Kingsway Building Updates

Report to the Congregation: Renovation & Building Options

By Kingsway Christian Church Stewardship and

Building Committees

October 19, 2023

The Stewardship and Building Committees are pleased to provide this report of our work thus far.  Please review and provide your feedback to members of the committees.  Your input will help us decide among the three options below.  The church needs to select one of the three options before we move forward to the next phase of the work.  Our decision must reflect a prudent and realistic use of our resources and, above all, our commitment to the mission of spreading God’s word and our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.


When answering the call to witness our faith to lost souls, comfort our brothers and sisters in Christ, and worship together, the use of our talents and resources expresses our faith as much, or more, as any words.  We are blessed to serve the Lord in many ways.  Our exploration of a building renovation has been founded in the intent to minister to our neighbors, to celebrate God’s blessings with our fellow believers, and to provide a beacon of His light for the lost and distressed.  We pray for God’s wisdom and direction toward this end.


The following is an excerpt from Kingsway’s “2023 Year in Review & Budget Vision Summary”

dated January 1, 2023:


Kingsway’s mission is built from the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.  We express it as our desire to “share the HOPE of JESUS with the world one person at a time.”  Kingsway longs to be a growing church that distributes hope to lost people here in Omaha and around the world.  As we grow, we are called to plant healthy gospel-centered churches that will continue to make disciples who make disciples – multiplying believers who trust and follow Jesus boldly in His mission.  We are committed to give our lives to this mission until He returns.


Our mission is guided by four themes or pathways.  These four values could be called the King’s Pathway. We live our mission by creating … a pathway to CONNECT with Jesus and each other, a pathway to GROW in grace and truth, a pathway to SERVE each other and our neighbors with the love and resources God has provided to us, and finally a pathway to MULTIPLY new believers, kingdom workers, and leaders to advance the message and mission of Jesus.  CONNECT – GROW – SERVE – MULTIPLY.


As also noted in the summary, our mission will not change.  Our committee’s task includes reviewing our current facility and asking if any features of the building and property might be improved to better accomplish Kingsway’s mission.  The initial purpose for the review came from two perceived shortcomings of the sanctuary: 1) the self-consciousness of visitors (with whom we wish to connect) entering from the front of the sanctuary in view of the assembled congregation, and 2) the structural limitations of the sanctuary floor to host large events with more versatile, moveable seating allowing greater outreach opportunities to our neighbors and a wider variety of worship activities for our members (who we wish to serve).  We are not considering indoor athletic events.  The three building options presented below flow from, but are not limited to, the initial concerns regarding the sanctuary.


Building Options Considered by the Committees


  1. Renovate the existing church building. The oldest parts of the building are more than 50 years old.  The most recent addition was constructed around 1978.  A renovation of the building will allow us to remain in the neighborhood and not change the location for worship by our members.  This option is likely the most affordable of the three and would allow fundraising to occur in a more incremental manner, making the need for a loan less likely.  The trade-offs (negative factors) include 1) working around the locations of the structural elements of the building, 2) no space to increase parking for larger events, and 3) the cost for continued maintenance of a 45-year (plus) old building envelope.  Also, we do not yet know if the City Plan Reviewers will require code-related upgrades (other than the fire sprinkler system we have already proposed) due to this renovation.


Lueder Construction was retained by Kingsway to provide Preconstruction Services to advise the committee and provide a cost estimate for the renovation project.  Lueder has provided important cost information and practical advice to organize our list of priorities into efficient phases of construction.  The contract amount with Lueder for the preconstruction services is $44,850 of which $25,000 has been performed and paid.  In addition to the good advice, the Lueder work included visiting the building with their subcontractors to develop their construction cost estimate, performing a 3-dimensional scan of the building for use during design and construction, and the architectural services necessary to develop the interior renderings presented earlier this year.


The existing gross area of the building is roughly 11,040 square feet (sf) for the first floor and basement plus 3,220 sf for the second floor for a total building area of about 25,300 sf.  The proposed renovation will add a small main entry (with an optional canopy) at the northwest corner of the existing building.  Some work is anticipated in the parking lot to accommodate the new entry. 
Major cost items for the renovation include the following:
  1. A fire sprinkler system throughout the building
  2. Strengthening the sanctuary floor to allow for moveable seating
  3. Moving the kitchen from the basement to the first floor
  4. Adding a new entry with a passenger elevator.


Phased construction will allow worship to continue through the duration of the renovation.  The renovation cost estimate below is based on one logical construction phasing plan that accomplishes the church’s priorities as provided by the committees to the Lueder Construction.  The phasing will be discussed (and perhaps reordered based on input from the congregation) if we move forward with the renovation option.


Phase #1 – Sanctuary Renovation                                                   $1.6 million

Phase #2 – Main Entrance, Lobby, Elevator Area                            $1.6 million

Phase #3 – Renovate first and second floors                                  $0.6 million

Phase #4 – Renovate basement                                                         $0.55 million

Phase #5 – Exterior/landscaping Improvements                               $0.07 million

Total estimated cost =  $4.42 million  (roughly $175/sf)

  1. Construct a new church building. A new building would accommodate our needs without the constraints dictated by the walls and structural elements of our existing church building and the limitations of our lot size.  A new building should have a more efficient use of space, so an estimate of 22,000 sf is considered for the cost estimate of this option.  Based on the necessary parcel size, the new building location could be quite remote from the current building, and buying an appropriate parcel closer to our current site could be cost prohibitive.  We still may have members living in the neighborhood, but some connections would be lost due to the church being elsewhere.  The cost of the new property and construction will require a loan or a fundraising campaign that succeeds far beyond current estimates.


Current unit costs for new construction are around $325/sf. 
Also, in the current financial market the financing costs on a mortgage will be significant.


New construction project costs estimate:                                                         Amounts

a. Purchase an appropriate parcel of land, say 5 acres;                                $1.5 million
b. Cost estimate for new building construction, including site work;            $7.1 million
c. Owner costs related to the project;                                                            $1.0 million
d. Less the sale of existing building and property;                                        $(1.2 million)

Total estimated cost =                                                                                  $8.4 million

  1. Renovate and relocate to an existing building shell space. All, or a portion of, an existing building shell such as a “big box” store could provide enough open space for an efficient layout of the sanctuary and other spaces.  Some building shells have enough headroom to allow for the construction of partial second floor (mezzanine) spaces if beneficial.  A shell of around 22,000 sf would likely provide an equivalent, more efficient use of space. The committee requested and received recent sales comparable data from a commercial real estate agent.  The cost per square foot of existing shell buildings varies with age, location, and condition; a unit cost of $160/sf was used to determine the cost for this option.   This option will also require that we move out of the neighborhood.


Current unit costs for renovation projects are around $200/sf.  While we could lease the shell building, we would lose our renovation investment if (when) we move out of the space.  Some phasing may be possible to ease the immediate financial burden, but potentially at the cost of not having facilities within the building shell for one or more current church functions until the final phase is complete.


Renovation construction project costs estimate:                                          Amounts

a. Purchase an appropriate shell building and property                            $3.5 million
b. Cost estimate for building renovation                                                    $4.4 million
c. Owner costs related to the project                                                          $0.7 million
d. Less the sale of existing building and property                                      $(1.2 million)

Total estimated cost=                                                                                $7.4 million


Next Steps

The Kingsway Christian Church Eldership team recommends that we should take the steps necessary to remain in our current building. This option is the most economical and supports our vision to live out our mission in this corner of Omaha.  Choosing a more expensive option will reduce our ability to support like-minded missions through our generosity.


The building committee will review our needs beyond the sanctuary to provide the architect and contractor more information to develop renovation plans.  If you lead any of the church ministries or life groups, we will be asking for your input.  We will continue to be available to answer questions from members.  The stewardship committee will continue to develop our capital campaign and promote the project.  We pray for the guidance and wisdom to accomplish our work and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.



Stewardship Committee                     Building Committee                Elders Team

Shane Gerlach, Co-chair                     Jeff Stevens, Co-chair             Trent Booher, Chair

Michael Rieves, Co-chair                    Trent Booher, Co-chair           Dan Dark, Co-Chair

Stephanie Braun                                 Cathy Dougherty                    Jake Gomez, Secretary

Gina Gerlach                                       Chris Goodrich                       Bryan Stigall, Treasurer

Mark & Betty Eckart                           Stacy Haynes                           Don Rowe

Rich Milliken                                       Kristin McInnis                        Rich Milliken

Curtiss & Melissa Routh                     Karolyn Milliken

Zach & Katie Varadi                            Joel Sherburn

David & Karen Wegner                       Bryan Stigall