Why is Campus House building?
The staff and Board of Directors have prayed and discussed the possibility of a new facility for more than a decade when we first reached capacity and already had two Sunday morning services. However, Purdue’s master plans at that time made it seem unlikely that we could rebuild on our current location. We knew our location in the heart of campus was crucial, so we continued to make the best of overflow seating for students. With a change to administration and campus planning, and with a nearby fraternity given permission to rebuild, we started to ask if now was the time to build a new “house” for Campus House. We approached the process with open hands, asking God to open doors if He wanted this for us at this time. His provision and continued “yes” throughout the process has been incredibly humbling.
How much will the new building cost?
Currently, the schematic building estimates are in the range of $7 million; however, the final, guaranteed maximum cost will be established early 2020 as we approach construction. The $6.9 million includes construction costs, site work, architectural and design costs, furnishings, and equipment. Campaign and early design expenses were cash-flowed through Campus House’s normal operating budget, due to the generosity of our general fund supporters. Our current location is ideal to meet the needs of the students, but it does impact the cost of building since the facility has to meet both Purdue’s aesthetic requirements and the City of West Lafayette’s vision for State Street. A new building that maximizes our current footprint on our compact lot also means a lack of free space for construction parking and staging, resulting in a more expensive build. Campus House wants to continue to be an excellent steward of the resources that have been provided, and we will do everything we can to meet the needs of the congregation and reduce costs wherever possible.
Will the proposed worship space be big enough?
There are a few factors that constrained our ability to increase the capacity of our new worship room, but the most limiting and obvious factor is the plot of land we have to build on. We simply cannot go much bigger where we are. When we account for the other ministry needs, city and county mandated additions, and the budget, a 60% increase in seating was the most reasonable increase we could pursue. For us, it helps to consider that this is a 60% increase in seat availability per service, while maintaining an approachable, intimate worship experience that students have been drawn to at Campus House over the years.
How will you pay for the building?
Campus House is currently securing funding, and the fiscal modeling indicates a blend of private philanthropic support, use of Campus House assets, and a mortgage to finance the remaining balance. The Board of Directors and staff leadership have made it a priority to ensure the project is completed in a way that is fiscally responsible and does not compromise financial sustainability. We have been a debt-free organization for some time and do not take the idea of securing a mortgage lightly. However, much like buying a home, the Board feels it is reasonable to explore that option in this case. Our current financial modeling (assuming general fund support growth is consistent as in years past) indicates that Campus House could finance and cash flow a mortgage, but our hope and prayer is that any actual loan amount will be much less if we are not able to raise the full amount. Every gift to the campaign makes it more feasible to remain a debt-free ministry.
What will Campus House do during the year of transition without a building?
We plan to still have our normal services and programming during the transition year. Our staff team is already preparing for a year of “exile” and realizes that it could be both a challenging and fruitful time of learning, as we will be required to approach ministry differently. We are in conversations currently with both the University and other campus churches to rent office and worship space. We have been encouraged by some of the possibilities and plan to have a firm decision in place by summer 2019.
Will the new facility be open to outside groups?
We desire to bless the community and the greater Church community with the new space. We plan to allow like-minded Christian groups to use the facility, as long as it does not conflict with Campus House’s calendar of services and events.
How are decisions for the campaign and building construction process made?
The Campus House staff quickly realized a project of this magnitude was only possible through the larger Campus House family. Through our Board of Directors and Campaign Advisory Committee, we have volunteer experts in the areas of church building construction, real estate, law, insurance and liability, finance, and banking. These two groups of volunteers have provided wise counsel and prayerful support throughout the entire process. We have also worked to find like-minded partners in our architect, builder, and campaign counsel, who share a passion for both Christ and Purdue. Finally, we have added key positions in development and communications to our administrative staff in preparations for a capital campaign and building project, so ministerial staff can continue to focus on our number one priority—reaching, equipping, and mobilizing students for Christ.