Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another and to Grace during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
We are extremely grateful to all who have pledged their support for the Future of Grace campaign. However, with prayerful consideration, the Bicentennial Committee has made the decision to postpone our campaign until 2021 in light of COVID-19 and its impact on our life in and outside of Grace.
We will send out more details in months to come regarding pledges already made, but all who have made pledges will have the opportunity to revisit their pledges prior to the campaign being finalized. Please feel free to reach out to Jason or Tate with any questions or concerns.
A Future of Grace is looking bright. We are roughly halfway through the campaign and have received a total of $430,643 in pledges. 47 households out of Grace’s 430 households have pledged so far. Our goal is to try to wrap up the campaign by Easter (April 12) so we can look to begin work in 2021.
If you have any questions regarding the campaign, please feel free to ask Jason Voyles or Tate O’Rouke.
Despite some projects being in progress or already complete, the main portion of the capital campaign was officially kicked off at our Annual Parish Meeting on January 26, 2020. Jason Voyles and Tate O’Rouke gave a presentation during the meeting and campaign packets were mailed to member households the following week.
The Sanctuary Plaza project experienced some weather delays but work continues on the corner of Washington Street and Boulevard.
Work began in July to improve the island in the parking lot near our preschool and parish hall.
The plan is based on a short term concept presented in 2016 as part of a multi-phase overall landscape design.
The bald cypress trees, whose knees were coming up in the island and parking lot, and the existing concrete curb will be removed. New stone curbing with either a river rock, or paver gutter, and additional bio-swales, allowing for better drainage from the parking lot to the storm drain, will be added. The island will then be planted with water tolerant drought resistant plantings.
The funding for this particular aspect of the campaign came from 2019 endowment funds available for capital improvements. The parish will remember that the endowment process was clarified and enhanced in 2018 to coordinate between outreach/community ministries and building enhancements.
In addition to our project remodeling the center island, the City of Gainesville has begun an unrelated storm water upgrade project along Boulevard which includes new storm water inlets along the street. A portion of the work is happening in our parking lot where our existing storm water system will tie into the new line being installed by the city.
On Sunday, July 14, Grace Episcopal Church ceremonially broke ground on a new Sanctuary Plaza at the corner of Washington Street and Boulevard. The goal of the project is to enhance the primary entrances to the church sanctuary and to offer a welcoming spot for the community to linger, rest, and converse in the corridor between Brenau University and the Downtown Square. The Plaza development is possible due to a generous gift by Bob and Linda Fowler and their family, stalwart parishioners at Grace whose vision continues to inspire the entire community to imagine how Grace Church can be a faithful presence in the wider area.
The design for the Sanctuary Plaza results in a new open space for the church and the community. With the removal of a large raised planting bed, enhanced pedestrian circulation and a place for respite is created. Close coordination with the city of Gainesville allows the church to improve the public right of way, with decorative brick paving extending from the church property to the curb. Curvilinear concrete seating walls separate paved areas from a new planting bed, filled with mostly native plant species. A swale within the planting bed handles surface runoff with the strategic placement of rock as check dams.
The project is designed by WLA Studio with staff including Dale Jaeger, Project Manager and Principal Landscape Architect and Cameron Yates, Landscape Architect. The Campus Vision and Development Committee, led by Mary Lynn Coyle and Doug McDuff, provided guidance to the design team throughout the process.
Rusty Ligon, director of Gainesville’s Community and Economic Development Department, states “The City is excited about Grace Episcopal Church’s plans for their new Sanctuary Plaza project. We believe this project will not only enhance the aesthetics of the church property but will also provide an inviting public space to the many people who visit the Brenau area every day.”
The Sanctuary Plaza is the first of several projects planned as Grace Church looks toward celebrating its Bicentennial in 2028. Recognizing both its history and current community ministry, Grace Episcopal Church continues to explore how it can share in the ongoing work of Gainesville-Hall County’s Vision 2030 campaign.