership!
Why is Saint Barnabas conducting a capital campaign?
For over 60 years, we’ve been surrounded by the desert. Soon we will be bounded on three sides by the Ritz Carlton Resort, housing developments on our north and south sides and by a green belt wash with a beautiful walking path right alongside our south and east boundaries. Hundreds of new neighbors and visitors will be walking around us. Never before has there been access to us from the south and the east as there will be now. We need to make these boundaries beautiful, welcoming, and inviting.
Additionally, the Town of Paradise Valley is widening and improving Mockingbird Lane. This gives us the opportunity to refresh our front view as well as adding welcoming signage for the first time. (Alleluia!). And finally, once people enter our grounds, we want all of our grounds and buildings to be equally welcoming and inviting.
Why is this the right time for a capital campaign?
The impetus for our renewal project is the Ritz Carlton Resort and housing development going on around us. No longer will we be surrounded by desert! Part of this development is a beautiful green belt and walking path right alongside our south and east boundaries, which will likely bring hundreds of people next to us every day. Also, the Ritz Carlton Resort project led the Town of Paradise Valley to widen and improve Mockingbird Lane, which impacts our frontage.
Once we began to look at our boundaries and our landscaping, we discovered that our parking lot was at the end of its life, and we discovered that some of our buildings were in much need of significant repair and upgrading. Reality is, even if the Ritz Carlton Resort project were not happening, we would have needed a capital campaign to fund the much-needed repairs in our buildings, re-do of our parking lot, and upgrade other facilities.
Why are we concerned with impressing the people that use the public walkway through the Ritz Carlton project? Shouldn’t we be putting our money and efforts toward doing the work of Jesus through our missions, etc.?
Our goal isn’t to impress anyone, but rather to make our campus a beautiful and inviting environment. Our people and our ministries are surely the two main resources for doing the work of Jesus at Saint Barnabas and in the world. We are called to Make Disciples. But we cannot minister to our children, teens, and adult parishioners (nor our present or future guests) without safe, trustworthy and welcoming physical facilities. In this regard, our Formation buildings and Hutton Hall need serious attention regardless of what’s happening around us. The 5-Star development simply became the impetus to take the good, hard look we needed to take!
Saint Barnabas is a center for ministry and mission—a center for Making Disciples: think of the hundreds of people who come through our church each year who are built up to better serve God’s world due to our formation options, our mission ministries, and our loving community. Saint Barnabans are making a difference in countless ways in their lives, families, and communities, because of how they learn and grow here at church. All that traffic through our campus means that we have earned our wear and tear that must be addressed if we are to keep sending disciples into the world! It is necessary that we tune a portion of our resources to taking care of the resources we have here already (the buildings and kitchen) as well as a portion toward attracting new people to Saint Barnabas through the front and perimeter projects.
The timing of development of the surrounding neighborhood dovetails conveniently and fortuitously with our need for improving our campus. We would need to move forward with many aspects of this project, with our without new neighbors, so we can continue to serve our mission of Making Disciples for God’s world.
Is it possible for us to have an open house for all our new neighbors when we are done with our improvements?
We have not developed a plan to do this, but it is certainly worth considering some sort of public celebration when we complete this project.
How much will it cost?
The estimate for all the work is approximately $6.8 million. We need to realize this is a professionally informed estimate. Nonetheless, it is an estimate.
Is it possible to have bonds to assist with our financing?
Non-profit organizations sometimes use the sale of bonds to their members as a way to finance capital projects. These types of bonds typically pay nominal interest rates and can either be repaid in full or partially, based on the desire of the bond holder. The concept is that it’s less expensive to borrow money from members (for short-term bridge financing) than it is to borrow money from banks. We are reviewing this concept as an option for funding the Welcoming the Neighborhood initiative but we do not have this program set up today.
Will I be asked to contribute? If so, when?
All of our members (and friends) are being invited to participate in our campaign, and we hope all will be inspired to do so. Our formal campaign begins February 9 and ends on Commitment Sunday, March 29. Gifts and commitments can be made throughout the campaign as well as after the formal campaign has ended. Our campaign invites us to consider one-time gifts or one to five-year commitments.
Can I give through my will or estate?
Yes. When working with your financial planners, please search for us through our legal name: The Episcopal Parish of St. Barnabas on the Desert. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Vinger during office hours at 480.355.9750.
What if we don’t raise all the money?
The master plan is flexible. Once we know how much the capital campaign has raised, the vestry will determine the priorities and what will be done.
How much should I give?
We are doing our best to inform everyone of the need. Then we each need to say our prayers and do what we believe we are being led to do. We hope all our members will participate.
When are pledge commitments due?
Pledges to the Capital Campaign can be paid at any time depending on how you would like to structure it: annually, monthly, weekly, or all at once.
How long will my commitment be?
Your commitment can be anywhere from 1-5 years in length.
Once we make all these improvements and changes, we’ll need to maintain them. Is there a plan in place to fund that?
One of our long-range financial objectives is to establish sufficient reserves for building and property maintenance. We recognize the importance of having funds on hand to cover planned and unplanned maintenance expense.
How are we financing the project?
Since pledge commitments can be paid over a five-year period we need “bridge financing” to fund the construction that will take place later this year. We are currently reviewing a number of borrowing options that can be repaid during the five-year period.
Can we qualify for grants or other monies toward the energy efficiencies/sustainability measures we are looking to implement?
We would need to look into this.
Will the work on the buildings be done one building at a time or all at the same time?
When the building refresh plan is finalized we will work with the contractor to schedule the completion in the most efficient way possible. We are not sure is this means that the buildings are completed one at a time or if they will all be under construction at the same time. In either case, we expect the work to be completed in about six months. We will know more once the contract is finalized and the schedule is set.
When will the work begin?
Our plan is to begin construction in May. This is dependent upon when the Town of Paradise Valley approves an amendment to our special use permit.
What is the project timeline?
Construction is slated to begin as early as May of 2020 and continue for at least 6 months.
What is being done during the capital campaign?
A number of projects are planned, including redesigning the landscaping on all four sides of our perimeter, replacing our 35+ year old parking lot, enhancing the views down our main entry drive, replacing and improving our parking lot lighting, improving the landscaping and layout of our inner courtyards to create better and more usable space for outdoor events, beautifying the look and feel of the east and south sides of our grounds that will now be particularly visible, adding a beautiful new fountain in the Labyrinth area, re-engineering the patio and garden area north of Hutton Hall, adding shade structures over the Children’s playground and outdoor kitchen and extending the covered walkway to the Children’s Center, adding monument-type signs either side of the main entry drive, major interior renovations to our formation buildings with an emphasis on the Children’s Center, significant upgrades to our parish hall and kitchen, improved signage throughout our grounds, and upgrading of other facilities around our grounds.
Will there be WiFi in our improved buildings?
Five Star development has graciously offered to allow us to tap into their new high-speed internet cable. The current plan is to route this cable throughout our campus to allow for enhanced wireless internet service in all our buildings. It is our expressed intent that we would put broadcasters in each building to broadcast the WiFi as needed.
In Hutton Hall, there are acoustical features that have been built into the ceiling tiles and on the wall panels. So if any Hutton Hall changes would affect them, it would be good to know.
We have taken all current acoustical measures into account in our discussions surrounding Hutton Hall. No major structural changes are planned for the hall itself – the structural changes we propose are in the kitchen and vestibule/restroom areas. In an effort to clean up the hall, we will be painting walls and replacing ceiling tiles. The ceiling tiles will be replaced with like tiles and the acoustical baffles that are on the walls currently, will be taken down and reupholstered with something that compliments the paint we choose.
Since new visitors likely will be encountering our offices as one of their first entry points for questions, we should consider upgrading the office, new furniture, etc.
This is a worthwhile thought. The current plan does not include upgrades to the Administration Building. We can consider updated furniture depending on the overall funding of the campaign relative to our other priorities.
Do we have a backup plan that would include renovation of the Offices?
The offices would be a project that could cost several million dollars in and of itself, so they are not included in this project at this time.
I care for a disabled spouse – are there any plans for a family bathroom?
We are not creating new family bathrooms. However, the restrooms in The Other Cup are larger and gender-neutral, so we will make it more clear that this is an option for anyone who needs them.
Will there be new furniture in the buildings we renovate?
Possibly in some, but that will be determined as we get closer to the end of our renovation work to see where the greatest needs are.
Wouldn’t it be less expensive to just tear down the Children’s Center and rebuild, rather than to refresh?
We examined this option and learned that it is more cost effective to renovate rather than replace at this time.
Now that our campus is “open” in a new way, can Five-Star help us with security around the back?
Indeed security is of utmost importance, and it is important to remember that although in years past we have not had neighbors to the back, Saint Barnabas has always had open access from all sides. However, we have budgeted funds for new security peripherals for the buildings within our portfolio. Peripherals like: exterior cameras at all exterior facing doors and new locking mechanisms that are not key-driven but are electronically-driven so access can be recorded and monitored as necessary.
So the point in the back is to landscape the back drive/labyrinth area with the landscaping by the public path?
Yes. We intend to re-landscape the entire grounds, with a particular focus on the east and south sides where our property is adjacent to the new Five Star walking path. We will add dedicated walkways and pathways from the walking path into our grounds. We intend to close off the perimeter road on the east side, replace the asphalt in this area with stabilized decomposed granite and make our grounds connect better to the new walking path. We also intend to beautify the less attractive parts of our east side like the trash bins, the recycle bins, the existing parking shade structure, the mechanical area on the east and south side of the Sanctuary.
I took the campus tour this morning and I am wondering if the various campus map signs will be refreshed? While the sign structures seem to be in good condition the painted map has cracks and could use some TLC.
We intend to replace the current campus map/way-finding signs with updated signs.
Can we relocate the “spider” structure?
We have considered re-locating and re-using the spider (the large steel structure between the music center & the bookstore out front of the Sanctuary). The challenges include (a) it’s large and unwieldy so there are no ideal locations on our campus that make sense, (b) we considered turning it into a fabric covered shade structure however this proved infeasible because of all the modifications we would have to make to it and it’s size doesn’t easily fit the spaces we wish to protect, (c) we will consider if it’s possible to recycle the steel.
What are we putting on the new signs — “Saint Barnabas on the Desert” doesn’t make it clear we’re a church or an Episcopal church. Are we putting service times on the signage?
We have not determined exactly what will be on the signs at this time. The Vestry will determine the best way to communicate who we are to the community.
Are we considering underground cisterns to hold water runoff from roofs/buildings and safety drains that would go right to the wash, as has worked well at small expense at the mountain preserve?
Conserving water on our campus is an important priority. The current design includes passive rainwater collection and increased use of drought tolerant trees and plants. We are reviewing options for underground storage as well. This assessment will include the cost, viability and effectiveness of this expense on our 10-acre campus.
We should give thought to preserving/utilizing our underground footprint in case we want to do work, e.g., sinking water storage tanks or building a parking garage.
Our campus provides a substantial underground footprint if we want to utilize this in the future. Of course, building underground involves substantial cost and changes to our Special Use Permit with the Town. Other than reviewing options to install underground rainwater storage, we are not considering any other underground construction at this time.
Is solar part of the plan?
We explored solar options but find that the limited tax benefits for churches mean that it’s not a cost-effective means of providing sustainability measures at this time. It would take us about 17 years to make up the cost of solar installations at this time, and by then, it’s very likely the technology will have changed enough to make it necessary to upgrade again. We are undertaking other sustainability measures instead.
Is the pathway to the Ritz open such that we could use it going in that direction, too?
The path does open into the planned Ritz commercial complex if you’re walking east on the path. There will be (as we understand it) retail and restaurants there which we can walk to from our campus.
Will there be walking access to our property from the north and south sides?
From the south, yes, as our white perimeter wall will be removed and a crossover path near our chapel will be part of the project. From the north, no, as there is a wall around that community, so they would have to enter from Mockingbird Lane.
Is the pathway just for walking, or will skateboards and bikes also be allowed?
The pathway is crushed granite, not conducive to skateboards. Bikes will possibly use it, but it’s only 6 feet wide, so we imagine it will be more comfortable for those who are walking/jogging.
Are there any provisions for security on the walkway?
Five Star Development is responsible for the security of the walking path because its within their boundary. We do not have any information on this subject at this time.
Is there something in place to maintain playing of the carillon?
We have presented our schedule of when the carillon plays to the town and feel it is respectful of quiet hours and is not intrusive into daily lives. The schedule as it’s currently set is one piece played on the hour between 9am-6pm and after services on Sundays.
Parking is tight now — if there’s really no way to add parking spots, are we considering a garage?
While parking can be tight during our peak season, we believe that it is sufficient to accommodate our needs. We are not considering a garage at this time but instead are putting our funding into a new parking lot.
Will we be increasing the number of parking spaces?
We will possibly gain one or two spots, but at this time, we are not able to actively increase the amount of parking.
I’m concerned about our access when they close Mockingbird.
We believe the town will be thoughtful about making sure we have access to our campus at all times, and we will continually be working with the town to assure that access is always provided.
When the city widens Mockingbird, will we lose our sidewalk?
No. The sidewalk will remain but be moved and made into a ‘meandering’ sidewalk.
Where are the bike racks going?
This has not been determined but we will find an acceptable space.
Perhaps we should consider having views/spots that encourage picture taking.
Fun thought! We can look into this when we get closer to completion of the work.
Any thoughts for a “drop in on your bike” welcome some Sunday?
Good thought! We’ll need to examine that opportunity once the project is completed.
Comment: It has been said that it takes the average Episcopalian 20 years to invite one person to church. This is one of the most important and significant things that will ever happen to us — it will change our thinking; it will change our church.