The J1 Story
When Joshua assumed leadership of Israel, the yet-to-be nation was faced with some major challenges and a remarkable opportunity. Overcoming the obstacles that lay ahead, God’s people were to press forward to move into their new home where they would be established as a light to the nations. During this critical juncture, God spoke to His people in Joshua 1:1-9, calling them to remember their storied past, envision their promised future and trust in their unwavering God. With this three fold view, the Lord then charged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
With God’s words to Joshua as our rallying point, West Hills officially launched our building project, known as Joshua 1.
Our facilities at West Hills Community Church have faithfully met our needs for over three decades, but is in need of renovation due to normal maintenance and church growth. The portable buildings put in place in the 1980s were a temporary solution to the growth of our church. The city has continued to renew our temporary permits with the condition that a permanent solution to our space be developed. The Joshua 1 Building Program is that solution – A plan for building a permanent replacement for the portables, building a new worship center and upgrading our existing property.
Implemented in three phases over the next few years, the goal is to expand and maximize our current facility in our current location in order to effectively mobilize our people and resources to impact the Santa Clara County and Bay Area.
The Development Plan
Who is on the building project team?
For the past couple of year, we have had a team of church members that work together with professional architects builders and engineers to help inform best development for next steps towards development.
Why is the church doing this?
We continue to move forward with the development of the new building for a few reasons:
- Temporary portables that were put in place in the 1980s have been operating under a temporary use permit by the City. In the last few years, the City has been requesting to see the church move forward to a more permanent solution.
- Regardless of the request made by the City, the portables are wearing out due to the normal use of activity of ministries. We want to continue making use of all of our facilities, so we are in need of upgrading in some manner.
- We see that there is an opportunity for site development in utilizing the great space that we have on our property.
What are the strategies for development?
The following are our 3 main strategy for development:
- We want to make sure we put together a project that is phase-able, meaning that we can build and use as we go with prioritized elements.
- We want the project to be affordable, ensuring a good budget.
- We have our focus on the final outcome, making sure we build the best tool for a facility that will be used well for years to come and that leverages the best use of the land.
Construction Phase 1
This is the biggest phase of the three as it not only replaces all current use of our portables, but additionally includes the infrastructure of the development of the total overall plan. In addition, this phase will open up a new mid-level parking area and an open space for gathering.
- Two-story multipurpose building to replace the current red, green and blue portables (includes elevator, new private children’s bathrooms and replaces all rooms currently utilized for adult equipping, Sunday school and fellowship)
- Foundation pad for future (phase 2) site of new worship center
- New mid-level parking area and renovated upper parking lot
Budget: $3-3.5 million.
Construction Phase 2
A new worship center that has seating for 340. This phase will include a new outdoor gathering space (East patio) and open area lobby. In addition, our current worship center space will be available for multi-purpose uses.
Construction Phase 3
This is the smallest of the phase developments; however, it is vitally important. In this phase, we will connect the new with the old and complete our project with an indoor/outdoor covered area, kitchen, and coffee house welcome area.
This past Sunday, Pastor Mike updated our congregation on the status of our submittal of building project plans to the City of Morgan Hill. As you may recall our first submittal of plans was made a few months ago. The City responded by asking for further details in various areas.
Our first official re-submittal to the city (planners, engineers etc) was submitted last week. We expect to hear a response from our re-submission around mid July. We are going through one of the more challenging phases of development and planning. This phase is slow and a bit difficult, but expected.
As we hear back from the City, there may be additional requests and further information needed. We will continue to communicate back and forth with the planning department in anticipation of moving forward in being placed on the City Planning Commissions calendar to ask for approval of our phased development plan. Our engagement with the planners currently has much to do with the preparation required in presenting the most acceptable and thoroughly prepared project plans to go before the Planning Commission.
Per the requirements set forth by the City of Morgan Hill, we have started a multi-month environmental impact study regarding the overall site plan for our building project. This process involves the city assessing any number of things having to do with environmental issues. The study itself might take 3 months or longer. We continue to ask you to keep praying and stay patient.
Additionally, as part of the J1 master plan, the existing sanctuary was scheduled for a bit of a face lift, including a new roof and the relocation of our air-conditioning units, which are currently on the roof. Because the existing sanctuary is currently in need of a new roof, we are proposing to replace the roof and relocate the air-conditioning units on the front end of the project. As stipulated in the final phase of the building project, the existing sanctuary would be phased into the new sanctuary by means of a common assembly area, complete with covered and uncovered gathering areas. The plan for the project includes a slight expansion of the covered area surrounding the sanctuary and the placing of the air-conditioning units in a hidden space above the existing restrooms.
The project cost is proposed at approximately $160k of which $130K will be funded from our J1 project funds as it represents modifications and improvements specified in the J1 master plan. The remaining $30K will be paid out of our general fund as it relates to upgrades and repairs not specified in the J1 master plan. The current J1 reserved funds stand at $1.8mm.
A Family Endeavor
This is the most exciting project we have ever taken on as a church family! But don’t just sit back and watch. There are so many ways to become involved in what God is doing here at West Hills. From project management, to prayer, to fundraising, to hands-on volunteer labor, to ways we haven’t even thought of yet, there is a place for you to serve. With that in mind, we are developing a list of people in our congregation who would be willing to serve with applicable gifts and skill sets as the project moves forward.
As we make this leap of faith as a church family, we ask you to please pray that our Lord will guide and provide us for development in His timing. Also pray for His guidance on how He would have you participate financially in this work for His glory.
Please connect us via the form linked below if you’d like to join us, or if you simply have questions regarding the Joshua 1 project.
For all of us:
Be grateful – Please don’t grumble for our wearing out portables, but rejoice for what we have been given thus far.
Be faithful – We desire to use what we have been given for full Kingdom work.
Be prayerful – Please pray that our Lord will guide and provide us for development in His timing.
Be intentional – We want to make sure we set up a facility for maximized future use.