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Remodeling Committee Update

Floor Plan and Room Images (not final – still under discussion):

Updated Meeting Minutes



The Remodel Committee has set a two-year timeline for the project from May, 2016 to May, 2018. We’re currently on track in a requirements and planning phase. 

Our primary goal for the remodel is to create a welcoming space for people to connect, especially on the sanctuary level, for use throughout the week. Bethel’s space is well used by members and staff and 60 outside groups. 

The requirements phase has been a time for listening as well as practical imagining and practical decisions. One decision postpones adding a new elevator at the parking lot entrance. The cost of the elevator is estimated at $750,000. If we added a new elevator now, we couldn’t do much else.

Instead, we’re considering a new and improved lift and new controls in an existing elevator. Similarly, rather than replace mechanical systems because they’re past their theoretical useful life, we will replace when necessary. For example, one of six air handlers needs to be replaced but our two vintage boilers recently passed inspection and are good for another three years.  

Some exciting possibilities that have resulted from our practical imagining including ‘going solar’ (inspired by the Caring for Creation Committee), creating a prayer labyrinth and the transformation of the choir room into an appealing rehearsal and recital space, all which can be done for relatively low cost as part of the total package. The solar project would seek significant support from outside investors. [Addendum: The prayer labyrinth project has been deferred.]

Priorities for the remodel include moving the archives, currently walled between the Emmaus Room and Library, and opening the space to the windows along Johnson Street. This will create a more spacious Emmaus Room with better ambiance, a permanent coffee space and conversation areas. The space will continue to be multi-purpose with the ability to section off temporary meeting rooms.

The nursery will be moved from a corner in the lower level into space adjacent to the Emmaus Room. Restrooms on the sanctuary level will get a much needed update which will make them larger and more accessible to people with children and with mobility issues.  

We already have a new welcome mat with the new walkway and patio leading to the parking lot entrance. We will add banners and possibly exterior art as a friendly way to say “come in.” Relocating the reception desk to the parking lot foyer will further enhance the welcome.

Members of the committee are in the Good Shepherd Chapel the second Sunday of the month to talk about the project and answer questions. Bring your coffee and visit with us next month. 

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Serving all and God’s world

At Bethel, an outpouring of mission and service are the natural response to the grace and mercy we have been given by God through Jesus Christ.

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Celebrating Over 160 Years

In 1853, Rev. H.A. Preus rode into Madison by horse to lead the first worship at Bethel.

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Loving One Another through faith, community and care

This is our life of discipleship, fellowship and care.  All of those ministries are in this section.

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Living Lives of Worship and Praise

Our life is focused in praise of God. Everything around our worship life is in this section.