In the photo above, room 30 will become the new guest information room with an entrance into the lobby where the display cases are currently located.
By Paul Lankford
Something exciting will be occurring at the Hershey Free Church this summer that will bring positive changes to the church building. There will be several major projects underway, coordinated by Dan Hahn, director for facilities. The purpose of these projects is to reduce building operating costs and to enhance ministry. “These projects also enhance aesthetics and increase the functionality of the building,” Dan observed.
They will begin in early summer and be completed sometime in September. Renovations may cause a little bit of inconvenience to the congregation, but it will be minimal compared to the benefits that these projects will bring.
New Welcome Centers and a guest information room will be created to assist new people attending the church. One new Welcome Center will be added to the canopy lobby. Another will be in the vicinity of Wisdom Landing. The guest information room will be in what is now room 30 outside the sanctuary. This will be an area for people who are new to the church to be welcomed in a comfortable setting away from the traffic of the lobby.
Heating and air conditioning systems will be upgraded in the office wing, the auditorium lobby and the kitchen. The current systems have not been working well because of malfunctioning parts that need to be replaced. The new systems will run more efficiently and provide more comfort to our staff and congregation. This new equipment will save energy and maintenance costs and has a payback period of five years.
Lighting will be upgraded throughout most of the building. This project is necessary because the current lights use less-efficient fluorescent tubes that will no longer be made after this month. The current light fixtures will be retrofitted in order to use more energy-efficient tubes. This upgrade will reduce electric costs and has an estimated payback time of about a year-and-a-half.
The offices directly across from Wisdom Landing will be removed and computer check-in stations for elementary classes will be located there. Computer check-in will give us clearer records of who is attending. The nursery will be where we use computer check-in first. The target date to start in the nursery wing is June 17. Computers will be implemented in elementary check-in as the process is learned and streamlined.
Rekeying of the exterior doors is a smaller project but still one of great importance. Rekeying the doors will provide more security by controlling access to the church. “Churches are soft targets for theft because people don’t lock the doors and many people have keys,” Dan said. By rekeying the exterior doors, there will be a better monitoring of who has access to the building.
The South Campus turning lane will be constructed this summer. This project will enable access to the property and is needed no matter how the 100 acres are used in the future.
Money for the North Campus projects comes from the Capital Fund, which is used for building maintenance and renovations. Several bequests have been made to this fund in recent years, and the congregation voted to allocate $100,000 from the 2012-13 Ministry Fund for the Capital Fund. The schedule for beginning these projects depends on securing the permits that are required by the township.
It will be exciting to see how the Lord uses this opportunity to further the ministry at Hershey Free.