By Rebecca McDonald, Office Manager for the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod
After 18 months of work, the relocation team has decided the synod office should stay in its current location. As outlined in the strategic plan, the synod is always looking for ways to streamline its structures to match priorities for mission and ministry. One consideration was the possibility of moving the synod office into a congregation. A relocation team was formed and a “Request For Proposal” was sent. We received proposals from 10 congregations and the local Presbytery.
Seven of the proposals included square footage and rental rates. Of those, five sites were more expensive than our current lease, and two sites were less expensive than our current rent. Both of the sites offering a low monthly rent would require extensive remodeling, in the neighborhood of $150,000.
The team, along with synod staff, considered many factors such as cost, square footage, amenities, and geographical location. We found that congregations are not physically set up to accommodate the needs of our office. Construction or remodeling costs would be significant and raise the question of stewardship.
After exploring comparable commercial sites, the synod office approached the current management company regarding lease renewal. The building proposed a $500/month increase in rent, growing to an $800/month increase by the third year of the lease. We counter-proposed a decrease of $140/month growing to an increase of $200/month by the third year. We are glad to report that the counter proposal was accepted. This will keep us well under our assembly-approved lease budget for the next three years.
Thank you to everyone on the relocation team and to the congregations that graciously considered hosting the synod office.