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Song of Life's Site Development & Building Project History
Song of Life chartered as a United Methodist Church in 2003. The next year, in 2004, the family of James Sossaman promised Song of Life almost 10 acres on the corner of Sossaman and Queen Creek Roads, in Queen Creek, Arizona. This generous donation was in part to fulfill Jamie's own mother's vision of a church being built in that location.
Since 2004, members and leaders from Song of LIfe have been actively working behind the scenes to identify with architects, contractors, and city planners the costs of building a permanent church campus on this lot.
A Master Plan was developed in coordination with church leadership and a Phoenix architectural firm in 2005. Although this plan continues to be the general guide within which our congregational leaders work to build a permanent campus, the phases as identified in the plan were discerned by church and conference officials to be beyond the ability of the congregation.
In subsequent years Song of Life pursued a variety of ideas and options to build on our property, as a means to more effectively minister to our community. We evaluated a variety of other alternatives, all with the intent of better fulfilling our mission to make disciples and help improve our local community. We considered pre-fabricated structures, steel buildings, and discount "church" plans from national companies. We evaluated the possibility of purchasing a home on a nearby property to use for weekday ministries and administration. In 2009 an architectural engineer collaborated with the Town to establish a best-estimate for building a smaller 10,000 square foot facility on the property (at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.) Most recently, late in 2010, we researched the possibility of renting a commercial location for both Sunday and weekday ministries.
Beginning in the Fall of 2010, our Building Committee met with officials of the Town of Queen Creek, to seriously review the possibility of placing a modular building on our property. We anticipated the presence of a modular structure on our property could greatly benefit our momentum toward building a permanent first phase, allowing us to break some of the important site development and infrastructure into multiple phases. A leased modular building would allow both Sunday and weekday ministries, and our choice to pursue a smaller initial build-out on the property will lower the infrastructure costs to be more realistic to pursue.
Still using the Master Plan as our guide, we originally anticipated locating the modular building on the western side of the property and only developing the minimum of land required (e.g. landscaping along the three roads and around minimal parking). Cost estimates led to locating the building on the north-east corner, at about half the cost of locating on the west.
With Church Council approval, in February, 2011, our Bulding Committee hired an architect and civil engineer to work with the Town of Queen in teh pre-application phase of this process. Over the next several months, the Building Committee, architect, and civil engineer worked out a new plan to begin to build on our campus in stages, with the first being required landscaping and placement of a modular building. The final plans for the modular building resulted in one larger building for worship and nursery space, and a second building with classrooms.
Our Charge Conference approved the plan in May, 2011. In October, 2011, we hired a contractor, whose bid helped us adjust the actual cost for the project. Funding was in place by the end of May, 2012. Although plan submittals and approvals with the Town of Queen Creek regularly delayed the official start of the project, we broke ground in early September, 2012.