Building Project FAQs
1. Why does CCO need a new building?
Carter’s Orchard was founded on the idea of a healthy orchard. A group of fruit bearing trees growing good fruit. When that happens in the spiritual community, people want to be a part of it. We have grown and grown and grown as a family. We long to reach our community with the gospel of Christ and thrive as a family.
The new building will allow us to create more auditorium space for Sunday worship service and other worship events, children’s space for our cramped and chaotic children’s ministry, space for our youth group that is currently meeting off-site during the week, office space for our staff that has been patient working in hallways and children’s rooms as well as common areas and meeting spaces for groups and teaching environments.
We also have parking challenges on Sunday mornings.
2. How big is the space in the new building?
The front office section is about 2,000 square feet, and the warehouse that will be renovated is 20,000 square feet. The building sits on five acres and currently has parking for 50-60 cars.
The front office section has lobby space and eight offices. This space needs simple updating but is basically ready to serve as offices, ministry space or classrooms.
The warehouse gives us a canvas that should be large enough to transition to the next season of ministry.
The five acres give us green space for outdoor activities and future expansion.
3. 22,000 square feet sounds like a lot. Is that too big for what we need?
Carter’s is currently in a building that has become too small for our current church family, so going from our current 6,000 square foot building with very little outdoor space to 22,000 on five acres, is not nearly the stretch that it might seem at first.
We have between 200-240 people in our building on a Sunday. Currently, we have enough space in our auditorium for two services but nowhere near enough space for our children’s ministry. We have always been limited on Sunday morning teaching environments, and Thursday evening counseling or meetings are typically difficult environments because of the volume of music practice.
Four of our six staff work in common areas instead of offices.
Even with the two service track, our current parking is not enough. We consistently park off-site. For an event such as a wedding, funeral or special service many people are unable to park in our parking lot. The basic accepted equation for public parking is about 1.9 people for each car. That means that we actually have about half as much parking as we need for our current building. We have been blessed to have a church family that has worked around this and parked off-site, but we are well beyond capacity for parking.
Our goal is to continue to create space for new believers and new families that come into our church for spiritual care and community. Our desire is for this to be a space that we can grow into.
4. What spaces will be included in the new building?
We would like to double our auditorium capacity and increase the size of our stage area so that both of our services have room to grow. This does not mean that we will set up chairs to full capacity but that we will be able to in the future.
We also plan to have a greatly expanded lobby that can be a place for community on Sunday mornings as well as other events.
- Children’s spaces that are optimal for classroom size with common areas for activities
- Dedicated spaces for our youth and middle school programs
- Work space and meeting areas for pastors and ministry staff
5. There are full grown trees that make it difficult to see the building from the highway. What is the plan for that?
We have already begun to talk with the city and believe we will be able to begin cutting down trees for a better view of the building.
6. Who will do the renovation and general contracting?
We have been cultivating a relationship with Weaver Commercial Contractors in Wooster, Ohio for several years. They have consulted on other buildings we looked at in this process. They have a sterling reputation and have worked on many church projects.
7. Will sub-contractors who are part of the CCO church family get to work on the building?
Yes. Weaver is open to using professionals that are part of our church. The bidding process will be the same as any job.
8. How do we know if the $1.39 million is a good purchase price?
Commercial real estate is always hard to judge because there are typically very few comparable properties that are close to the same specifications like there are in residential real estate, but we are confident this property has the right potential to grow in value. The location has high exposure and easy access to Interstate 77. It is also a safe property for our children.
A Phase One Study and Civil Engineering Evaluation will be completed to make sure there are no environmental or zoning problems with the property before we complete the sale.
The city of Dover is moving north, and we want be right in the middle of that growth! Our goal was to stay very close to the Schneider’s Crossing Highway exit, and we accomplished that goal.
Our goal was to find an existing building that had great “bones.” This building is solid and well built. The existing utilities are more than we will need because it was previously a manufacturing plant. The concrete floor and roof all appear to be in good shape.
9. What other properties did we look at in the process?
We have been looking at buildings and land for better than two years. Our goal has been to stay in the Schneider’s Crossing area because the Northside of Dover is where the city is growing and most accessible.
We also have many families from our church that live outside of Dover to the north, west and south of our location, and so we not only desired to be in the growth area for our church, but to make it as easy as possible for people driving from the surrounding communities.
There are not many buildings in our area that can be re-purposed as a church. The potential candidates were schools, large retail buildings or warehouses with property for parking lots and green space for future expansion.
These are sparse in our area. Most of what we have looked at are manufacturing type buildings. Often they were way too small or way too big. One building had the right square footage but a terrible piece of land. Another building was great but way to much money for our current season.
We feel confident that God has taken us through a prayerful and practical process of consideration and being patient. The purchase of this building happened over about eight months. We looked at the building in March and didn’t see a pathway to a purchase. We revisited the property in August and reconsidered it with great potential. A key to understanding the process was that the building was only available for lease, so we had to ask the owner to consider selling the building. After several weeks of conversations, including sharing our vision with the owner, we agreed on terms with the condition of a due diligence process.
10. Did we consider building a brand new building on undeveloped land?
We considered this very seriously and have looked for land. The fact of the matter is that we would have paid as much or more for a good location in north Dover without a building. For us to get a five acre or more tract of land we would have had to get well out of town to get a reasonable price.
We also consulted on the question of new building cost versus a renovation, and a renovation is about half the building cost of a new building. So while we could’ve saved money on building a slightly smaller new building, we think we would be making a mistake to only account for current space needed as opposed to current and future space needed keeping future expansion in mind.
This location has the added benefit of already having utilities in place and the city of Dover has approved usage for a church building.
11. What will the project cost, and how much of the building will we use when we move in?
We think the conservative number is $800,000 for the first phase of renovation, which would mean the first phase of the project will cost about $2.2 million.
The exact square footage of the buildout has not been determined and will be based on funding for the project, but we will have a new auditorium, multi-use lobby, kids spaces, food prep area and offices.
12. How will we pay for the new building?
We will raise as much money for the project as possible through a capital campaign where we will ask our church family to come together and give toward the project understanding that we are growing in our impact to reach and disciple more people for God's glory.
It's likely we will have a traditional church mortgage after we move into the building, but we feel confident that this will be manageable when we finish the project and will become a smaller part of our church budget as we continue to grow.
13. Will the church family have input into the building?
Absolutely. We will have open house dates where our family will be able to get into the building and look around. The ideas will flow from there, and we will offer the opportunity to give ideas. This process will assure that we haven’t missed anything in the planning process.
14. When will we see drawings of the new building?
When we finalize the due diligence process, we will begin to plan the general building layout with architects and Weaver Commercial Contractors. They will help us take our needs and utilize our space and budget.
We will be able to show renderings and plans once this process is complete.