Trinity's Life Center

Trinity is looking into the future! We are excited to Continue to share with you our progress on our expansion project. 

Current Progress

  • 6-17-19 It is the goal of the Building Committee that the project be brought to the congregation for a vote in early Fall of 2019. The Building Committee also reaffirmed its decision not to expend any further funding until a congregational vote is held.

  • 3-18-19 The BC reported to the Administrative Council its reluctance to expend any further funds or sign new contracts until a congregational vote on the project can take place.

  • 2-18-19  Following a number of productive meetings between BC members, our attorney and our design professionals with the township, it has been determined that Trinity can continue with the revised design efforts under an amended application.

  • 1-19-19  The BC welcomed two new committee members: Lisa Nole and Sherri King Parente!  Design detail questions pertaining to the water main, parking lot lighting, landscaping, prayer garden and overhead doors were discussed.

  • 11-21-18 All county and township submissions have been made and the Harrison Township Joint Land Use Board hearing is scheduled for 12-20-18.

  • 11-19-18 3D scale model of new addition delivered and setup for display in Narthex.  Thank you Richard Stetson & Paul Goldy!!!

  • 11-19-18 Display table for model delivered in Narthex.  Thank you Dan Toppin!!!

  • 11-19-18 Detailed floor plan delivered and displayed in Narthex.

  • 11-12-18 BC approval of detailed floor plan for display in Narthex.

  • 11-12-18 BC approval of revised site plan by Maser Consulting for Township hearing.

  • 11-12-18 Congregation member and attorney Gary Salber has volunteered to handle our Site Plan Preliminary & Final Approval legal matters pro bono.  Thank you Gary!!!

  • 9-28-18 Project Timeline revised based on preliminary schedule released by Maser Consulting as Outside Agency approval work commences.

  • 9-15-18  3D Renderings of project posted in Narthex for display.

  • 9-14-18  Trustees approved and signed Maser Consulting P.A. contract for site plan design work following compliance with conditional approval.

  • 9-7-18 BC approval of 3D renderings for display in Narthex.

  • 8-20-18 BC approved construction of 3D model of the addition project by congregation volunteer rather than accepting architect’s proposal.

  • 8-20-18 BC granted conditional approval of site plan design work to Maser Consulting P.A.

  • 7-16-18 The Building Committee reviewed RAA second draft of new building layout that incorporated most of the June punch list changes and voted to release the 80% completed plans to Admin Council and Finance Committee for preliminary review. The BC also rejected the civil engineering firm’s new contract and will be working to negotiate a revised contract so that the site work engineering can commence. Efforts to support our Finance Committee’s funding program startup have commenced since it was announced at July Admin Council meeting that the preliminary cost estimates for the new design appear to meet the new budgetary guidelines.

  • 6-18-18 The Building Committee reviewed RAA (Architect) first draft of redesigned building layout and Morton Buildings cost estimate for the building shell. BC approved the general building shell footprint design, but started a punch list of changes related to the floor plan and exterior finishes for RAA to continue working on.

  • 5-7-18 After gathering further input from various ministry stakeholders, the Building Committee submitted a final draft of the revised Programming Information document to the design team. This is a design team guidance document that summarizes Trinity’s facility ministry needs and planned uses, anticipated capacities and so forth.

  • 5-3-18 Harrison Joint Land Use Planning Board hearing to extend our Preliminary/Final Site Approval was attended by Pastor Ron, Victor Gehring, Rob Notley of New Road Construction, and attorney Beth Marlin of Brown & Connery. All attendees gave testimony as to the reasons for our request and the Board unanimously granted Trinity a 2 year extension.

  • 4-16-18 Design team now working with pre-engineered steel building vendor to coordinate revised addition design.

  • 3-26-18 BC tasked with revising Programming Information document provided by Radey to support redesign effort.

  • 3-12-18 Design meeting at Radey Associates offices with V. Gehring, C. Donofrio and R. Notley to review revised design requirements. Radey anticipates completing draft of schematic plans by early to mid-May.

  • 3-1-18 Trustees granted approval to fund Radey Associates design proposal.

  • 2-19-18 BC unanimously approved a motion to approve Radey Associates design proposal and to retain them to rework the design documents and to forward this recommendation to Trustees for further approval and funding authorization.

  • 1-20-18 Joel meeting with congregation to share project history, plans and progress.

  • 1-19-18 Meeting with New Roads & Radey to discuss building plan changes and request quote for design work

  • 1-15-18 Regular BC meeting. Review slides for Joel meeting.

  • 1-09-18 Morton Buildings delivers conceptual plans and quotation.

  • 1-05-18 Meeting with Morton Buildings to discuss conceptual plans for main structure.



Check out where we are so far! 


Project History

  • Apr 2009 Contract with Architect Signed

  • George Alexander Chair

  • Apr 2014 Twp. Preliminary/Final Site Approval

  • Apr 2014 Generis Evaluation

  • May 2014 Life Center Fundraising Campaign Begins

  • Jan 2015 Chuck Visalli Chair

  • Mar 2015 Victor Gehring Joins BC

  • Mar 2015 Architect Tasked With Expanding Existing Sanctuary & Associated Renovations

  • Apr 2015 Dream Session

  • Apr 2015 Outside Agency Approval Activities Increased Pace

  • July 2015 Architect Attends BC Meeting for Renovation Scoping/Budgeting Discussions

  • Jan 2016 Site Engineering Firm Meets with Twp. Sewer Supervisor and BC Chair to Discuss Sewer Connection Issues

  • Jan 2016 BC Appoints V. Gehring to Design Audio, Visual, Lighting & Security Systems

  • Feb 2016 Acid Producing Soil Sampling (Onsite) for DEP Application

  • Feb 2016 Deed of Consolidation Completed (Joined TUMC’s two land parcels)

  • Jun 2016 NJ DEP Construction Storm Water Authorization Completed

  • Aug 2016 Architect Finished Drawings

  • Sept 2016 Chuck Visalli Passing

  • Oct 2016 NJ DEP Treatment Works Approval (sewer extension) Completed

  • Pastor Glenn Interim BC Chair

  • Nov 2016 Victor Gehring Chair

  • Nov 2016 BC To Complete Outside Agency Approvals

  • Jan 2017 Construction Attorney Hired

  • Feb 2017 Remaining Outside Agency Approvals Completed

  • Feb 2017 Public Bid for CMF

  • Feb 2017 Twp. Extends Site Plan Preliminary/Final Approval

  • Aug 2017 New Road Construction CMF Contract Signed

  • Sept 2017 Building Evaluations Cost Estimate $8.8M

  • Dec 2017 BC Decides to Seek Alternative Plan

  • Dec 2017 Finance Imposes $3.5M Budget for Project

  • Dec 2017 BC Approves Motion Recommending Rt. 322 Land Sale

  • Jan 2018 Morton Buildings Delivers Conceptual Plan

  • Jan 2018 Preparation for Twp. Planning Board Meeting Begins

Project Timeline *Subject To Change*

  • 1Q 2018 Twp. Preliminary/Final Amended Plan Compliance Activity

  • 1Q 2018 Pre-Construction Planning, VE, Cost Est.

  • 2Q 2018 Twp. Preliminary/Final Amended Approval Completed

  • 3Q 2018 Site Plan Design Work Begins

  • 2Q 2019 Outside Agency (non-Township) Approvals Completed

  • 2Q 2019 Congregation Info Meetings

  • 2Q 2019 Charge Conference Approval

  • 2Q 2019 GC Bidding Process

  • 3Q 2019 Bid Award & Mobilization

  • 4Q 2019 Ground Breaking & Site Work Commences

  • 4Q 2019 Addition Construction Begins

  • 2Q 2020 Project Punch List and Closeout

Joel Meeting Summary

The “Joel Meeting” was held for all congregation members to hear reports from all TUMC committees, including the Building Committee, who was to give a comprehensive overview of where the church’s expansion plans currently stand. As such, a brief history of the project was given along with the departure from Plan A and adoption of Plan B as the new direction for the project. Finally, a future projected timeline was shared followed by Q&A.

Project History: Please click here to see the project history.

  • Plan A: This has been the plan that has been in process since its inception in 2009. Unfortunately, in September of 2017, we received a cost estimate of $8.8M which was deemed unaffordable by our financial and business administration folks. This “L-shaped” plan included combining the Life Center addition and renovation of the existing facility totaling 44,260SF of construction. There was also extensive site work to support this project including both new and expanded parking lots and a significant amount of landscaping. All construction was to be “design-build” style, meaning that a general contractor would be custom building the facilities on site according to our architects plans. Essentially, Plan A began as a Life Center addition, then added renovation work to expand the sanctuary and along with the supporting site work, all contributed to making this so expensive.

  • Plan B: In December 2017, the Building Committee had voted to pursue an alternate plan that would be more affordable, yet still meet the majority of the church’s needs. The “U-shaped” site plan concept had previously been proposed in 2009 by the architect, but for a number of technical reasons was not feasible to build at the time. It was shared that the BC had recently met with a firm that specializes in pre-engineered steel buildings who had provided us with a conceptual plan and estimate. Further work on this plan will be needed since our intention was to take as much of the existing Life Center floor plan as possible and place it into the steel building. Photos of another area church using this style of construction were shared to provide a visual representation of what the exterior and interior of such a building would look like.

  • Project Affordability: Even though it was very disappointing to learn that we could not afford to build the facilities we wanted, the BC was still determined to press forward and deliver an affordable plan that complies with the project budget recently set by the Finance Committee and Business Administrator. Trinity has over 60 ministries and events throughout the year and after interviews with many ministry stakeholders, it was determined there is still a compelling need for more space. Additionally, the region around us continues to experience population growth along with the new hospital going up, other commercial construction and another fairly large church plant. We recognize that not meeting the challenge of serving the needs of the growing community could place our mission in jeopardy.

So, there were a number of items that were shared that would help bring the cost of the project down. Among these were placing the renovation work on hold, changing the site plan footprint to reduce earthwork and foundation costs, reducing parking lot size, landscaping reductions, changing from design build to pre-engineered steel construction and reducing the overall square footage. Additionally, we will be working with the design team to plan for potentially phasing sections of the new addition in ways that would allow us to finish them at a later date as our budget permits. Finally, we anticipate using many of the completed items we already paid for with soft costs such as the sewer tie-in approval and lot consolidation, since these items will not need to be changed. With respect to other outside agency approvals, we also anticipate that many of them will only need to be amended and not complete do-overs, thus further leveraging previously expended soft costs.

Your Team: The BC chair expressed his sincere thanks to the committee around him of talented individuals. As an IT Systems Engineer, he is joined by a Retired Plumber, an Environmental Attorney & Engineer, two owner/operator Construction Contractors, a Ret. Naval Shipyard machinist & supervisor of submarine shipyard Operations, a Ret. Bank appraiser & insurance agency owner, a Civil Engineer/Project Manager, and a Commercial Electrician & Foreman. The guidance provided by the pastoral staff has also been invaluable. The team of professionals include New Road Construction Management, Maser Consulting, Radey Assoc. Architects, The DaVinci Group, Brown & Connery, LLP law firm, Holston, MacDonald, Uzdavinis, Ziegler, & Myles law firm and Morton Buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Trinity: If you have a question about our project that you would like answered below, please drop a note in the Building Committee mailbox in the narthex.

  1. Q: Will a prayer garden still be part of the plans? A: Yes, the U-shaped site plan could easily have the prayer garden located in the center of the “U”.

  2. Q: Will the bid package include any renovation work on the existing facility? A: No. Those plans will be filed and placed on hold for the future needs of the church.

  3. Q: Is the existing building to be modified? A: While we do have plans drawn up to modify the existing facility, we will NOT be doing so at this time.  Although when new space is available it will free existing space for some different usage, i.e.  When youth space moves to new space it frees youth room for other uses.  There will be minor modifications made to the existing facility to accommodate the entrance tie-in and utilities requirements.

  4. Q: What are the envisioned uses of the new building? A: Sunday School and Youth-related Uses

    We will have enough room to accommodate our current Sunday school classes that currently cannot meet weekly due to lack of classrooms. We will even have room to add Sunday school classes with the addition.

    Our youth room is no longer big enough to hold the current size of youth groups.  We will be able to meet the Sunday night weekly groups’ needs and have enough room to combine groups and most importantly to grow!  The games played in youth group will move from fellowship hall into the new gym which will give adequate space for activities and allow other adult Sunday night groups to meet without having to compete with the exuberance of our youth groups.  We will be able to play many more games like basketball, volleyball, etc.  If we have enough staff and volunteers, we would have enough space to run multiple age groups at the same time to minimize transportation issues for parents with kids in multiple groups.

    In the future, this space could be used to host youth sports programs with a faith based platform including intramural sports, open gym nights, hosting District Youth activities and so forth.

    • New Recreational Programs

      • Plays by our Church, Christian movies, entertainers, Christian concerts open to community, craft fairs, etc.

    • Missions Support and Expansion  

      • YPATT current program support as well as future expansion plans, Dinner rallies for missions, Hosting the Family Promise Program, Hosting Missionary families, Feeding the needy soup kitchen style.

    • Enhancing Church Fellowship Events

      • Church dinners for entire congregation, church movies and other events that can host our entire Trinity church family. Senior Citizens meeting areas. Small group meeting areas.

    • Other Envisioned Usage

      • Events designed for greater community outreach

      • Expanded meeting break out work areas

      • Hosting large scale meetings for the church conference.

      • Offer two services at the same time.

      • Emergency relief center for members and community.

      • Wedding receptions, celebratory events, larger funerals, baptism gatherings, etc.

      • To offer multiple class type activities.

      • Space for future needs, unknown at this time.

      • AND MOST OF ALL; TO SERVE GOD IN ANY WAY HE DIRECTS US as a congregation to do.

  5. Q: How have the monies from the Life Campaign been used for this project? A: LIFE Campaign monies have been used for two primary purposes:

    (1) Paying for soft costs (typically money paid to design, develop, manage, obtain approvals, permits and bonds for construction projects), building permit related outside agency approvals, design team fees, which to date, have been significant, exceeding one half million dollars.

    (2) Helping to pay off existing mortgage and prior re-financing so as to save money, and to thus free accounts to borrow new project monies.   (Any outstanding mortgage balance would have been rolled into the new mortgage associated with the new building and would have negated much of the savings.)  Our Business Administrator has reported that these financial efforts enabled our financial management team to save over a million dollars in interest payments.

    Thus ALL expenditures of LIFE Campaign monies have gone to enabling the new project to be our final outcome by paying preliminary expenses.  We also have left $400,000 of reserve monies for future expenses.  About 1.1 million of soft cost expenditures and pay off of existing debt have been spent in order to enable us to be free for borrowing on another mortgage for our new project.

New 3D Renderings