It is clear that a number of our neighbors feel the addition we are proposing is too big for the neighborhood, and are concerned that it will have a negative impact on them. I understand their concern, but I object to the picture being painted by a selective use of the facts.
For example, the neighbors point out that the square footage of the addition is 612 square feet larger than the existing building. While that is accurate in terms of floor area, it isn't an accurate way to determine building size. The gross square footage of the addition is actually 12,610 square feet, while the current building is 13,407 square feet. That is the number that pertains to the size of the building, not the floor area. The addition is not bigger than the existing church, either in square footage or total volume.
Likewise, they mention that the village building department calculates the facility will have the capacity to accommodate 2,114 people. True, but incomplete. Certain facts were left out. That number comes from figuring out the maximum capacity if every room in the building?#34;the sanctuary, classrooms, offices, bathrooms, etc.?#34;are all filled to standing-room-only capacity at the same time. The village has to do that figuring to know if there is sufficient exiting ability from the building. Will the building ever be that full? Obviously not.
Our sanctuary will still have a 400-person capacity, and that will control how many people use the building at one time?#34;not some artificial figure used to determine egress.
If you take a drive around Oak Park, you will notice that most churches have an educational wing or addition to provide space for offices, classrooms, etc. We don't have that. Our building is completely obsolete for "doing church" these days, and it creates a significant hindrance to our ability to minister to people effectively.
What if we don't build? Then we are left with only one option?#34;to multiply services, which will have a much bigger negative impact on the neighborhood. The addition is actually as close to a win-win as there is?#34;the church gets the space it needs, and any negative impact on the neighborhood is minimized. This addition is the best option all the way around.
Senior pastor, Vineyard