May 2017 – Update

May 2017 – Update

Selling the Lord’s Place Cinema
We have recently accepted an offer to buy the cinema from a new party and should sign a contract in the coming days. Praise God! The terms for the sale give the buyer a two-month due diligence period, during which they can walk away from purchasing without penalty. A further two-month option period after this allows for them to walk away from purchasing and forfeit a $15,000 fee. After these four months they are committed to the purchase. Settlement would be a total seven months from the initial exchange of contracts – which we hope to do this week.

Building at Ploughman’s Lane
Prior to our Annual General Meeting the Building Committee received a Quantity Surveyor’s cost estimate based on our building plans that was considerably over our budget. Since then a number of alterations have been made to the design of the building, construction method and materials, without altering the floorplan of the building. These changes have resulted in substantial cost savings.

We are now much closer to our building budget. We are confident further changes can be made to the building (which may involve a reduction in floorplan size or some staging of the build) to bring the project costs back under budget.

Further meetings over the next few weeks should see altered drawings displayed to all OEC congregations. We will then ask the partners to meet and vote on the plans prior to a DA being submitted to Orange City Council.

Please pray:

  • That the Cinema buyers due diligence is positive and enables them to complete the purchase of the cinema.
  • Altered building plans for Ploughman’s lane to be completed on budget.
  • The DA to be submitted and approved by Orange City Council.
  • Good timing for all of the above.

For further information about the building project visit the B4F homepage.

 

March 2017 – Update

March 2017 – Update

Last Friday OEC’s Building Committee received a cost estimate that was more than a third higher than our previous estimate. As a result we did not put forward the resolution at the AGM to submit a Development Application to Orange City Council. Our budget for the Ploughmans’ Lane Ministry Centre is $3.7M and we will not exceed this budget.
 
This over budget cost estimate was a very disappointing development. However, there are some clear steps we can take to bring the project back under our budget. This will include;

  • reviewing the current cost estimate
  • reviewing building methods and materials
  • possibly reducing the current size of the project.

We do not expect there will be a cost to OEC as a result of this additional step in the process. While we are unsure of the time frame for undertaking these works, the building committee remains convinced that we will be able to build a Ministry Centre that will be very helpful for the work of the gospel in Orange and beyond.
 
Please pray for;

  • successful cost savings to be made
  • plans to be developed that will aid the spread of the gospel
  • a DA to be submitted and approved by Orange City Council

For further information about the building project visit the B4F homepage.

 

January 2017 – Update

January 2017 – Update

Many thanks to all who provided feedback on the draft floor plans via email and at two public meetings late in 2016. Responses to the key issues raised during this process, including responses to feedback on those draft plans as a result of feedback, are detailed to in the FAQs section of the Building for the Future website. The finalised floor plans can also be accessed on the website, click here.
 
Call for feedback by 15th February on draft elevations and site plan
It is important to note that only the floor plan and the orientation of the building has been finalised. Internal fit-out, elevations and outside areas (site plan) are still under consideration. Draft elevations, including proposed materials, were displayed at last yesterday’s combined meeting and are now available on the Building for the Future website.
 
Click here for our site plan options
Click here for our draft elevation plans
Click here for our draft North/South/East/West elevation plans
 
A brief note on some of the proposed materials:

  • the orange coloured section of wall on the western elevation is Danpalon cladding – a perspex like cladding material that would allow natural light into the auditorium,
  • the Eastern elevation is a full wall of ‘shop front glass’ with cedar louvre style cladding for part of the wall
  • other materials are relatively cheap commercial metal and compressed fibre sheeting

 
Feedback can be received via email until 15th February. On the 16th February the building committee will consider all feedback received and take proposed adjustments to our architect. Revised elevations will be then be distributed ahead of the Annual General Meeting on 19th March for consideration by partners for their approval prior to a development application submission with the Council. Please continue to pray that this ministry centre project will serve the cause of the gospel in Orange and beyond.  

 

For further information about the building project visit the B4F homepage.

 

December 2016 – Update

December 2016 – Update

From our recent feedback meetings we received a number of helpful suggestions and comments on the plans that have been developed by our architect, Geolyse.

If you missed those meetings, here is a link to the draft floor plan and site plan. Click here to view the Ploughman’s Lane plans  Please have a look. If you have any suggestions or comments, send them to buildingforthefuture@oechurch.org.au. The closing date for responses is Monday 12th December, as our Building Committee will be meeting on the 15th to finalise these plans.


After the floor plans are complete, the architect will work on draft elevations of the building and a further opportunity for comments and suggestions will happen in the new year. Comments on the fit out of the building will be considered later in the process.

Andrew Mitchell, executive pastor at EV Church on the Central Coast has told us about their experience of developing a building for ministry. Click here to watch the video.

For further information about the building project visit the B4F homepage.

 

April 2016 – Update

April 2016 – Update

Since the indicative costs of redeveloping the old Australia Cinema building were received and widely acknowledged as unfeasible, the Building Committee have been working hard on the feasibility of developing OEC’s Ploughman’s Lane site. At the recent AGM, OEC’s Partners authorised the Building Committee to continue that work. The next step in the process is to provide a shortlisted number of experienced architects with a draft brief that outlines our need for a building. As part of this process we are asking for your input into this brief. You can click here to read the brief.

This will not be the only opportunity to have a say into the final design of a building on this site, but it is an important opportunity. Once an architect has been selected a far greater level of detail will be required to finalise plans. Please pray for wisdom for the Building Committee, OEC’s leadership and partnership as we consult throughout this process and pray for unity in Christ to finally bring plans for a building to fruition. Unity is critical not only for funding but to see this building become what it needs to be, under God, a tool for OEC’s ministries to make disciples in Orange and beyond.

If you have any comments on the brief please provide them via email to buildingforthefuture@oechurch.org.au

For further information about the building project visit the B4F homepage.

 

February 2016 – Update

February 2016 – Update

You may have seen on last Friday’s News 2 Notice mention of an impending move of the office up the road from its current location to the Australia Cinema site. Praise God that we recently received an occupation certificate for the Australia Cinema but it’s important to note that the office move in no way pre-empts any recommendation from the building committee to or final decision by the OEC partnership about our ministry centre project.

Rather we believe it to be a prudent use of the resources God has blessed us with, as outlined below:

– The lease on the current office (which has long been inadequate for our needs) is due to expire on 7 March. A renewal of the current office lease would commit us to an annual rent of $27,000 per year. Since 1 July 2015 we have also been paying council rates ($10,000 per year) on the Australia Cinema. The move will save $27,000 per year in rent, provide more space and also put us in a strong position to save on council rates.

– We are aiming to move the office by 7 March, watch out for further requests for help.

– There is some minor building works to be completed to make the foyer area suitable for office and reception use, and other areas suitable for holding smaller meetings (groups of up to 20).

– Total cost of works is expected to be $20,000 this includes all building works as well as the work required to obtain an occupation certificate, mostly on the fire system. As well as the savings mentioned above it should leave us with office space that would rent commercially for $40,000 per year.

As always if you’d like to provide feedback or ask questions abut our ministry centre project, including on the strategic plan presented (via video and in writing) over the last few weeks then please email us.

 

December 2015 – Update

December 2015 – Update

In light of our recent $6.6m quote for redeveloping the cinema, you may well be asking where is our building project up to at the moment?

OEC’s Building Committee has met twice in recent weeks with Bruce Litchfield, the Sydney Anglican Schools Building Project Manager. Bruce has been particularly helpful in guiding us to think through our building project.

We have developed a draft strategic plan to use as a guide for developing our building project. We have also considered the function and finance of our two potential building sites at the Australia Cinema and Ploughman’s Lane. It is the aim of the building committee to put forward a well reasoned and informed proposal for our building project before the AGM in April, 2016. This should give all people of OEC time to consider and question the proposal before a vote by the partners at the AGM. Please continue to pray for wisdom, God’s guidance and that we would develop a building that helps us take our part in growing the kingdom of God in Orange and beyond

November 2015 – Update

November 2015 – Update

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

This update was given at the OEC general meeting yesterday. If you can’t make it to the end two specific things we would love you to pray for are: the meeting this Thursday with project manager, Bruce Litchfield, and the new building committee chairman, Paul Owens.

Just a few weeks ago our senior minister, Bruce Bennett, made an important statement about the status of the ministry centre project. That statement was made because our quantity surveyor, Greg Seib, had costed our plans for our Australia Cinema development at $6.6m. Bruce said that this number meant that we needed to re-examine and rethink our entire ministry centre project—from our viable options through to our building committee processes. A few weeks down the track here is a brief update on where we’re at.

1. What we know at this point in the process of getting our own building

We know that we need a building of reasonable size. Our numbers and growth are running true with our projections. So we are still working hard towards achieving this goal.
We know that where we are in the process of getting our own ministry centre is not good. Eight years after we began to seriously pursue the idea of an OEC ministry centre, we have two properties, a $6.6m build cost and nowhere to meet. We acknowledge this and have begun to examine our processes and decisions to this point, so that they are more effective from now on—more about that in point 3 below.
We know that we can convert the Australia Cinema into a building that services our ministry requirements but the cost is more than we can justify. With the significant input of our client representative, Greg Bennett, we are currently reducing the aesthetic and consultants specifications of the current plans to work out if we can reduce the cost to something more realistic.
We also have a set of preliminary plans for a ministry centre development at Ploughmans’ Lane. We are planning to get those plans costed so that as we think about our options we can be comparing apples with apples.
We are also considering the interim option of utilizing the Cinema while we work out the bigger picture.

2. The financial realities for us in seeking a building that fits our requirements

After having our plans for the Australia Cinema commercially valued and talking to both the Commonwealth Bank (our current banker) and Baptist Financial Services we also now know that for a church development of this kind we will need approximately 70% of the build cost before we can begin construction. This puts us in the real world about our financial commitment and our need to continue raising funds now.

We also know that in the last three years property giving has averaged $330,000 per year and on current projections, God willing, 2015 will see the largest amount ever given to property in a single year. This is with only around one third of the people at OEC giving to property.

These figures are very encouraging because if we as an entire church community can fully engage with our building project we have the capacity to fund a building that will meet our needs and be an enormous resource for Gospel ministry.

3. Plans to enhance management of the project and building committee governance

We realise that OEC’s management of this project has not been all that it should have been. In large part this has been because the building committee has consisted of and been lead by volunteers with full-time work commitments and limited to no experience in managing building projects of this scale. To rectify this we are taking two significant steps, endorsed by the overseers, to enhance the management of the project and governance of the building committee:
1. We have asked Bruce Litchfield a professional project manager and the manager of capital works for Sydney Anglican School’s Corporation (SASC) to assist us. He will be meeting with us this Thursday (19th November) to kick off a three step process that will: outline the stages of the project, develop solutions to return the project to the planned budget and put together a plan of action to bring the project back on track. SASC is providing Bruce’s services to us free of charge.

2. Paul Owens will be taking over the chairmanship of the building committee until a builder is engaged to commence construction. This is back to the future as Paul was OEC’s first building committee chairman. Back then as now he’s a clear thinker and good leader but the crucial difference is that he is now on the OEC payroll. He will be freed up on average one day per week (or 20% of his time) from other ministry commitments to focus on the OEC ministry centre project. This doesn’t mean that Paul ‘carries the can’ on his own for the project but it will give us capacity that we have not had before. The overseers believe that this is particularly important at this important juncture in the ministry centre project.

September 2015 – Update

September 2015 – Update

On Sunday 17th September 1995 OEC held its first public meeting. Ann Williamson was there, along with around 90 other people. She recalls being challenged at the time to think about what God might do over the next 20 years. God certainly has done amazing things among us during that time and there is a lot to thank Him for (we’ll have a chance to do that at our services in November).

One of the many things we can be thankful for is our ministry to seniors.Over the last few Sundays, at most of current public meetings we heard from Ann (9:30, 10:30) and Trevor Windon (6:30), about the OEC Senior’s Ministry. Here are the key points:

Begun 15 years ago by Ron and Janice Vaughan with an aim to care for older members of the church, seniors currently meet on the last Friday of each month for morning tea at homes that are big enough and have appropriate access to accommodate everyone. Seniors also meets quarterly for lunch, now at Steve and Juliet Adams’ house.

Whilst the current ministries are well accommodated in homes, space is limited. The new ministry centre would provide opportunities for growth in numbers and in the diversity of ministries that might be opened up to the broader seniors community. Many of the seniors are eager to see the new ministry centre open and are excited to see what new ministries might eventuate.

Many seniors also marvel at what God has done at OEC in the past 20 years. It’s exciting to think what He might do over the next 5-20 years.

On this day, it’d be great to pause, to thank God for all he has done over the last 20 years and to pray that our plans would align with His for the next 20 years.