In the summer of 2016, following the More Idlewild capital campaign, the Building Committee began working with architects to develop plans for the upcoming project. There are two major project areas:

THE JONES BUILDING will be completely updated and modernized. All the first floor will be the children's center, with it's own outside entrance; on the second floor, recreation facilities will be expanded and the gym remodeled, a new kitchen will be added, and flexible meeting halls and classrooms will be created; and the third floor will be classrooms, a youth area, an updated library, and the pottery studio.  
A NEW MAIN ENTRANCE will be built on the west side, between the Sanctuary and Jones Buildings (where the alley is). It will be large, welcoming, fully accessible and open to both buildings. 
THE SANCTUARY BUILDING will be updated in a few areas only. The Trippeer Chapel will be remodeled and made accessible directly from the new entrance, new restrooms will be added where the kitchen currently is, and small modifications may be made elsewhere.

Following the design and planning stages, we anticipate having a general contractor selected in early 2017 to assist with pre‑construction activities. The preliminary schedule projects construction will begin in the fall of 2017. Phase one of construction, which includes the new Children’s Center, will most likely be completed in June 2018, and we expect the final project to be finished by the end of 2018.


Church Renovations: What to Expect

Take a tour with Mark Jones as he shows you why these renovations are so needed, and what will change. Video by Mark Jones and Henry Coffield. Music by Henry Coffield.


Progress Reports from the Building Committee


Living Faithfully in Midtown

Minute for Mission by Elizabeth Rouse (May 21, 2017)

Since day one, the More Idlewild Campaign and Building Project have been about living as faithfully as we can in Midtown Memphis.

I have been involved in this for several years, and I have never been as excited as I am today. The cleanup day yesterday proved to me that the Building Project pro­cess is going to do major things for our congregation that have nothing to do with buildings. In two years, on the other side of this, we will be a stronger and closer community.

The Building Project is about updating and modernizing the Jones Building facilities and creating a new main entrance on the west side between the Sanctuary Building and the Jones Building.

You can’t see cranes and construction right now — and you won’t for a while — but thanks to the staff and 60 of you who spent yesterday here, you can see dumpsters  filled, rooms in the sanctuary building cleaned out and organized and plans being made for the closing of the Jones Building this summer. 



Moving Forward: Five Core Elements for Reconciling Scope & Budget (April 2017)

The Building Committee and clergy have determined five items as the core elements of this project, and these act as guideposts to help with decisions regarding alterations to the original plan. These five core guideposts are the basis of decision-making when it comes to financial, essential and construction needs of the project.

  • Infrastructure enhancements (heating/cooling in the Jones Building and central plant upgrades/repairs; elevator access to all parts of both buildings; life safety requirements, such as fire sprinklers throughout the Jones Building; and new AV, data systems, and lighting for the Jones Building)
  • A welcoming, fully accessible church entrance (major considerations: west side glass options, door to Trippeer Chapel, fire safety issues with multiple levels open to both buildings)
  • Modern/accessible/flexible meeting, kitchen and dining facilities (extent of demolition and work needed in specific areas; “right-size” kitchen and serving areas, and evaluation of new equipment needs)
  • Safe, state of the art facilities for our children, particularly in the early childhood development center (simplified design, assessing student numbers and needs)
  • Modern/accessible restrooms in both buildings (work with the City to determine fixture count and needs in both Jones Building and sanctuary building restrooms, and evaluate upgrade needs to original sanctuary building restrooms (on the stairs)

The Building Committee works with the architects and construction firms to determine the best actions. Reports are presented to Session each month. Committee members represent as wide as a range of members as possible; they may have varying (or no) construction expertise, have applicable knowledge of the church, and are from several pastoral/ministry units. Here are the committee members: Kirk Bobo and Steve Valentine, chairs; Chick Hill, Betsy Hood, Albert Johnson, Mark Jones, Lisa Mallory, Charlie McCrary, Josh Poag, Elizabeth Rouse, and Joellyn Sullivan, members; and Pastor Steve Montgomery, Doris Hurdle, Rebekah Abel Lamar, Jenni Brooks, and Ginny Moore, staff liaisons.

Update - March 2107

The Session has approved the Building Committee’s recommendation of Linkous Construction Company as pre-construction phase contractor for our building and renovation project. Founded in 1983, Linkous Construction is led by its founder, R.E. Linkous, and his sons, Rusty and Jamie. Jamie and his family are Idlewild members.

A dedicated Linkous team will be working closely with the architectural firm, brg3s, to determine the final plans, details and costs. The project is moving forward in the pre-construction phase. Once this is done, we will be close to a construction date.

The Building Committee is confident that Linkous is the right fit for Idlewild and looks forward to working with their team. The entire Linkous team is well-informed and committed to our project. They have great tenure with Linkous, broad experience and history with church projects. We are especially impressed with their track record and strong client endorsement in working collaboratively with congregations; Germantown Presbyterian Church, Highland Street Church of Christ and the Holy Rosary Parish Life Center are just a few examples. They are very familiar with our neighborhood, as they recently completed the mid-town Kroger.

Stay tuned for more details as the project progresses, and be sure to come to the April 30 potluck featuring tours and trivia.

Update - February 2107

  • We are nearing the final planning stages for the renovation of the Jones Building. As with any big project, planning is key—and because the Jones Building is quite old, preconstruction preparation involves more in-depth work. While we await specific construction dates, we know that some big changes are coming this summer.
  • The Children’s Center will be closed by the end of May. There will not a summer camp. Plans are to open the new Children’s Center in fall 2018.
  • Non-church groups that use the Jones Building have been asked to find new locations by the end of May. (Those include Girl Scouts, HopeWorks, Wings gymnastics, and others.) Events in the Sanctuary Building are not changing.
  • VBS and MAD Camp (June 12-15) will be held in the Jones Building.
  • Other activities could be effected as early as mid-June, Ministry leaders are well into making plans for all our activities and classes during the renovation.
  • Space planning for regular church events (like Sunday school) as well as onsite storage will be coordinated by staff and the building committee; Changes will be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Clearing out the Jones Building and organizing space and storage will be a big project—and many hands will be needed! Watch for ways you can help.

Update - January 2017

The Children's Center will be closing May 26, 2017. Due to the major renovation of the entire Jones Education Building, it has become clear that it will not be possible to offer a safe, quiet and comfortable space for the children’s center during the lengthy construction process. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to close Idlewild Children’s Center at the end of the school year in May.  Our last day will be Friday, May 26, 2017. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall. The Center will reopen in the future, no sooner than Fall 2018.
Read Pastor Steve's letter about the closing.

Update - December 2016 

2016 was a monumental year with the completion of a capital campaign and the beginning of the final design for the building project. The building committee is pleased to report that plans are progressing. The session approved the Architectural and Engineering services agreement with br3s architects. Predesign studies are complete, and the schematic design phase will be wrapped up in the next few months. We anticipate selecting a general contractor to join the project team in early 2017 to assist with pre-construction services.

Our preliminary schedule projects construction will begin in the fall of 2017. Phase one of construction, which includes the new Children’s Center, will most likely be completed in June 2018, and we expect the final project to be finished by the end of 2018. Stay tuned for opportunities to learn more and participate in the future of Idlewild throughout 2017. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the committee.

Update - September 2016

Click here to read the complete update.

The preplanning process is progressing as expected. The architectural firm is brg3s. To start with, all architectural/building plans for the existing buildings have to be digitized and studied. The Jones Building is being examined to see if structural changes are needed. The Building Committee is involved in all aspects. During both planning and building, the Session will review and approve phases as needed.




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