Last Monday the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission voted to approve ULC’s plans for the new chapel, giving us the go-ahead to begin construction. It was a long process, but thanks to the diligence of our building committee and architect working with the city planner assigned to our project, ULC was able to satisfy the city’s requirements and requests regarding the new building and other related property issues. We were also granted the necessary variances to setbacks for the chapel to sit properly on its lot and for us to squeeze in a few extra parking spaces.
The previous Sunday (Rogate Sunday) the ULC Voters Assembly also gave its unanimous approval to the chapel plans and financing. Prior to this meeting every effort was made by the building committee to economize where possible by revising the chapel plans for the sake of cost-savings while preserving, to the best of our abilities, the overall design. This was necessary due to an increase of around $350,000 to the previously received estimate from our builder. About $250,000 of this cost increase resulted from the city’s requirement to move the chapel to the corner lot, necessitating additional square footage for the narthex connection to Luther House, demolition of the current parking lot where the chapel will now sit, and construction of a brand new parking lot. The remainder of the increase is mainly due to inflation. These increases will require ULC to borrow substantially more than what was initially planned.
Work is now underway by our architect to produce working drawings for the builder. Once those drawings have been completed the bidding process will begin for subcontractors. We thank our dear Lord for bringing us to this point at last and pray that He will continue to bless us as we begin building. We ask that you remember ULC in our your prayers, that construction may proceed without impediment.
We are planning to have a ground-breaking ceremony later in June. Watch for an announcement within a week or so!