As you’ve heard over the last year or so, we have exciting plans in store for 312 Hance, the amazing property and building which was formerly the home of our new MCC brothers and sisters. We want to provide our community with an overview of those plans and describe the way that we’re approaching the 312 Project.
312 Project plans
We expect the project to have the following 4 phases:
- Transfer – we’re coming to the end of a period of time during which MCC is completing the administrative process of winding down its entity and transferring its property and building to Park. We expect this process to be completed in the next few weeks.
- Planning and approvals – we have started the planning process during which we will design the renovated space and a potential addition. A team is currently thinking through our needs and how we can use the property and building to reach out to the community around us. We are looking for a project manager and will engage an architect and engineer. We’ll need to get our plans approved by Tinton Falls. We’ll also develop a budget and financing plan and eventually engage a contractor. We expect this phase to take 4-6 months.
- Fundraising and construction – once the plans have been developed and approved, we’ll need to raise the funds to complete the project. We expect to fund a significant portion of the budget through a mortgage on the property and the remaining portion by raising funds from our community and other donors, similar to the way we raised funds for 31 Park Road. We expect this phase to take 1.5-2.5 years depending on the scope of the renovation and potential addition.
- Move – once construction is complete, we’ll make plans to move our operations from our current 31 Park Road location to 312 Hance Road. We’re fortunate to have been able to align the terms of our current lease with our project schedule. We’ll be able to have stability in our gathering space at 31 Park Road until the completion of the project so that we can continue to maintain focus on Park’s mission. We have lots of flexibility in our lease around when our move will take place.
We’ve learned some lessons as a community about building projects and the physical space that our church meets in over the years. Park spent many years in a semi-nomadic state, moving from the basement of a home to the basement of another church to a movie theater, to another church (MCC) and eventually to 31 Park Road.
During this time, concerns about our physical space (or lack thereof) often dominated the thoughts and time of our staff and volunteer leadership, especially the elder team. When we finally found our current space and were able to begin the building project to turn the empty warehouse into a gathering space for our community, we found our time and energy even more consumed by our physical space and a host of related concerns.
When we reached out to other churches and church leaders, we heard similar stories and experiences. There’s just something about churches and buildings that can lead to distraction, taking the leadership team’s focus away from mission and core values. Frankly, that was the case for Park too. Shortly after completing our building project and moving into 31 Park Road, we went through a very difficult period of conflict and turmoil which ultimately led to departures from our staff and elder teams.
As we move forward, despite the inevitable challenges we know we will face, we are hopeful because we believe that God is in this. We will seek His guidance every step of the way. We’re also determined to learn from those hard-learned lessons. We are going to have a small, dedicated team leading the project and this team will be separate from elders and staff. We’ll keep the Park community informed, but our main focus will not be on our physical space. The elders and staff will be able to focus on Park’s mission as-is in our current space.
Please continue to pray with us as we seek to faithfully follow Jesus together for God’s glory and the good of the world.
The Elder Team