- July 10 - Complete building plans were reviewed by the City of Solon Planning Commission for variances approval.
- July 18 - Complete building plans, with the recommendation of the City of Solon Planning Commission, were reviewed by the City Council for variances approval, which was granted.
- Complete building plans for the project were given to a select group of potential contractors for them to prepare and submit bids for the project to the Building Committee for consideration.
- May 29 - His Grace Bishop ANTHONY visited the parish and did the blessing of the property. Twelve priests and one deacon from area Orthodox churches assisted His Grace with the service and approximately 60 parishioners and benefactors participated. A festal meal followed the blessing service and an excess of $2,600 in gifts were given towards the project.
- June 25 - Complete building plans for the project were submitted to the City of Solon to apply for variances.
On Sunday May 20, the building committee shared with the parish our building exterior rendering (above) and the following estimated timeline. Our building plans have already been forwarded to five possible contractors for cost bids.
- By the end of May: Submit building permit application
- June 15th - Bids back and use approximate costs to apply for bank loan
- June 30th - Make decision on general contractor
- July 15th - Close on bank loan
- August 1st - Start construction
St. Luke owns six acres of property at the northwest corner of Chagrin River Rd. and S. Franklin St. The property is two miles directly south of downtown Chagrin Falls.
During Bright Week 2018, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH gave his archpastoral blessing for our building project to proceed. This was followed by written notification in a letter dated May 15, 2018. This is the final ecclesiastical approval needed for the building project to proceed.
- Septic system plan is complete and is being submitted to the EPA for final approval.
- Color building renderings are being prepared. Once ready, a sign will be put on the church property.
- Wetlands study almost completed.
- Mechanical, structural, and civil engineering plans should be completed by the end of the month.
- Once all plans are completed, they will be brought to the city for approval and put out for bid.
A great deal of work has been accomplished over the past six months on our building project:
- A parish work day took place fall 2017 clearing the lawn/treeline on the S. Franklin side of the church property.
- An architect was hired to prepare build-ready plans/blueprints based on our building renderings and has met almost every week with the Building Committee since mid-fall 2017.
- Various engineering companies (structural, soil, etc.) have been hired to work with the architect to prepare build-ready plans/blueprints.
- During the last quarter of 2017, the Building Finance Committee conducted a successful capital campaign, meeting the goals of (1) raising funds for the initial down-payment on our mortgage, (2) raising pledges for the 2018 operating budget, and (3) raising 5-year pledges to cover monthly mortgage payments.
- In January 2018, our Building Committee chair, architect, and structural engineer met with the Solon planning director's office and presented our intial building/site plan. Overall, the meeting was positive with no major concerns being identified with our proposal.
Wednesday, July 19: His Grace Bishop ANTHONY has given his hierarchical blessing for the parish to proceed with its building project.
The next step will be for him to forward this on to His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH for his hierarchical blessing, which will be the final ecclesiastical approval needed to proceed.
- May 2017 - Building and Building Finance Committees prepare building proposal to give to the Parish Council to vote on.
- June 2017 - Parish Council votes unanimously to accept the building proposal and calls a meeting of the voting membership of the parish.
- July 2017 - Voting membership of the parish votes unanimously to accept the building proposal and move to the next steps in the project.
As an update, much work has been done since the end of July 2016 on our building program:
- At the end of July 2016, His Grace Bishop ANTHONY met with parish leadership to offer his advice and direction on conducting our building program.
- In August 2016, the parish formally organized both (1) a Building Committee and (2) a Building Finance Committee. The Building Committee was charged with overseeing the planning and implementation of our building program. The Building Finance Committee was charged with preparing financial feasibility for the project and overseeing the planned capital campaign for the building.
- In September and early October, the Building and Building Finance Committees prepared a draft of the Project Charter for the entire building program. Initial conceptual plans were prepared to present at our Annual Dinner late in October. The Building Finance Committee also prepared an initial estimate of needed down payment, pledges, and ongoing operating costs for the initial five years of the building program.
- In November troitsa (large outdoor cross) with the icon of St. Luke is back up on our property next to the flag pole., the Building Committee formally adopted the Project Charter and it was presented to the entire parish at the Annual Meeting. During the month, the Building Committee began meeting with assorted architects/designers/builders to work on formal plans and cost estimates for the project.
- In mid-December 2016, a troitsa (large outdoor cross) with the icon of St. Luke was put up on our property next to the flag pole on the corner of S. Franklin St. and Chagrin River Rd.
During His Grace Bishop ANTHONY's hiererchical visit to St. Luke in December 2015, our parish was given the following direction and advice concerning our six acres of property:
- We currently possess the resources within our parish to complete a capital campaign and build. His experience at St. John Chrysostom Church in Ft. Wayne, IN was to build a $3M+ building with 42 families. What we are considering is a project with approximately 1/3 that price tag and 1/3 the number of families.
- Now is the time to do a capital campaign and build. We have done considerable “homework” up to this point and it is time to act. Not acting will lead to stagnation.
- Build the church temple, not the hall, first. New members will join and support what is readily identifiable as an Orthodox church temple. If you build the hall first, the tendency is for existing membership to become complacent within that space—often for over a decade. (Note: the City of Solon planning office has indicated that we must build the church temple first for plans to be approved.)
- A building committee and a building finance committee each should be appointed to lead the bulk of the work. The building committee’s job is to take the lead in planning and implementing all aspects of the the building project. The building finance committee’s responsibility is for all finances related to the building project, including the capital campaign.