A Major Milestone Accomplished This Week



This one has been a long time coming folks.  After many, many months of hard work by our design / construction team together with our Building Committee and Building Teams, today we officially submitted all of our construction drawings and various other documents to South Middleton Township for their review towards the ultimate issuance of a building permit to construct our new facility itself.  The photos above will give you an idea of the extent (size and thickness!) of the drawing package that has been produced by our collective team to design and construct a building of this size and scope.

In total, 207 drawings have been created thus far representing the design components of:  Land Development; Architectural; Structural; Plumbing; Electrical; Mechanical (HVAC); Food Service; and AVL (Audio / Video / Lighting).  In followup, sets of supplemental drawings still being prepared will cover Fire Protection (sprinkler system) and Building Security (fire/smoke alarms, camera security system, building access security system).

Beyond the drawing packages, numerous other supporting documents have been prepared and submitted as well.  The transmittal below itemizes all that was delivered to South Middleton Township today for their review:



We praise God for the marvelous design and construction team that He has assembled to assist CUMC in reaching this milestone!  It is our hope and prayer that as the site work is completed in the next several months, our building permit for the building itself will be issued thereby allowing for a continuous flow of construction.  To God be the Glory!!



What a wonderful Ground Breaking service and celebration we experienced last Sunday afternoon!  With 241 persons in attendance, along with guests from our design / construction team, our Susquehanna Conference, our new neighborhood, and our beloved former clergy, it was a special event commemorating a special time in the young life of Carlisle United Methodist Church.

Guests in attendance included:  Amy Findley, Waldon Studio Architects; Tom Godfrey, Dawood Engineering (Civil Engineer); Jess Kosoff, Ken Funk & Nathan Fry, Arthur Funk & Sons Construction (General Contractor); John W. Gleim & John T. Gleim, Gleim Excavating (Site Work Subcontractor); Rev. Barry Robison, Susquehanna Conference Harrisburg District Superintendent; Deb Landrum, Harrisburg District Board of Church Location & Building; Jeff & Barb Smith (owners of Smith Farm and our new neighbors); Rev Tom & Louise Maurer, Rev John & Merri Shellenberger, and Rev Bruce & Kit Fensterbush.  We were so honored and blessed by the presence of all of our guests!

All of the September rain has made construction progress onsite difficult at best so far.  Perimeter storm water management silt controls have been placed, and some clearing accomplished, but little else has been possible.  However, this week Gleim Excavating began removing trees such that the site is beginning to look a bit different.  The photos below were taken this morning:20180928_094416_resized_1





A date for our long awaited start of construction has finally been established!  We will begin the site work (E&S (erosion & sedimentation) controls, clearing, grading, utilities, storm water management facilities, preparation of building pad, building foundations, paving, etc) portion of the construction on Monday September 10.  Preceding that date, a pre-construction meeting will be held at the site on Friday September 7 to review the sequence of construction with particular emphasis on the E&S controls and storm water management facilities.  This meeting will be attended by representatives from the Cumberland County Conservation District, Borough of Carlisle, South Middleton Township, Arthur Funk & Sons (our General Contractor), John W Gleim Jr Excavating (our site work subcontractor) and CUMC.

This initial phase of construction is anticipated to take several months during which time the plans for our building will be undergoing code and township reviews.  We anticipate receiving our building permit for the building itself before all site work is completed such that the construction flow will be seamless.  But of course this initial site work phase will also be the most weather dependent portion of the construction in terms of maintaining our schedule.

As construction begins, access to the site will be limited, predominantly for safety purposes.  A parking / observation area will be established by the contractor near their construction trailers.  Site access will be restricted to this parking area ONLY to ensure safety for all persons.  All visitors to the observation area must also first check-in at the construction trailers.   Stay tuned for additional instructions regarding ways to observe the progress of construction while it is underway.

The Building Committee will be hosting a monthly open house on the site on Sunday afternoons to assist in explaining the progress of the construction and answer questions. The first of these open houses will occur on September 23 during our ground breaking celebration.  Subsequent open house dates will be October 21 and November 18 from 200PM – 400PM.

Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we His servants are going to start building…”                Nehemiah 2:20a

So What’s Been Going On Since our Land Development Plans Were Approved on July 12?

While it no doubt appears that the past month has been very quiet since the announcement of the final approval of our Land Development plans on July 12, the reality is that your Building Committee has been hard at work jumping through a large variety of paperwork and financial hoops that are required to get us “to the promised land” of actually starting construction!

But before getting to all of that, first a big THANK YOU must go out to CHRISTA BASSETT for recently giving the BC a heads-up that Newville Elementary School was closing and holding an online auction of a great deal of used commercial kitchen equipment.  JODY MONOSKI and JOANNE REYNOLDS of the Building Committee together with KATHY CHARETTE and DEB WASHINGER reviewed what was available and did an excellent job of getting us some great deals as you will see by clicking on the link below:

Auction winning bids

RICH CHARETTE and MICHAEL WATKINS arranged for pickup of the equipment under a very tight time window, and RYAN HEISHMAN once again graciously allowed us to store the equipment in one of his Allen Distribution warehouses.

Meetings have been recently held with both the Borough of Carlisle and South Middleton Township to review what all is necessary for CUMC to submit leading up to receipt of our actual building permits.  Prior to recording the Land Development plans themselves with the Cumberland County Recorder of Deeds, several legal agreements are being executed and recorded including a Post-Construction Storm Water Management Agreement (binds CUMC to manage, operate and maintain our storm water facilities in accordance with our state storm water permit in perpetuity); a Recreation Agreement with South Middleton Township outlining the terms of the sharing of our ballfields and gym with the public (CUMC usage of course takes priority) when available in exchange for a 50% reduction in the township recreation fee; a Developers Agreement with the Borough of Carlisle that ensures we will construct East Baltimore Street and its public utilities per the requirements of the borough; and a Co-Permittee Agreement with PADEP wherein our site work contractor, John W Gleim Jr Excavating shares responsibility with us as owners to correctly install all of our site storm water features per our permit requirements.

Signatures are being gathered on the Land Development Plans including our Civil Engineer, Land Surveyor, Wetlands Specialist, Landscape Architect, Borough of Carlisle officials, South Middleton Township Supervisors; Cumberland County Planning Department and CUMC as property owner, some of which must be notarized, and all of which must be completed on eight(8) original copies of these drawings prior to officially recording the drawings as a prerequisite to applying for our building permits.

CUMC must provide financial assurance to both the Borough of Carlisle and South Middleton Township prior to the start of construction of East Baltimore Street in the Borough and our sitework (grading, paving, utilities, storm water management facilities, etc) in South Middleton Township.  To accomplish this our Civil Engineer submits an opinion of the cost of this work to each municipal engineer for their review and approval.  Each engineer then provides a letter of approval which CUMC can in turn provide to a financial institution to obtain a letter of credit for 110% of the estimated amount.  Our site work cost estimate is approximately $1.2 Million and road construction cost is roughly $250,000.  RYAN HEISHMAN of our Building Committee is handling the financial arrangements for us through his contacts at Orrstown Bank who likewise holds some of CUMC’s assets.  The purpose of this financial assurance is to provide security to each municipality that should CUMC default (which we will NOT!!) during the construction  then funds are available to complete the construction instead of leaving it unfinished as an eyesore to the community and detriment to the environment.

MIKE LANDIS of our Building Committee has been instrumental in computing our water and sewer capacity needs, plus the associated TAP fees, and working through the necessary application paperwork needed for our permits to connect to the Borough’s water and sewer service in South Spring Garden Street.

Our storm water management permit requires a Pre-Construction Meeting be held prior to the start of construction attended by PADEP, the Cumberland County Conservation District, Borough of Carlisle, South Middleton Township, Arthur Funk & Sons (our General Contractor), John W Gleim Jr Excavating (our sitework contractor), Dawood Engineering (Our Civil Engineer) and CUMC.  We are currently working to schedule this meeting soon after Labor Day.

The existing telephone poles and lines crossing our property (that formerly serviced the long abandoned radio station building just south of our tract) must be removed prior to the start of construction.  They are separately owned in part by PPL and Century Link, both of whom have had to be contacted, scheduled, and fees paid to facilitate their removal by the end of this month (hopefully).

Finally, as I entered the County Recorder of Deeds Office this past week to get some of these documents recorded (being totally clueless as to what all needed done), I was much relieved to find BRENDA MILLER of CUMC greeting me as a staff person in that office and effortlessly guiding me through the process.

I hope the above provides you with a sense of all that must be done in advance of actually starting construction.  It can be intimidating and confusing at times, but I also hope that the above shows you how magnificently our God continues to lift up the right people at the right time (including those who can react on short notice to getting us great deals on used kitchen equipment!!) to get the job done!!


Land Development Plans Receive Final Approval!

Last evening we went before the South Middleton Township Board of Supervisors and received their unanimous final approval of our Land Development Plans.  Praise God!!  And many thanks to all of you who have been praying for us throughout this permitting process.

All necessary approvals for our land development sitework (earthwork, grading, storm water features, utilities, road construction, driveway, parking) have now been received from the Borough of Carlisle, South Middleton Township, Cumberland County and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.  Next we’ll be immediately moving forward with gathering the necessary signatures from these entities, recording the land development plans and several other required documents, posting financial assurance, paying fees and applying for our sitework and foundations building permit.

We remain hopeful of a late August – early September start of construction assuming all of the above falls into place in a timely manner.

In the meantime we anticipate our building plans themselves will be submitted for PA IBC (International Building Code), South Middleton Township and PA Labor & Industry reviews by the end of July.

Also please be reminded that CUMC has scheduled a Groundbreaking Service / Celebration at our Spring Garden Campus on Sunday September 23 @ 200PM to which everyone is of course invited and encouraged to attend.



Another Step in the Journey Completed!

Last evening we went before the South Middleton Township Planning Commission for the second time seeking approval of the Land Development Plans for our Spring Garden Campus.  Now that we have our storm water permit in hand from Pennsylvania DEP, I’m very pleased to report that our Land Development Plans were unanimously approved last night, with no questions and minimal discussion!

Our next and final step in this permitting journey related to our site Land Development Plans, will be to go before the South Middleton Township Board of Supervisors for their approval.  To that end, we anticipate being on the SMT Supervisors Meeting Agenda on July 12, 2018.

Meanwhile we’re finalizing all of the building related drawings and anticipate submitting them for state and local building code, and PA Department of Labor & Industry code, reviews in July.   Construction of the building itself cannot commence until all of these code reviews take place and the building plans are approved.

However, once our Land Development Plans are approved in total and recorded with Cumberland County we can file for our building permit to begin all of the site earthwork and grading, utilities installation, construction of East Baltimore Street and construction of the building foundations.  Thus we remain on schedule for our site construction to begin in late August – early September.  By the time our site construction nears completion we anticipate receiving our building permit for the building itself so that a continuous flow of overall construction (winter weather permitting of course) can occur.

THANK YOU for your ongoing prayer support as God continues to lead and bless us, and this permitting journey nears its conclusion!

CUMC Receives a WONDERFUL Package!!

Storm Water PermitThis morning I received an email from our church secretary, Johanna, that a box from JCPenney arrived for me via UPS.  Johanna rightly assumed I might have ordered a gift for my beloved spouse, and in order to keep it a secret had it delivered to CUMC.  Having indeed done just that in the past, I quickly scanned my aged memory bank for important dates – Sue’s birthday, our anniversary, our daughters birthdays, etc to see why such a package had arrived…..but nothing registered.  So instead I chalked it up to something my better half had ordered, and went about my day.

This afternoon Sue brought home the box which is pictured above.  Clearly it’s been heavily used before with many layers of old tape and torn off labels that only added to the mystery.  Judging from the condition of the box, I quickly assumed that there must be some mistake from whomever sent me the package at the church address.

Well, remember the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover“?  I learned today that likewise, don’t judge the contents of a package by the box in which it is sent!  Because inside this ratty old and wornout box…….was our long awaited STORM WATER PERMIT for the Spring Garden Campus from PADEP!!

What a WONDERFUL surprise received in such an unexpected package (I guess somewhere in there we can say that’s our tax dollars at work using recycled packaging???)!!  Originally submitted for County and State review before Thanksgiving in November 2017, six (6) months later, almost to the day, arrives our permit that now FINALLY enables us to move forward with the land development permitting process with South Middleton Township.

For those of you who might have interest in what such a permit looks like (or need some help getting to sleep), you may click on the link below which is only the beginning of the full document contained in a bulging 2″ thick binder.

NPDES Permit.052318

A final note with regard to God’s perfect timing.  As I began writing today’s blog post, I happened to scroll back to the beginning of this CUMC Building Committee blog which Pastor Mira initiated for us to document the first meeting of the CUMC BC……on May 24, 2016……EXACTLY two(2) years to the day of today as we receive the gift of this long awaited permit!  To God be the glory!!