top of page

Elting Project Updates

February 2023

Exciting news! The Be Renewed Construction Commission has set a start date for the demolition of the existing Elting Wing! We expect to begin on April 10 – the day after Easter.  The church will be without gas for at least one month during demolition. This start date allows us to avoid the cold months and minimizes disruptions during the important season of Lent and Easter.

We received an updated preliminary budget for the demolition and rebuild of the Elting Wing at our meeting in January. The major items have been quoted and are firm, but we are still using estimates for some of the smaller items. The current projected cost is $758,829.

Inflation and economic factors have resulted in significant changes to material and labor costs since the estimates obtained before the Be Renewed campaign. However, we are confident the plans for this building will best position First Presbyterian to serve our communities and grow our membership and discipleship for years to come.

In November, we shared pictures of progress that has already been made around the Education Building, and you will see more updates happening soon! Fixtures and finishes have been selected for the restrooms and are being ordered. As those come in over the next 4-6 weeks, work will begin to refresh the restrooms. The work may take several weeks, but it will be done in phases so that the restrooms are always accessible on Sundays. Glass has been

ordered to replace the windows in the Education Building. Lead times are still extended for glass right now, so we do not have an estimated timeframe for installation. Work to complete re-lamping all light fixtures in the Education Building will continue over the next few weeks.

The commission also set a goal this month to complete the refresh of the Fellowship Hall before Wednesday Night Dinners resume in March. We are getting updated quotes for a new stage curtain and fresh paint. The Fellowship Hall is frequently used by community groups, so we are excited to have a fresh, inviting space to serve not only our congregation, but the community at large as we host Soup Kitchen and other community events.  As always, if you have any questions or feedback about these projects, please contact a member of the construction commission: Dick Peck, Jennifer Stubblefield, Mary Lynn Fraser, Dave Marbury, Vikki Gillis, Jan Pflueger, Chris King, or Brandon Miles.

library 1.jpeg
children area.jpeg

November 20,  2022

As the year comes to a close and we prepare for the exciting progress next year will bring, we want to update you on the progress of the Elting Wing construction commission.


First of all, we want to celebrate and thank you for your generosity. To date, we have raised $223,921.79 of our $1,023,988.78 pledges. We are grateful for everyone who has committed their resources, time, and talent to the Be Renewed campaign and the construction task force.


The construction commission met in November to get an update on our progress and to reaffirm our priorities, which are:

  1. The demolition and construction of the Elting Wing

  2. Updating and refreshing the restrooms in the Education Building

  3. Refreshing the Fellowship Hall, including new paint, LED fixtures, and a new stage curtain

  4. Replacing the broken glass windows in the Education Building.


Preparation for the demolition and construction of the Elting Wing remains underway. Based on the congregation’s feedback, the plans for the new building have been updated and will be presented to the Session for final approval at their December meeting. At this time, our contractor will be sending the plans to subcontractors for bids and updating the construction budget. With inflation, we do anticipate that our construction costs have increased from our initial estimates. We will not know how much until these bids come in, but we expect to be able to share more in January.


Meanwhile, work continues on the Education Building, where you can already see the fruit of our efforts and investments. All of the children and youth rooms upstairs have been redone and outfitted with new furniture. New furniture was also delivered in November for the library. We are excited to have these renewed spaces as we enter 2023.


The bathrooms on the second and third floors of the Education Building are our next priority. The construction commission is engaging the same interior designer who assisted with the library to help select fixtures, colors, etc., for the bathrooms. During this process, we hope to address accessibility issues in the second-floor ladies’ room, and update and refresh all of the restrooms to provide a nicer, more welcoming environment for our members and guests.


The third priority is updating the Fellowship Hall, including new paint, upgraded LED light fixtures, and a new stage curtain. The Fellowship Hall is one of the most visible parts of our church, as it is frequently used by outside groups for meetings and activities, in addition to Soup Kitchen and other church-sponsored events. Creating a more usable and inviting space will better position our church to serve our community.

Last, but not least, our final priority for the moment is to replace the broken glass in the windows of the Education Building. This will provide a needed facelift to the welcome area and entrance of our building, and it is a relatively quick and inexpensive fix compared to some of the other projects.


The process to get to this point has taken longer than we expected, but we are eager to pick up the pace and to demonstrate the impact that this total project will have on First Presbyterian and our missions in the community.


If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to a member of the construction commission: Dick Peck, Dave Marbury, Vicki Gillis, Mary Lynn Fraser, Jan Pflueger, Jennifer Stubblefield, Chris King, and Brandon Miles.


Thank you for your prayers and support as we work to be good stewards of the generous gifts of this church so that we may better reach our community with the love of Christ.


It’s been just over two months since we celebrated the faithfulness and generosity of our congregation through the Be Renewed capital campaign. While you may not have seen much activity in those two months, a lot is happening behind the scenes to prepare for a successful construction project. 


The Session has appointed a construction commission, moderated by Dick Peck and consisting of Dave Marbury, Vicki Gillis, Mary Lynn Fraser, Jan Pfluger, Jennifer Stubblefield, and Chris King. The commission, similar to one created after the tree damage the church experienced in 2019, has been charged with leading this project, keeping the congregation informed, and ensuring that we are faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to us. 


Vicki and Dave have been working with our architect, Lyndon Ezell, of Lambert, Ezell, and Durham, to adjust our plans based on the feedback received during the campaign. Brandon shared some of those adjustments in the July edition of The Messenger, including extending the Elting Wing to add more space for the choir and handbells and adding showers to the first-floor bathrooms. Those plans will be shared with the Sesssion once complete. Once adopted by the session, the updated plans will be shared with the congregation.


In the meantime, Dave, Vicki, and construction manager Michael O’Steen have been meeting with the city utility departments and historical commissions to get approval and clearance for all the work we plan to do. 


While we are waiting on the timeline for the Elting Wing, we can begin tackling several projects in the education building.


First on the list is continuing to convert  the light fixtures throughout the education building to LED. We had already begun replacing lights with LEDs as bulbs burned out, but this will accelerate the process. We are exploring the availability of TVA energy efficiency grants to offset some of the upfront costs associated with this project.


I’m excited to report that our church family is already faithfully fulfilling our pledges to the Be Renewed campaign. By the end of this year, we expect to have collected roughly $400,000 of the slightly more than $1 million pledged over the course of the three-year campaign commitment. That is another testimony to the generosity of this church and how we are responding to God’s call to serve our community and live out our mission and vision.


The construction commission will continue to keep the congregation updated throughout the construction project. If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions to better engage the congregation throughout this process, please let us know.

bottom of page