This week we finally began work on the building itself!  Excavation of the foundation system began this past Wednesday and we completed the perimeter wall footing excavations for the Little Lights wing along with the Administrative and Nursery areas preparing approximately 500 lineal feet (LF) of trenchwork this week.  Following placement of reinforcement steel, the first concrete for our building was poured yesterday to create approximately 400 LF of foundation footings.

Foundation work will continue next week along with the mid-week arrival of our masonry subcontractor to begin laying the perimeter block walls on top of these foundations.  It will be exciting to see our new building begin to rise out of the ground!  Our plumbing subcontractor will be next to arrive onsite to begin trenching and installing all drain lines that will run beneath the floor slab.

Meanwhile utility and storm water piping installations continued this week along with the installation of a quite large fiberglass manhole that will house our sewage grinder pumps. While that manhole will ultimately be buried underground along with its interior pumps and plumbing, it nonetheless has a quite significant price tag of around $27,000.

Various photos of the construction activities this week are below to give you an idea of what things are looking like as the building work kicked off.  Praise God for a week of spectacular spring weather in which to work!20190314_074212_resized20190314_074220_resized20190314_081211_resized20190314_120806_resized_120190314_122045_resized_120190314_122410_resized_120190314_130225_resized_120190315_085834_resized20190315_103532_resized20190315_092110_resized


Underground Utility Installation Almost Complete; Foundations to Start Soon!

As we’re all aware, the past 4 to 6 weeks have brought us a blast of real winter weather with rain, sleet, snow and some extremely cold temperatures.  In most cases, such weather would shut down the earthwork portion of a construction project due to the wet conditions, wind chills and frozen ground.  However, our intrepid site work contractor, John Gleim Excavating, has been able to spend this time period focusing instead on the installation of underground utilities and storm drains.  As the photos below indicate, work has continued most every day trenching and installing pipe, conduits and catch basins such that a great deal of necessary work has actually been completed during this period.

Water and sewer installations have been completed from the intersection of South Spring Garden and East Baltimore Streets to our building location on the site, a distance of approximately 1,100 feet.  UGI has likewise been onsite and installed their natural gas service in a similar fashion.  Beginning this past week our electrical subcontractor is installing the necessary conduits encased in concrete to facilitate PPL’s electrical service and Comcast’s communication services (telephone and internet), both of which are being run underground off of the utility pole closest to the East Baltimore Street culdesac.  A variety of photos below depict this ongoing utility work, including the traffic control that was required along South Spring Garden Street as the water and gas lines were tied into the service mains in that street:


We’ve been recently notified by South Middleton Township that they are requiring a 3rd fire hydrant to be placed on our property, one of which is at the culdesac, and the other two are located in parking lot islands near each end of the building.  This resulted in an unanticipated additional expense of close to $20,000.

The storm water catch basins within the parking lot and around the building pad have been installed along with the underground piping that carries the water to the storm water basins – the photo below depicts the parking area near the youth / adult / gym wing with the catch basin concrete elements with grates in the foreground and in the distance on the right side of the photo.


As seen below, the amount of construction equipment onsite has dramatically increased as a result of the work described above.


Arthur Funk & Sons has relocated their job trailers close to what will be the front of the building and begun preparing the reinforcing steel needed for the foundations.


The survey work, string lines and batter boards necessary to stakeout the building perimeter and interior bearing walls and columns are planned for this coming week with foundation work for the building commencing the week of March 18, and the masonry walls beginning soon thereafter.  Now that the utilities have been installed beneath East Baltimore Street, curbing and sidewalk installation along East Baltimore Street are planned for later in March, likely continuing into April.  Initial paving of East Baltimore Street and the CUMC driveway is anticipated in June.




At long last we have a BUILDING PERMIT!  This past week South Middleton Township issued both our building permit and our zoning permit so that construction of our building may proceed on schedule.  Praise God!!

SMT Building Permit

SMT Zoning Permit

Utilities and storm drains continue to be installed onsite this month, and if weather permits we will begin foundation excavation and pouring footings late February immediately followed by masonry block walls and installation of under floor slab utilities and drains.

Congregational Info Session #10

Last Sunday, January 27, 2019, the CUMC BC gave an update presentation on the status of SGC construction, permitting, funding, furniture acquisitions and a variety of other topics.  A fabulous video showing the construction progress via drone footage and photographs prepared by Charles Reynolds, Zachary Willard, Chris Gregory and Amanda Gregory is noted in the attached powerpoint, but could not be uploaded onto this blog.  However the video is available to view on the CUMC Facebook page, and will be uploaded to the CUMC web page on Monday February 6.

Also covered was a presentation by Jeff Barnes entitled “Lessons Learned” from recent national wfx Worship Facilities Conference & Expo events that he attended.  Hot topics from these conferences include:


To view the powerpoint presentation please click on the link below.  Be patient as it downloads – it’s a large file and may take a few minutes depending upon the speed of your computer!

BC Powerpoint & WFX LESSONS LEARNED – 2017 & 2018.012719




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:


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


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.

CUMC CornerPhoto (00000002)



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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


A typical result from blasting of the onsite rock.


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.

Site Work Construction Continues……..Slowly


The above photos were taken late last week and will give you an idea of the early beginnings of what our site will ultimately look like.  Needless to say, progress has been slow given all the wet weather we’ve experienced this fall, and the forecast snow for tomorrow will not help matters!  Nonetheless, work continues each day that weather permits and relatively speaking a good amount has been accomplished.

If you look closely at the first photo you’ll see that all the required clearing of trees has occurred along the northern property line (towards Giant on the left side of the photo) such that the trees we planted this past spring are now visible.  Our site work contractor, JW Gleim Excavating, graciously used their equipment to also clear out around our new trees as another donation to our project.  Likewise, they will be leaving us a large pile of mulch resulting from the trees that were cleared onsite and subsequently chipped.  We’ll place this mulch around all our new trees next spring.

Also visible in the first photo is the initial outline of our driveway which has been stripped of topsoil in preparation for grading.  Look for the darker line of soil between our northern tree line and the line of our still standing (GRRRRR!) utility poles in the photo – that is the alignment of our future driveway.  [About those existing utility poles – they are FINALLY to be totally removed by PPL the week of December 10].

In the distance in the exact center of the second photo is our building location that has also been cleared of trees.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but you at least get the sense of where the building will be positioned in relationship to the driveway and the initial shape-in of the storm water basins in the foreground of the second photo.  Our ballfields will be located where the piles of mulch are currently sitting in this photo, and the parking lot will be between the ballfields and the building.

The third photo illustrates the continuation of our shallow storm water basins, and the berm being constructed by the bulldozer in the distance is shaping in a channel at the southern edge of our property that will direct storm water into the basin.  The small precast concrete structure on the right side of the third photo is the outlet of the basin which is connected to recently buried piping installed through an easement off our property for several hundred yards to an existing catch basin along South Spring Garden Street.  All of that piping has been installed and backfilled which represented a sizable amount of work that is no longer visible.

In the meantime, and as the site work continues, we’re waiting upon South Middleton Township to complete their final review of our architectural, structural, plumbing and mechanical (HVAC) drawings (electrical drawings already approved) followed by the issuance of our building permit; completing the design of the entry courtyard; and have begun ordering AVL (audio / video / lighting) equipment in order to avoid 2019 price increases as well as potential tariffs on this type of incoming equipment from China.

Please continue to pray for everyone working on our site and involved with our project plus everyone contributing to our capital campaign.  An amazing amount of work continues to go on daily behind the scenes to make a large project like ours happen, and continuing to undergird this entire project with prayer is critically important!!  Thank you!!