Recently, I, and many of your vestry leaders had a realization. The nine-space parking lot behind Heigham House is insufficient. We need more parking spaces. Enlarging our parking may be a key to sustained congregational growth and rental income. This realization was followed by a second: Heigham House will cost a lot to renovate. And we can’t help offset those costs with volunteer labor. We don’t have the people capable of doing it.
Since beginning as your Rector, I’ve been committed to Heigham House as a necessary part of our campus. We housed someone there for three years. Before that, the house was used by the previous Rector and other staff. There is still tremendous potential for repurposing Heigham House, but only after these expensive renovations (Costing between $100,000 and $125,000). That’s a massive investment for a building we don’t have a vision for.
A parking lot will meet the needs of our whole community:
In addition, a parking lot will reduce our costs, show the neighborhood how many people are attending here, and be hospitable to our visitors.
Thinking about demolishing Heigham House makes me sad. People need housing, and here is a grand old house. And it has a new roof and fresh exterior tuckpointing! I feel sick about the money we spent. At the time, we didn’t see a significant need for parking.
Now, we are faced with a decision. If we remove the building, we can provide around a dozen more parking spots - at least doubling our current capacity. We would also save at least $7000 annually in building repairs and utility costs. That savings will help us decrease our deficit spending.
Your Vestry is gathering information to make informed comparisons. But before we get into the nitty gritty of that decision, we want to hear from you. How do you feel about this decision? What reasons do you see to keep the house or remove it?
Please take a moment to complete this short survey and give us your opinion. Your input matters! SURVEY LINK
-- Pastor Rebecca
It seems strange to me that the cost of tearing down Highham house and constructing a lot are not even mentioned in Rev. Ragland’s essay.
I thoroughly agree with the person above.
Thanks, Daniel, for the input and points you raise for consideration.
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Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland