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SvN to present on current challenges facing places of worship

SvN continues to develop an emerging design and consulting service for churches and places of worship. For many years, SvN has helped churches access innovative funding, develop new community outreach, and redesign of spaces and buildings. Today’s environment for churches presents new challenges.

Places of worship are struggling to address a number of new issues including:

  • how to plan for new forms of worship and expression of faith
  • how to meet emerging community needs for seniors and young people
  • how to maximize the value and location of church property in a neighborhood for all residents to enjoy
  • how to financially plan for maintenance and restoration of church buildings that are beyond the capital budgets of congregations.

Most importantly, church boards and committees are searching to understand the language of property and development. SvN is working with congregations from the United Church, Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Baptist Church to provide new insight and design approaches to site planning, building restoration and housing design and construction. SvN assisted The Salvation Army in Scarborough, Ontario through innovative funding and design to create the Scarborough Citadel, a new 480 seat sanctuary, residential units, Sunday school, gymnasium, administrative offices plus 158 units of non-profit housing. SvN is currently designing Immanuel Village in Winnipeg, a 21-unit housing development that will meet the needs of seniors who want to stay in the familiar neighbourhood they love, as well as allow young people to access the housing market. SvN works consistently with The United Church of Canada to prepare feasibility studies for churches in Ontario and Manitoba. Each report analyzes adaptive opportunities for church facilities where the congregations are diminishing and want to consider new purposes for buildings and sites.

SvN provides the preliminary information required to consider development options that generate revenue for the church, and prepares schematic scenarios to be adapted as market units, affordable housing, social housing or student housing. We also provide demographic and market research, relative market values of the property, the associated regulatory framework, capital cost estimates, projected revenue stream, and management and operational recommendations. This information gives the church the necessary tools to enter into informed decisions with developers, government agencies and potential funders.

SvN will be speaking on this topic at these upcoming conferences:

CanU9 Summit September 2017

The Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU) was incorporated in 2009 as a national interdisciplinary body to provide advocacy, best practices and shared experience in the building of cities and communities. This year’s CanU summit will take place this fall in Winnipeg from September 13-16th. This year’s theme, City Making Math: The Art & Science of Urban Design will explore how we quantify and analyse the decisions that go into better urban design and development. Barbara Myers will participate in a panel called Infill Growth is Sacred and Smart!, speaking about SvN’s work with churches who are redeveloping their sites for new purposes and community participation.

CAPITALizing on Heritage Conference October 2017

Barbara Myers will also be presenting at the Association for Preservation Technology and National Trust Joint Conference 2017, CAPITALizing on HERITAGE in Ottawa, October 11-14, 2017. She will speak on Regeneration of Historic Church Properties that are taking place across the country.

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