In April 2018, the board authorized the exploration of a new sanctuary and an initial phase of a capital campaign. Over the next two years, we raised $979,573 in pledges to two sanctuary campaigns plus special fundraising, and we received a $250,000 grant from the Spirit Level Foundation.
In February 2021, the congregation authorized:
- Construction of a new sanctuary with a cost not to exceed $1,800,000.
- Entering into a long-term mortgage in an amount not to exceed $650,000.
- Arrange short term financing as necessary in an amount not to exceed $150,000.
Since that time, the Sanctuary Construction Committee has been working to make it happen. We have encountered significant delays from the City of Costa Mesa. When we finally had “almost done” building drawings in December 2022, and requested a revised bid from our contractor, it came it at $2,700,000. Construction costs were soaring in the wake of the pandemic, and the City required substantial additions to comply with code requirements. We decided to take the summer of 2023 to squeeze some cost savings from the current plans and wait for construction costs to stabilize.
Where We Are Now
We have reviewed the plans numerous times and have made revisions to reduce the cost without negatively impacting the aesthetics of the project or any significant functionality. These updated plans are being finalized by our architect to submit to the Costa Mesa Building Department for final approval. We have also requested an updated bid to reflect the changes we authorized. We expect a “best and final” bid from our contractor in October.
In the meantime, we are reaching out to members to raise additional funds to cover the increased costs. Our target is to have our fundraising completed by the end of October.
What Happens Next?
Our target is to have our fundraising completed by the end of October. Then we will have a Special Congregation Meeting to authorize spending the increased amount and starting construction. There is a deadline to resubmit our building drawings with the revisions by November 8. We should have a firm bid and the fundraising totals by then to support our decision making.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do we need a new Sanctuary?
The goals and purposes are:
- Provides worship space that is meditative, tranquil, spiritual, and inspirational.
- Allows for fostering growth of the congregation and increases our influence in Orange County.
- Promotes community outreach through church-hosted concerts, film series, educational opportunities, and lectures.
- Provides for opportunities to generate rental revenue by serving as a site for weddings, etc. and for sharing worship space with other congregations.
2. What will we build?
We propose to demolish the two-story building currently used by the Ukrainians and the Christian Science Church and completely rebuilding as a stand-alone sanctuary. More renderings are at the bottom of this page.
3. Is there any other way to raise this money?
Spirit Level Foundation - We have asked, but Spirit Level Foundation will not consider funding us again until the first $250,000 is fully paid out in Fall 2024.
Additional Mortgage - We plan on a $650,000 mortgage for 20 years at 7.5% which will require an annual cost of $62,836. As we do not have an excess in our current budget, the Board feels this is the maximum loan we should consider.
Reserves - What about the Endowment Fund or Operating reserves? We have about $475,000 in the Endowment Fund and about $250,000 in the Operating Fund. While we might authorize the use of these funds, they are also our back-up plan if needed to cover mortgage payments until we grow in membership and pledging.
The link to donate or pledge is here.
Updated Architecture Renderings
Check out the new renderings of the new sanctuary (August 2021) in the gallery below!