Open House at Knox is February 25!
Tour the renovated areas of the Knox Building between services and after the 11:00am service. Coffee & Conversation will be in the new Social Hall!
The Campaign for Tomorrow raised more than $1.4 million towards rebuilding areas at Knox Church that are used by children, youth and missions. Your donations to the Campaign already are making life-changing differences elsewhere in Cincinnati — and in Uganda, and in Israel.
February 19, 2018: A sneak peek of the Social Hall. It’s no secret that one of the most under-utilized spaces at Knox is the lower level Social Hall. It had been years since that space was updated, despite the need for a meeting room that could handle medium-sized groups that were too small for the Commons, and too large for spaces like the Knox Room. But that’s not the case anymore, as the “new” Social Hall is now a modern, bright, flexible and welcoming room! The space has been restyled from top to bottom, with new floors, walls and ceilings—plus comfortable new furniture that can be arranged to suit a wide variety of meeting needs. There is a new kitchen that will help better facilitate group meetings, youth events and Coffee & Conversation (during C&C, parents of young children will enjoy the fact that their children will be in classrooms just down the hall). Restrooms have been modernized, and we now have ADA-compliant facilities on each floor. And that’s just part of the story! Join us next week and tour the new room with your Knox friends, and be prepared to get excited.
February 12, 2018: A sneak peek of the Youth Room and lower level classrooms. Unlike many denominational churches, Knox
continues to add families with children to its rolls. An active youth ministry and strong Sunday School are cited by those families as reasons why they chose Knox. That’s why a focus of the Campaign for Tomorrow was to prepare Knox to better serve children and
youth—and nowhere is that work more visible than the renovations to the Youth Room and lower level classrooms, including the preschool. Rooms are brighter and feature new, durable flooring. Hallways have new lighting. Furnishings are more attractive and durable, and allow rooms to be easily arranged for a variety of needs. Starting after the Open House, children through grade 7 will meet in the lower level. This was made at the suggestion of parents and Christian Education leaders so that younger children will be all together and close to the Coffee & Conversation, also moving to the Social Hall on a trial basis.
February 6, 2018: The Jerusalem International YMCA Annual Report includes mention of Knox's support of their Peace Preschool. Click here to see the report: Jerusalem YMCA annual report.
February 5, 2018: A sneak peek at the Knox Room. One of the most-used areas of the Knox Church building is the Knox Room. It’s used not only for Knox staff and committee meetings, it’s also the “front room” of Knox that families count on for quiet space ahead of weddings, funerals, baptisms and other life events. Renovations to the Knox Room, funded by the Campaign for Tomorrow, include refurbished flooring, more flexible meeting space made possible by all-new furniture, and new, updated décor and accessories.
At the same time, the Michigan Avenue lobby, just outside the Knox Room, is being repurposed to become the main entrance to the Knox facility at times other than Sunday morning worship. New flooring, fresh paint, and a new welcome/reception desk are among the improvements there. Signage on outside doors around Knox will direct visitors to use the Michigan Avenue entry during all weekday business hours.
January 29, 2018: A sneak peek at the Third Floor. Renovations on the third floor of Knox were designed to provide improved space for our Interfaith Hospitality Network guests, brighter and more modern class rooms, and improved meeting spaces for Knox committees and community groups. As design and construction progressed, ideas provided by the Knox IHN team, the Christian Education Committee and others were applied (including a trial of holding Sunday School classes in the lower level so they would be nearer to coffee hour in the Social Hall). Even though we eventually spent more on building renovations than initially planned—thanks to the generosity of Knox members and their gifts—the plan to remove a large portion of the hallway wall proved to be not feasible as it involved extensive engineering and structural work that would have included installation of a post descending from the third floor, through the Michigan Avenue entry area, and all the way to the basement. However, the renovation now includes ADA-accessible restrooms (we now have handicapped accessible restrooms on all three floors) as well as a greatly improved IHN kitchen area. Furniture, signage and other décor will be arriving shortly.
December 2017: The news just keeps getting better for the Campaign for Tomorrow! We’re very happy to report that the building renovations will be completed by the end of January—the Social Hall and lower level, the Michigan Avenue entry and Knox Room, the third floor and HVAC improvements all will be ready to serve Knox and our community for many years to come.
What’s more, all of this work was completed within budget, thanks to the diligent efforts of the steering committee and the many Knox volunteers who have been helping with this project. This budget news has freed us to pursue our mission-based stretch goals as defined in the original Campaign proposal that the congregation approved in September 2016.
At its December meeting, The Session enthusiastically approved a recommendation by the Mission and Social Concerns Committee to:
- Release funds for the construction of a second school in rural Uganda to benefit children who do not have access to an education facility.
- Launch a new after-school program for Muslim, Jewish and Christian children at the Jerusalem International YMCA, helping them to build peace by understanding each other better.
More information on our mission work—and the unveiling of the new Knox spaces—will be part of the Knox Church Annual Meeting of the Congregation in February.
In Kigarama, Uganda, construction is complete on a school for 300+ students. The school was built by Kigarama villagers under the direction of our partner, Building Tomorrow. Nearly 200 children in Kigarama do not attend school, as the closest facility is an 11-mile walk from the village. The Campaign for Tomorrow funded all of this work through a $35,000 investment.
The Jerusalem International YMCA in Israel has received $15,000 from Knox and has used that money to train Arab and Israeli teachers at its Peace Pre-School, attended by more than 100 Muslim, Jewish and Christian children from 10 months to five years of age. Children are learning to understand and appreciate the differences in their faith traditions, and that living together in peace is both desirable and attainable.
At Third Church, we have provided $30,000 to support the operating costs of that congregation. By taking away the pressure of constantly raising funds to keep its doors open, we believed we could help devote more energy toward serving its community—and that strategy is working, as Third’s programs targeting neighborhood children are thriving. The church is completing plans to build an outdoor basketball court (also supported by your donation to the Campaign), a fresh produce garden, and badly needed renovations to make its facility safer, more efficient and inviting.
Here at Knox, construction is underway on renovations for areas used by our children and youth, as well as in welcoming and hospitality. Demolition in the lower level is complete, and classrooms in that area are now open. All of our classrooms in other areas of the building will be fully refurbished and furnished by the end of the year. The all-new Social Hall is scheduled to open in December, as well as the Knox Room and Michigan Avenue.
- As with many construction projects, our bids came in a bit higher than we anticipated. We have done the hard work of finding plan modifications that stay within budget while maintaining the integrity of our mission.
- As we near completion of construction and imagine together the new and continued uses of our building, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
It’s a good time to be a member of Knox Church. Your heart for giving, your vision of a better future, and your willingness to further the realm of God on behalf of all whom we serve is making a difference.