Sterling Severns and Nelson Melton have been working with members of the Tabernacle Child Care Center team throughout this year to engage them in our God-Sized Vision campaign.  Those efforts continued on Monday, December 1st when some Child Care Center students’ parents met with Sterling in the Fellowship Hall.  The Question and Answer Session offered an introduction to the renovation, as it specifically relates to improvements in our Child Care Center Ministry.  The session provided information and elicited suggestions to meet the specific needs of families in our Child Care Center Ministry.

Sterling explained that the Tabernacle Child Care Center started at a time in the church’s history when more and more women were joining the workforce, as with many churches across the country.  Our Child Care Center has grown to be one of the best in our city, utilizing space that was originally constructed for the church’s Family Ministry.  This use of our space enabled activity focused on children every day of the week, not just on weekends.  Now is the time for an uplift to that space.

The highest percentage of the renovation planned in our Vision campaign will create positive changes to the Williams Building, where our Child Care Center is located.  Those changes include:

  • New Entrances
  • Enhanced Access, both from a security perspective and increased ramp accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers
  • Electrical Upgrades
  • Plumbing Upgrades
  • New Dining/Gathering Area and Kitchen on the 2nd Floor
  • New Elevator, providing wheelchair access to the 2nd Floor of the Child Care Center (as well as the 3rd Floor)
  • A conscious decision to place the pastoral staff offices in the heart of the church, close to the Child Care Center and offices.   We will work with the architects for supporting quiet in offices and areas where appropriate.

It is also important to note that one of the requirements in the selection of our General Contractor was to ensure that ongoing childcare operations would be addressed during construction.  Examples of considerations of our children while we make renovations are:

  • No class gets moved during renovation activities.
  • Quiet and safety are important, so false walls are planned.
  • The contractor is aware of this and is planning for weekend and night hours in their cost estimates.
  • Our campaign assumes growth of the church in our future, but not growth in size of our Child Care Center Ministry.  We have agreed that the current size of the center helps drive the high quality of the care that we provide there.

Attendees at the session made several suggestions for consideration as we move forward in work with our architects:

  • Make sure that there are gates leading into the open space in front of the Child Care Center and Church Office entrances.  That open space can be used for an outdoor gathering spot for adults and children.
  • Address how we control access to the “side” entrance to the Child Care Center and the play area/blacktop on that same side of the building.  A covered entrance might be helpful for that side doorway.
  • Large bike racks are important to parents, staff and neighbors.
  • Provide storage for strollers for our children in proximity to the ramp areas where children will be loaded and rolled outside.  Also make sure that the ramp access does not create a long “walk” to get to the entrances/exits.

Our Child Care Center will be initiating fund-raising in the near future.  We will continue to keep everyone up-to-date with our progress in reaching our $2 million dollar goal for construction that is planned to be completed by the end of 2015.  Your prayers for our success and your help in meeting our goals are greatly appreciated.

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