Steeple Work is Beginning!
Words aren’t the only way to share what we believe. Our building can speak for us. We say we are committed to the well-being and stability of our neighborhood. We are stewards of an historic and highly visible building in the heart of Albany. We have a role as a vital part of the Downtown Albany community. We will keep providing hospitality and welcoming spaces for people in all walks of life and with various missions, as we have for more than 150 years.
We say we are a welcoming people. We want people to look at Westminster Church and see that it is a physically welcoming space for everyone. Part of being a welcoming community is to ensure that all know that their presence and participation is important to us. People with disabilities have a challenging time gaining equal access. In renovating bathrooms, Westminster can design things and activities in a way that includes people who have disabilities and proactively making accommodations available to people who could not otherwise participate.
We say we are committed to mission. Our building will say it also. Adding two showers and a washer dryer capability will enable Westminster to respond if there is a disaster within our community. Youth groups on mission trips and others will be able to use our facility and give us the flexibility to respond in a crisis.
We say we value education, mission and fellowship opportunities. Our building will say it as improvements to the Assembly Hall and Chapel make them more flexible and effective for both purposes. A successful Capital Campaign will allow us to better use our space to serve our diverse congregation and our community.
Our first priority is the steeple repair. The steeple contract with Robert Morgan, Inc. was signed in March for $361,360, with work starting in May. There may also be small adjustments in amounts based on whatever he may find once construction is under way. We have paid half of the contract amount to date. The other half will be paid in monthly installments once the work has exceeded 50% complete. The work for the steeple includes new asphalt shingles, sealants, and flashing which will require asbestos abatement. The dormers and louvers need repair and the brick exterior needs some pointing and mortar repair. The platform requires restructuring and stabilization within the tower.
Phase 1 of the Capital Campaign was purposefully low key and limited in those in the church whom we contacted. After Phase 1, we have $313,043 cash in hand, including a $30,000 New York Landmarks Conservancy grant. We have $48,092 in pledges remaining for 2018 and 2019, bringing us to a grand total committed of $361,135. Many thanks to those who have pledged!
Phase 2 of the campaign will be public and reach far into our community for support. We are officially kicking off Phase 2 in May with the following events:
Communication to all remaining members for a capital campaign pledge
Communication beyond our walls to our neighbors, business partners and associates and conservancy groups for awareness and requests for contributions
We ask for your support as we pursue closing the gap toward achieving our goal of $500,000. Why do we rebuild and restore? Because we believe in the future of this church and its place in the greater community. Because we are woven together in hope!
You can learn more or to pledge your support on our "Give Page" on our website.