The Courtyard Committee continues to move ahead with plans to finish First Presbyterian’s first outdoor space. Although the initial finish date was the end of this month, several issues slowed the project down. The delay, however, has provided some exciting new options.

In working with city officials, several changes to comply with city codes were requested. These required some small modifications. One of these was a reconfiguration of the exterior fence on Court Square. Another concern raised was a technical issue with the property line. These issues are being addressed.

The committee is working with the city to secure a building permit and once the permit is received, the courtyard should be completed within 10 weeks.

The delay has afforded the committee the ability to look ahead to Phase 2 and add some steps now instead of later that will make moving to Phase 2 smoother.

One of these steps is adding windows and doors in the exterior wall of 9 Court Square. Four small operable casement windows will be added to the second floor and three large “picture” windows to the first floor. All the windows will feature a dark bronze trim finish. New doors accessing the courtyard on both sides will be similarly finished.

Installing windows now rather than later serves several purposes. First, it will prevent having to disrupt the courtyard to install them at a later date. Secondly, it will provide direct visual access to the courtyard. Thirdly, adding windows will make the space more attractive to potential lessees, as this space could generate revenue before Phase 2 is completed.

The committee continues working closely with the architect, the finance committee, the contractor, and an engineering firm to make sure everything is done in an excellent manner that honors God. We also remain solidly within our budget. While the delay is unexpected, the opportunity to incorporate some Phase 2 features is an exciting development.

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