Q: What, exactly is the Parish Expansion Project?
A: In order to keep pace with the growth of our parish and our ministry programs, we are planning to expand by building a new community center at the top of our hill. The project includes new classrooms, administrative offices, banquet/fellowship hall facilities with a stage and commercial kitchen, space for ministry meeting rooms and offices, a proper bookstore and increased parking capacity.
Q: How will the Increased Parking Capacity and New Community Center be used?
A: To address our Parish needs; this is our best solution for Parishioners now and in the future.
· Immediate Parking relief: The need for parking spots has expanded 30% from 2014-2017. We currently have 87 marked parking spaces. We hope to add 43 new parking spots on the driveway up from St. Stephens School Road but first need to get permission from our military base neighbor.
· To create more and larger Sunday School classrooms. Our current Sunday School facilities are inadequate. Our new Mount Tabor Hall will have 15+ classrooms and meeting rooms for over 250 students. Our 2017 Sunday School program enrollment is 159 an increase of 44% from 2012.
· A better Banquet hall with elevated stage. Our current hall is 2,600 sq. ft. with a capacity of 175 people, even fewer if space is needed for dancing. Our new hall in the community center is 4,200 sq. ft. and can accommodate 250-350 people. Using this hall, we can host events such as the Gala or wedding receptions.
· Improved kitchen and administrative facilities. The new 620 sq. ft. Parish kitchen will meet required commercial kitchen standards and requirements. Our current kitchen is 245 sq. ft. and is inadequate to meet growing Parish needs.
· Adequate offices and workrooms for our ministries. Our new hall will be a wonderful way to continue to bring our members together – youth ministries, Greek School, Philoptochos, Religious education, Retreats, Community nights. For these ministries to grow, we need the space to organize and host groups of all shapes and sizes.
· Minimized disruption of current classroom and ministry activities, we will use current Mt. Tabor Hall and the expanded parking spots during construction of new Mt. Tabor Hall.
· New sources of income for our Church. The new community center Hall and Kitchen creates a wonderful atmosphere for weddings, large and small meetings, gatherings, celebrations, parochial schools, and other organizations.
Q: Where can we see the latest project information and designs?
A: Our Parish website will be maintained throughout the project https://transfiguration.org/. Updates are provided at Parish Assembly meetings, and drawings are available in Mount Tabor Hall – Site Plan, New Community Center, First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor.
Q: What is the project budget?
A: We expect to spend about $4.0 million on the project.
Q: Where will those Parish Expansion Project funds come from?
A: The financing for the will come from two sources:
· Down Payment $2.0M: Fundraising over 4 years to raise $1.5M ($375K/year) in addition to funds set aside from operating budget mortgage accrual, Glendi, gala, golf and luncheons.
· Mortgage Loan $2.0M: paid back over a 20-year period.
· The $2M financing need can be reduced if the Parish strongly supports the church’s special events: including luncheons, Gala sponsorship and silent auction, and the Golf tournament.
· The project will not begin until fundraising and financing are secured.
Q: What impact can my family and I make through a four (4) year pledge?
A: Here are our contribution goals for the next four years.
Q: Is it easy for me and my family to contribute to this project?
A: Yes. We have set up a pledge program for 4 years, 2018 through 2021. The 4-year pledge provides an opportunity to give a more significant amount to the campaign over the course of the four-year window. Pledge contributions can be made through E-Giving or check payments.
Q: How many donors are needed for the project?
A: A contribution from every member of our Parish is integral to the project’s financial success.
Q: Can I make a gift of stocks, bonds or life insurance?
A: Yes, please give us a call. We are here to answer your questions and make the process of contributing assets towards the project.
Q: What should my family and I contribute?
A: As Christ Himself tells us, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48). It is the same for us and for our parish. Our parish has been entrusted with abounding gifts, a strong community, steady growth, and new opportunities for ministry. In this spirit, we, as a parish, are called to respond to these blessings with generosity. Each family should consider their financial constraints and determine an amount that constitutes a meaningful gift for your family.
Q: Can I increase or change my pledge?
A: Absolutely! This is a pledge. It is not a binding obligation. At the same time, please pledge an amount that you feel is attainable because significant changes will make planning more difficult.
Q: Will we require a mortgage loan for the Parish Expansion Project? How much will the loan be?
A: Yes. $2.0M – 20-year mortgage loan will be required to begin the project in a timely manner.
Q: What preparations plans will we make to secure and service our loan?
A: We are committed to a conservative approach to project financing. Over the coming years, we will look to set aside gradually increasing sums from the church operating fund until the amounts equal the anticipated monthly mortgage payment. The funds that are set aside will be placed in a restricted account to help with the project down payment. This effort will be completely independent from project fundraising and will be funded from recurring sources of revenue thereby demonstrating that the church can service the long-term loan obligation.
Q: What financial preparations are necessary to secure a mortgage loan?
A: The largest two factors in securing the loan will be our ability to make the planned 50% down payment on the project as well as the size of the church’s overall revenue. A successful fundraising program will address the one-time outlay associated with the down payment. Continuing growth in stewardship of 10%+ per year will ensure that our revenue is at the levels needed to secure the loan.
Q: Has Transfiguration Parish had prior fundraising projects? Were they successful?
A: Yes. Our Parish has a history of strong fiscal management and maturity which has built a solid foundation for this project.
· 1998: Mt Tabor Hall $146K raised, $139K mortgage paid off.
· 2002-2006: New sanctuary and Phase 1 Icons: $2.1M ($400K loan) 150 families raised $1.3M.
· 2011: $78K raised instantaneously for pews
· 2011-2012: Phase 2 Icons, lighting, sound, rugs: $336K, 170 families raised $370K.
· 2013: $105K raised in 1 month to pay off the Sanctuary loan.
· 2016: Consecration and Walkway 140 families raised $515K
Q: Does Transfiguration Church have a mortgage now?
A: No. In fact, in 2017, we set aside $3500/month ($42,000) in reserve funds to prepare for future mortgage payments.
Q: When is the New Community Center construction expected to begin?
Q: When is the center expected to be completed?
A: 2nd Floor 2022 and move in and then, in 2023, finish the 3rd floor.
Q: In what way is our Church “an extension of our own home”?
A: We hope our church will always be a dwelling place for the family; somewhere that offers peace and security; a place you will always feel loved; a familiar setting where you feel comfortable and safe; and a place where you can be yourself and feel like you belong.
Q: Who can I contact for more information, or if I have questions?
Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church
414 St. Stephens School Road, Austin, Texas 78746.
Proistamenos: Father Vasileios Flegas.
Parish Council President: Mr. George Gianakopoulos
Church secretary: Ms. Yanna Petty