The JUC Board of Trustees is happy to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle to buy an existing church property in Lakewood that’s more than twice our size! Under this agreement, which will require the approval of our congregation only after extensive analysis, planning, and fundraising, JUC would actually swap campuses with the Lakewood Church of the Nazarene (LCN), 1755 Dover Street in Lakewood. Since LCN is so much larger, JUC would also pay LCN approximately two-million dollars in this transaction.
The overwhelming vote last year by the JUC congregation to search for a larger property was based on the simple fact that we have outgrown our beloved campus in Golden, particularly RE and meeting space and the sanctuary. After an extensive search throughout Jefferson County, the Board concluded that the LCN campus would provide us with both the location and the space we yearn for to better serve both our current members and future generations.
The property includes three buildings: the main structure with a sanctuary that holds 600, an RE wing, a common space, offices, kitchens and a gym; a separate chapel that holds 250; and a small house referred to as the caretaker’s home. The lot is ____ acres with abundant parking and many mature trees.
To be candid, the buildings need some work. Early visioning includes renovations to create what we call the “heart” of the church – much like our Commons concept – from which all areas are easily accessible. Earlier this year, Rev. Wendy and a project management group (the “Posse”) interviewed several architectural firms in case we found a property we liked. Eidos Architects in Greenwood Village, a firm that’s worked on more than 150 church projects, was selected. The Eidos folks are already working on several renovation ideas, based in part on the 121-page Design Criteria Document we created last fall after extensive congregational conversations. Some of their initial ideas were presented at today’s special Making Room update, and can be seen on this link of the meeting.
Of course, as exciting as this announcement is (and we think it’s VERY exciting), it is only the first step in actually swapping properties. We are hiring inspectors to do due diligence on the property to determine if there are any problems with asbestos, mold, or the mechanical and electrical systems. (Early reports are encouraging).
Then, of course, there’s the BIG question: can JUC raise the money to buy the property and begin renovations? Stewardship consultants will spend ten days here in late October to do a Financial Feasibility Study. Based on conversations with 100 members from all levels of pledging, our consultants will predict the amount of money we could likely raise. Their report will go to the Board, and the Board will decide whether to begin a capital campaign. That campaign would likely go into high gear after the holidays. Then, based on the capital campaign results and our analysis of the amount of renovation work needed at LCN, the congregation would vote late this spring whether to approve buying LCN for a specific amount of money.
This timing would mean being at JUC all of this current church year and moving during the summer. Organizations that rent space from JUC, including OLLI, will be made aware of our plans.
This new chapter of Making Room will be an exciting year at JUC. There’s still much dreaming, analyzing and talking to do, many conversations with inventive ideas to discuss. These are the decisions that will make a difference not only for us, but for generations to come.
Have questions about the project? Ask them here and we will post answers on this website.