Dear FCC Congregation:
In January 2018, the congregation voted to withdraw $177,500 annually for 5 years to pay for necessary maintenance and upgrades around the church. It has been almost two years, and the Building and Finance Board would like to provide a progress update.
In 2018, we replaced the roof on the Education wing, upgraded the cooling/ventilation system, remodeled the men’s bathroom including installing a nearby shower, and repaired some areas of the ceiling due to leaks. This cost a total of $157,662.
So far in 2019, we have repaired and have scheduled replacement of the chiller (most of the air conditioning) for the building in November for $68,881. We are also looking at upgrading the lighting in all areas except for the sanctuary to LEDs. This project will reduce our annual operating expenditures and should be done sooner rather than later.
Building & Finance Board has not withdrawn the full, allocated, annual amount for 2019 as we are intending to reserve much of it for a future expenditure. We are planning on replacing the boiler as much of the equipment it feeds is past its useful life, and steam heating is less efficient than hot water. This necessary conversion will cost a bit more than two years worth of endowment disbursements. In the meantime, we are prioritizing projects that reduce operating costs or prevent damages and loss of services, while leaving the remainder in the endowment to grow until our withdrawal authority matches the cost of the boiler upgrade.
The endowment totaled $2,974,000 at the beginning of 2018 and currently rests at $2,735,000.
There have been a number of other repairs and maintenance projects we have completed and a huge thanks goes out to all of the people that have put in their time and energy overseeing the projects. We truly appreciate it.
One final project we are expecting in 2019 not funded by endowment funds is the installation of a solar array on the education wing. The installation is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks and should reduce our operating costs for the next 25+ years. This project will be funded in partnership with Blue Sky Solar, state awarded funding through the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) of Illinois, and through the savings we accrue in the first 6-7 years.
If anyone has deeper questions about how the projects are coming along, please don’t hesitate to contact the Building & Finance Board as we continue to preserve and upgrade our church for our use in the next 175 years.
Chair, Building & Finance Board