How did you come up with these plans?
Discovery exists to love God and serve others. These plans are the architectural expression of this mission and of what we value most as a church. Our values are:
Worship by noticing and responding to God’s every day presence.
Embracing Truth as the pathway to freedom
Growing by stepping out of our comfort zone.
Connecting with each other because together is better.
Sharing our time, talents and treasures.
Moving Toward our local and global neighbors.
So this master plan allows us to flesh out these values in a concrete way on our land. It also allows us to welcome followers of Christ and non-followers of Christ equally, the way we do now as a church.
How much will these plans cost?
Our current very rough estimate for this entire master plan is $15 million total. This is a rough cost, assuming 2016 construction expenses, but this plan is intended to take multiple years before completion and will be done in phases.
Who will fund these plans?
We have several potential streams for funding.
For the church specific buildings (“The Silo” and “The Shed”) we anticipate this funding coming from within Discovery. We are currently still managing the debt from the original site development costs and barn construction costs, so our current plan is to raise cash and build as we are able.
For the buildings on the east parcel, the Habitat homes will be funded by Habitat for Humanity. We will seek outside funding for the office buildings and counseling center. The horse arena has already been paid for.
We are also exploring appropriate fundraising opportunities for other site elements (such as the orchard) for people who want to participate but are not part of Discovery or are not followers of Christ.
We also intend to pursue grant opportunities and fee reductions as appropriate to spread the cost of development across all endeavors. (you may be surprised at the fees and expenses that are generated by a building project.)
Who will operate the non-profit counseling and equine arena?
We intend to partner with Christian non-profits and businesses who share Discovery’s values and particularly, share Discovery’s posture toward the community. We are currently in discussions with licensed counselors as well as professionals in the field of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT). Once we attain funding, will begin investigating a counseling organization and other equine assisted services. The right counseling group will have a supervising therapist who can supervise students from local counseling training sites (such as Denver Seminary), so that our office can offer a range of counseling fees from a range of qualified therapists.
In a similar vein, we would like one of the office buildings to be an incubator for Christian non-profit initiatives that seek to address and serve a local or global challenge. Long term, we see Discovery putting out an RFP (request for proposal) to non-profits who wish to base on our property for a period of time.
Our vision is to offer quality space to quality providers at no or low cost, and in turn ask those providers to pass the savings onto people in need, so that no one is turned away due to expense.
We have room for other ideas in these offices as God leads.
Can you explain Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT)?
While there are technical terms and various licensure and accreditations, basically there are two broad streams of equine assisted activities and therapies. One focuses on the physical and cognitive development of clients and the other on social and emotional well-being of clients. We intend to partner with at least one provider from each stream to offer services to a wider range of people.
How will we raise money for the church buildings?
We are currently participating in the “Next Gen Initiative” where people can designate a gift to go toward our next phase which is our Youth Building, “The Silo.” Ten percent of this initiative also goes to our partners in Compton, Los Angeles, and Albania who are also serving young people.
Also, as Discovery’s general budget is met, we allocate surplus toward the NextGen fund. As of May 2016, we have raised$235,000.
What is the process to get these plans approved with the city?
City approval is a multi-step process. Here are the steps:
- Meet with City Planning staff to share initial master plan goals.
- Similar meeting with neighbors.
- Retain architect to design master plan based on goals and feedback from meetings a and b.
- Meet with City Planning staff to show plan and seek feedback
- Similar meeting with neighbors.
- Submit to City Council for “Concept Review.” Neighbors come and give comment, City Council members give comment. Adjust plan as necessary.
- Submit to City Planning Commission for feedback.
- Submit to City Council for final approval.
- Create construction documents for any immediate building plans.
As of May 18 2016, we are at step e) and anticipate step f) this summer.
In what order do we think we will build these buildings?
Ideally, our next phase is “Phase 2.” The Barn was “phase 1.” We would like to build “The Silo,” one Habitat triplex and one counseling office with parking and landscaping as a single phase 2 project. We see great benefit in shared development costs. Depending on many factors, one of these projects may succeed the others. Beyond that phase, we would like to see our current debt down below $2 million before we consider borrowing more money. Ideally, we would like to be able to build our church structures for cash and not take on additional debt.
Are we becoming a mega church?
Discovery has always been about loving God and serving others, and many people are coming to Discovery compelled by this message. We believe the message of Jesus, presented the way Jesus presented it, is the most fascinating, life changing reality of human history and so many are drawn to it. While we may technically grow into megachurch attendance numbers as we add buildings, (more than 2000 people per week), we will retain our ability for people to connect with God and others during a worship experience. Our largest auditorium will be around 650 seats, but our population will be spread over 3 buildings at 3 different service times.
Further, Jesus compels us to send his life changing message beyond our own comfort and preference for the sake of others. God’s vision for Discovery will continue to expand beyond these 18 acres and will no doubt send us into new and unfamiliar territory through church planting and other initiatives.
What is the timing for construction?
The timing is wholly dependent on our fundraising. We have no schedule beyond phase 2.
Why is our next phase a youth building?
Our student ministry currently meets in 1600 sq feet of space in our basement and since moving into the barn has grown from a population of around 25 students to over 145 students every weekend. Our children’s space is also reaching or sometimes beyond capacity, but our auditorium typically has 50 – 150 extra seats for adults. By moving our youth out of the basement, they get much needed extra space and our children’s ministry can expand into their space in the basement.
How can I help get the youth building built?
The Silo will, as much as appropriate, be a home grown project with many opportunities for involvement. At this point, you can pray for the project and simply by tithing to Discovery, your money is helping bring the timeline forward. As Discovery receives money above budget, we fund the Next Gen initiative.
When the time comes to build, we will utilize volunteer labor where allowed to save construction expenses. This may include some interior work and landscaping.