Dear in Christ Fr. Justin:
Here is a summary of thought s regarding the path to design and construction.
First: Obtain a boundary survey and topographical drawing with contours at two foot intervals showing the entire property including the public road from which access is gained.
Second: Program Development. In order to properly define the limits of the project and each phase from the initial stage of construction, you must have an overall picture of where you are going and what you want to have ultimately. It is OK if you dream big at this stage. Incorporate everything that you and the mission can think of that might become apart of this parish in the future, 5, 10, 20 and more years in the future. Here are some elements to think about.
• The temple
• Parish hall and kitchen
• Administrative offices
• Go look at Fr. Alexander Atty’s 16 unit assisted living project (the first of two) to get an idea of size and scope
• Home school resource facility
• Possible Orthodox Christian School, in phases, beginning with using the parish educational facilities
• Outdoor meeting/amphitheater space
• Parking – approximately 325 sq. ft. per car allowance
Some of what you dream may never get built, but so what. Accomplish what you can. It will be more than you thought you could do than if you had no overall dream in the first place. I will send you a copy of the space planning document I did for Evergreen Christian Fellowship so you can get an idea of what an end result looks like.
Third: Assign square approximate footage for each function so a place holder space can be designated on a master site plan.
Fourth: Prioritize according to projected resources what is to be built in a first phase, second phase, and so on. What you actually build in each phase may change in scope as you grow and approach the time to actually do it.
Fifth: Hire a good architect that you are comfortable with because you will be working with the firm for a long time, to begin with, probably at least two years to completion of a first phase.
The architect’s function is not only to design the buildings, but to bring reality to the project in terms of the budget – deciding how to get the most for the money you have.
Hope this is helpful.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Deacon James