AN AMAZING WEEK!

This past week we’ve received an incredible abundance of blessings as we draw closer and closer to receiving our ultimate blessing – celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!

Three major milestones have been reached this week for which we need to lift up prayers of gratitude to our faithful and loving God:

PPL POLES FINALLY REMOVED

After 10 months of waiting, the 8 utility poles and wires on our property were finally removed in total this week by PPL.  The photo below from several weeks ago will remind you of the prominent appearance of these poles on our site…….

Before Poles Removed

In the photo below from this past Thursday you’ll see that they’re gone at long last (and have been donated to Carlisle Borough to use as parking stops in one of their community parks).

PPL Poles Gone

SALE OF OUR EXISTING FACILITY

Another lengthy journey was completed yesterday with the signing of a sales agreement for the purchase of our existing facility.  While we’ve had a verbal agreement in place with the buyer for well over a year, there remained many, many details that had to be worked through as the buyer looks to repurpose the building in accordance with Borough of Carlisle ordinances and requirements, as well as in consideration of our timeline to complete our new Spring Garden campus and vacate our current facility.  Details will be forthcoming at a later date when we are permitted to announce the identity of the buyer and the buyer’s plans for repurposing, but for now we are very pleased to have reached this milestone.

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BUILDING PERMIT REVIEW COMPLETED

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Below is the text of an email sent today to our Builders Prayer Team that provides an update regarding the issuance of our building permit.  The Builders Prayer Team led by Charles Reynolds are so faithfully supporting our project by undergirding it with prayer on a daily basis, as well as praying for specific needs when requested by the Building Committee.  Their prayer support for our project and the BC is invaluable!

Good Morning Builders Prayer Team,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  Your prayer efforts have once again been answered by our loving and faithful God!  To my amazement, I received a phone call this past Monday morning from Ron Yoffee of the Middle Department Inspection Agency advising that they were beginning their building permit review for CUMC that day, and would do all that they could to expedite the review in light of our circumstances previously explained.

After several more phone calls and emails thru the week, and after reportedly and undoubtedly “burning some midnight oil”, Ron completed his review and issued their review letter to us this past Thursday – Praise God!!

There are 15 comments in the review letter related to the PA Building Code and our design that we must address and provide revisions and clarifications where necessary.  Thankfully there are no major issues whatsoever; just items that need some further attention from our architect and engineers.  To that end I’ll be rallying our full design team this coming week to begin work in response.  Given the upcoming holidays I suspect it will realistically be early January until we can fully respond to Ron’s letter, but that should translate to the issuance of our building permit in mid to late January which should work to maintain our construction schedule.

So on behalf of your BC as well as all of CUMC thank you again for your prayers.  And together let us raise up prayers of gratitude to our God who continues to walk with us and lead us on this journey!

Blessings, Jeff

 

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Pace of Construction Beginning to Pick Up

In the last 10 days the pace of our site work construction has noticeably picked up thanks finally to some relatively dry weather.  The forecast for the next 10 days, while cold, continues to be dry which is exactly what we need to keep things moving.  Some photos taken in the past several days are below along with descriptions of what you are seeing.

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Looking east from the future culdesac, our future driveway curves around the property as we stabilize it with blasted rock to create an all-weather surface for construction.  The dark brown soil in front of the phone pole on the right side of this photo is the location of our future ballfields.

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This is the beginnings of the parking area on the north side of the building at the location of the LLLC wing.

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Looking east from within the approximate location of the worship center towards the ascending wooded hillside now visible with the leaves off the trees.  We envision a future open air amphitheater in this portion of the site at the rear of our building with the rustic bench seating rising up the hill while leaving large trees in place for shade, and a stone altar at the base of the hill.

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Standing within the building footprint looking back (west) towards the culdesac.  Parking will be where the piles of blasted rock are visible in the distance.

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Our blasting subcontractor drilling the holes in the rock in which the dynamite is placed.

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A row of drilled blast holes (marked by the orange inverted cones) prior to the charges being placed within them.  The holes are closely spaced so that the resulting shot (blasted) rock is reasonably sized for re-use as structural fill and stabilizing soft wet soil areas onsite in the building and pavement areas.

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A typical result from blasting of the onsite rock.

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Stockpiled cast iron sanitary sewer pipe in the foreground and ADS plastic storm water pile in the background along with precast concrete drop inlet structures waiting to be installed.

All the rain this year, and particularly this fall, has resulted in the onsite soils being too wet to be used for load-bearing (building and pavements) construction.  They can be placed in lawn areas and the ballfields, but are otherwise unusable.  Thus our saving grace, ironically enough, has been the onsite rock which we’re using as fill in place of the soil.  We will supplement this rock with shale material hauled in from an offsite source to complete the building pad so that construction can continue on the building itself thru the winter.  It’s an unanticipated additional cost to the project to do so…..but that’s why we’ve maintained a contingency fund within our budget to cover such things.

Our goal at present is to have the building footprint to grade by the end of December and begin installing the foundations plus underground utilities (natural gas; sanitary sewer; storm sewer; electric; communications; water) in January.