Our History

2001 - November 2010

The Building Committee was established to lay a foundation for a future expansion project. Our congregation began a capital fund campaign with the James Company.

Committee members visited a number of churches that had recently completed worship sanctuary expansions. Insights from visits were discussed and recorded at the meetings. The committee also studied worship architecture resources (like the Architectural Handbook).

Eleven subcommittees were formed to explore various expansion components: Worship and Fine Arts, Music, Fellowship, Parish Education, Technology, Administration/Office, Maintenance/Landscape/Grounds, Finance, Communication, Memorials, Equipment/Decorating/Furnishings. Members of the congregation served on these subcommittees and gathered information related to each ministry space and purpose.

Reports from the subcommittees were compiled and a summary report was presented to the congregation. A detailed 18-page Facility Needs Assessment was also compiled that would be shared with prospective architects/builders in the interview process.

Six architect/design-build firms were interviewed, and Groth Design Group was selected as our architect to devope a master site plan. The process of developing our site plan included a congregation “image test feedback” workshop, input from an advisory group of congregation members, and numerous planning sessions with Groth.

The master site plan was presented to the congregation in February. An ad hoc committee (task force) was formed to study and recommend a goal for a Phase 1 building project. In August, the congregation adopted the ad hoc committee’s Phase 1 recommendation to “build a worship facility and open concept gathering area.” Groth presented cost estimates and options for the project. Pending information about financing, the work of the building committee was suspended in November.

Period of inactivity for the building committee and congregation

December 2010 - February 2011

December 25, 2010
On Christmas Day 2010, Morning Star Congregation President Jim Albrecht made a special announcement to the congregation after the worship service when he read a letter announcing a generous, unsolicited, anonymous gift that will fund the building of a sanctuary and gathering space for Morning Star. Praise be to God, the giver of all good gifts!

Morning Star’s Facility Expansion Task Force has already begun meeting and is interviewing architects. Updates regarding this building project will be posted on our website as things unfold.

January 23, 2011
A congregational open forum was held after the late service at 11:45 AM.

During the open forum, Congregation President Jim Albrecht gave attendees an overview of the anonymous gift and explained what it entailed.

Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) Chairman Jim Fenske provided a brief history of Morning Star’s building committee which was established in 2001, explained why its work was put on hold, and then updated the congregation on the work the FETF has been doing since early December. Some of this work included choosing an architect (Kubala Washatko) and construction manager (Catalyst Construction), pending approval by the voters’ assembly.

Questions and comments from the congregation were encouraged and received throughout the course of the open forum.

President Jim Albrecht also invited forum participants to suggest ideas for our congregation’s response to God’s grace and this special gift. A variety of options were suggested.

A more complete summary as well as detailed minutes of the open forum are available online.

January 30, 2011
A voters’ assemble meeting was held at 11:45 AM, following the late service. The following motions were passed regarding the building project at the meeting:

Morning Star will move forward with the planning and construction of the worship sanctuary and gathering space contingent on the financial commitment of the anonymous donors.

The congregation will thank the anonymous donors for their gifts and support of our congregation.

The congregation authorized the Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) to select and hire the necessary resources for the design and construction of the new facility with construction contingent on approval of the design and budget by the congregation.

The congregation authorized the FETF to borrow up to $50,000 from the restricted Building Fund for design costs until the financing from the donors is in place, if necessary.

The congregation authorized the FETF to spend up to $25,000 of the restricted Building Fund for design costs associated with other construction options related to the building project beyond the scope of the donors’ gift.

An ad hoc committee will be formed and will make recommendations on our congregational response to this gift.

February 6, 2011
Architects from Kubala Washatko (TKWA) and Morning Star’s Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) facilitated a Sunday Open Forum entitled “Patterns.” This open forum served as an important information and feedback session. Our architects got to know our congregation and received our input on 13 pattern issues which will guide them in the design process.

View the slideshow presentation from this open forum.

February 9, 2011
The Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) continues to meet weekly.

There are many different matters that need to be addressed in a relatively short amount of time. Therefore, a variety of sub-committees are currently studying issues such as organ needs, interior design, storage, office space, and financing. Other sub-committees will be activated to react to ideas at the appropriate time in the future.

In the meantime, our architects are diligently working on developing a master site plan that will be presented to the congregation in March.

February 16, 2011
At tonight’s Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) meeting our architect, TKWA, presented a preliminary view of the Master Site Plan (MSP). The purpose of the MSP is to make sure all space needs (both present and future) are accounted for and fit together in a logical way on Morning Star’s property. To support the MSP, a number of simple 3D renderings were presented which showed a variety of potential shapes for the main elements of the MSP. The MSP and 3D renderings will continue to be refined over the next few weeks. Options will then be presented at a congregational voters’ meeting on March 27, 2011.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be sent out to a list of acoustical, civil, and landscape engineering firms over the next week. It is the goal of the FETF to make selections of firms by March 1, 2011, so that these representatives will be available to meet with the architects and the Village of Jackson starting in March.

While it is important to note that many budget issues are still unclear, the donors have indicated that site preparation costs will not be included in the donation and will be the responsibility of Morning Star. The donation is intended for the construction of a sanctuary and gathering space.

February 20, 2011
An open forum was held after the special Covenant Sunday worship service. Items shared with the congregation during the open forum included the following:

An update on the donors’ gift by congregation president Jim Albrecht in which more details as to the means by which the gift will be given as well as what the gift includes and does not include
An update on the work of the Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) by FETF chairman Jim Fenske describing where the architects and FETF are in the process of developing a site plan and in engaging acoustical and civil engineers and a landscape architect, plans to meet with the Village of Jackson planning commission and board, of the formation of subcommittees to study specific planning elements, and the projected building-related schedule for March and groundbreaking (late June into July)
An update by Pastor Charles Raasch on the goals of the task force being formed to explore our response to God’s grace and this special gift.
A detailed summary of this open forum is available online.

February 23, 2011
The Facility Expansion Task Force is currently waiting for proposals to be returned from potential vendors for landscape, civil and acoustical engineering services. Soon, an updated survey of the Morning Star property will also be completed.

Based on feedback from the congregation and sub-committees, our architect, TKWA, continues to refine the master site plan and elevation drawings. The current schedule includes voting on these drawings at a congregational meeting on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

In the future a list will be prepared that will give individuals the opportunity to contribute their time, talents and treasures toward appropriate items or services related to the expansion project.

March 2011

March 1, 2011
As mentioned in last week’s update, our architect is currently refining a master site plan along with elevation drawings.

In order to proceed in more detail, the time has come to hire a number of engineering and design consultants. “Request for proposals” were sent out to a list of potential firms. After studying their proposals, and based on recommendations from TKWA and Catalyst Construction, the Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF) has made the decision to hire the following consultants:

Landscape Engineering: Insite Landscape Design
Civil Engineering: Losik Engineering Design Group
Acoustical and A/V Engineering: AVA Engineering, Inc. (pending)
HVAC Engineering: Frederickson Engineering Lighting Design: LMH Lighting
On March 4, 2011, a variety of representatives involved in the building project attended an informal meeting with the Village of Jackson. It was a very cordial meeting, and there appeared to be a lot of cooperation. Morning Star received a list of about 50 names/addresses of neighbors who will be contacted in the future to invite them to an informational meeting at Morning Star regarding the building project.

March 9, 2011
The music committee visited multiple churches to study music-related issues and listen to a variety of organs. The committee submitted a report giving a number of recommendations. Items include where the organ and other music-related areas should be located along with pros/cons of different electronic organ models.

Midwest Engineering Services, Inc. has recently been hired for geotechnical services. Also, after receiving a formal proposal, AVA Engineering, Inc. has also been hired for acoustical/AV services.

March 15, 2011
Neighbors within 200 feet of Morning Star’s property were notified on Saturday, March 12, 2011, regarding an informational meeting to be held at Morning Star on March 31, 2011.

In order to determine if there may be any useful solar energy options for the new building, Solar Innovations, Inc. has been asked to submit a proposal.

Soil boring will be taken by Sunday, March 20, to determine soil conditions for load bearing and drainage issues.

Catalyst Construction will be consulted as to developing a list of time/talent/treasure donations that may be available to the congregation in the future, related to the building project.

March 22, 2011
The Facility Expansion Task Force (FETF), building project professionals, and our ministry leadership have prepared information to share with the congregation this week. Please take note of the following announcements and events:

Congregation Open Forum this Thursday, March 24, at 7:00 PM: the entire congregation is invited and encouraged to attend. Our architects and other representatives will share updates regarding the building project. Child care will be provided.
Two images of the proposed master site plan are now available for viewing: a campus site plan and the phase I floor plan.
The voters’ meeting scheduled for this Sunday, March 27, has been postponed. Due to ongoing developments with building plans and the project budget, detailed information is not currently available for discussion and adoption. An update on finances will be shared at this Thursday’s open forum. Future congregation meetings are scheduled and included in the open forum agenda sent via email to our members.
By God’s grace, there are exciting opportunities for our congregation’s mission and ministry. Please keep informed and involved regarding developments.

March 23, 2011
The congregation president recently met with the anonymous donors to review the cost estimates for the sanctuary and gathering space. The donors communicated the amount of the gift to Morning Star will be $3 million to be used for our upcoming building project. Praise be to God for the blessings that are bestowed on Morning Star through this gift! The donors also expressed heart-felt appreciation for the many thank you cards received from Morning Star members.

In addition to this gift, Morning Star currently has approximately $500,000 set aside in a restricted building fund. At this time the total project budget is targeted at $3.5 million. The FETF, along with the Coordinating Council, carefully studied the anticipated future seating capacity needs of Morning Star. Based on this study, and to help align the building plans with the targeted budget, TKWA is modifying the drawings of the gathering space and sanctuary to accommodate a comfortable seating capacity of approximately 350.

Along with the sanctuary and gathering space plans, options for an administration office area and multi-purpose meeting room will also be presented at the congregational open forum on Thursday, March 24, at 7:00 PM.

An informal meeting with the village of Jackson is scheduled for March 4, 2011. Our architect and construction manager along with select members of the FETF will attend this meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to present preliminary plans and obtain information from the village that will be helpful in preparing for future formal meetings.

March 25, 2011
View the summary of the March 24th open forum.

March 31, 2011
A special informational meeting was held at Morning Star on Thursday, March 31, at 7:00 PM. The purpose of this meeting was to present the latest information regarding the building project to the residential neighbors of Morning Star and answer any questions they may have. Congregational members were welcome to attend as well.

Since the open forum meeting on March 24, TKWA has been working on modifying the site plan and other drawings.

The next open forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM to discuss plans and construction budget.

A Voters’ Assembly meeting will be held on Sunday, May 1, at 11:45 AM to adopt plans and construction budget.

April 2011

April 5, 2011
On March 31, 2011, an informational meeting with neighbors of Morning Star was held. Many of the concerns that were brought up have been addressed by TKWA in a revised site plan.

After reviewing the modified site plan and elevation drawings, the FETF made a recommendation to the Coordinating Council to approve the current site plan and footprint as presented by TKWA.

Detailed landscaping and lighting plans have also been submitted by the respective consultants.
Project cost estimates are being firmed up with contractors via Catalyst Construction, our construction management firm. We anticipate having accurate construction estimates within the next week.

April 11, 2011
Information and developments regarding the building project emerge every week. Recent updates are now available regarding finances and an FETF recommendation for the building project. Due to this new information, another Congregational Open Forum is scheduled for this coming Sunday, April 17 (Palm Sunday), between worship services (9:20-10:15 AM). Please read the open forum announcement for details.

Our congregation must review the FETF recommendation and determine, by God’s grace and direction, if we are willing and able to adopt it. The Coordinating Council needs to gain a sense of congregational support for the project before making a recommendation to the voters. In order to maintain our current project schedule, we must finalize plans by the end of April. Input at this Palm Sunday open forum will give direction for a final building plan and budget to be discussed at the April 26 open forum and adopted at the May 1 voters’ meeting.

April 12, 2011
As part of the improvements to our site, the large metal storage shed on the northeast side of our property is planned for removal or demolition. Arrangements are being made to have the shed removed by early summer.

Detailed estimates for the sanctuary, gathering space, and site improvements have been provided by Matt Burow from Catalyst Construction. The estimates were reviewed by the FETF and a summary of the figures will be used in discussion at the open forum.

Please stay tuned for volunteer opportunities! We are looking for members who are willing to support the project through their time and talents … no previous experience required. Some of the opportunities include landscaping, progress and final cleaning of the construction area, painting etc. If you are interested in more information, please contact Jim Fenske.

Request for Bids
Attention Morning Star Subcontractors! We are excited to inform you that the first phase of our project will be bidding shortly. We are currently looking for bids on electrical with the balance of trades to bid in June. If you want to be included on the bidders’ list, please contact Matt Burow at Catalyst Construction no later April 20.

If you prefer, you may also contact FETF Chairman, Jim Fenske, and he will pass the information on to Catalyst Construction.

April 18, 2011
For those who were not in attendance at yesterday’s open forum (April 17), the open forum’s minutes and expansion update report and feedback form are available which contain information from the meeting.

The Coordinating Council received verbal and written feedback at the open forum. If you would like to provide feedback, please read the documents linked above and give input to President Jim Albrecht preferably by this Wednesday, April 20. The council will meet this Wednesday to discuss open forum feedback and determine a direction for the April 26 open forum and May 1 voters’ meeting.

April 19, 2011
Metal Shed
The metal shed will soon be dismantled and removed. In order to temporarily store the items currently in the shed, a semi-trailer will be brought on-site. We will be looking for volunteers on April 30 at 9:00 AM to help transfer items from the shed to the trailer. Please watch for an announcement with further details.

To help keep construction costs within budget, please stay tuned for a variety of volunteer opportunities. For example, the Administration area will most likely require a significant amount of volunteer labor to complete the build-out of the offices and reception area. Landscaping is another item that will provide an opportunity for you to help. Additional needs will be communicated in the future. If you are interested in sharing your time/talents in these or any other way, please contact Jim Fenske.

Open Forum
There will be another congregational open forum meeting held this Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM. The latest information regarding the project plan and budget will be presented at this meeting. TKWA will be providing Morning Star with large print-outs of the latest drawings that will be displayed in the lobby by Easter Sunday.

April 27, 2011
The recent open forums have provided an excellent opportunity for feedback, and the FETF has spent a significant amount of time discussing various comments and suggestions. As a result, the committee will be giving TKWA further direction on the following items:

Baptismal Font
To allow for more open space at the entrance to the sanctuary, it was decided that the baptismal font should be moveable, giving it flexibility to be placed in a variety of locations.

We are investigating if there is an alternative to the rain chains. Also, we would like to see the entry garden reduced in size by replacing the one section between the pillars closest to the building with concrete. We would like to see the canopy over this section completely covered at the top, but it would remain open over the rest of the garden area. Some bench seating would also be desired in and around the canopy area.

Altar Guild Storage
The west wall of the altar guild storage area will be made straight allowing for a bit more space in the music storage area.

Foundation Drains
Because our soil is not conducive to absorbing a lot of water, we would like to incorporate foundation drains as a preventative measure around the perimeter of the building.

Metal Shed
We are looking for help on Friday, April 29 (6:00 PM), and Saturday, April 30 (8:30 AM), to move items from the metal shed into temporary storage.

May 2011

May 3, 2011
Please see the minutes from the voters’ meeting held on May 1 to view the recommendations regarding the building project that were passed.

May 4, 2011
Site Plan
The architects have made adjustments to the plan based on feedback from the recent open forum meeting. Some examples include: lengthening of the canopy roof of the main entrance, decreasing the garden space but providing a larger protected area; adding several more handicapped parking spaces and making these 25 feet closer to the entrance; modifying the multi-purpose room walls to reduce cost; and changing the entrance doors to the sanctuary to allow for center access.

The FETF reviewed and approved the detailed plans that the architects will submit to the Jackson Planning Commission on Friday, May 6. The plans included those presented to the congregation and other views that show specific information related to the construction process. The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday,

May 26.
Exterior Colors and Materials
The architects presented samples of brick, roof shingles, wood, and siding materials that will be used in exterior constuction. The materials were selected for color, durability, and value, and were approved by the FETF.

Metal Shed
Permits to allow the metal shed to be removed are being acquired. Power to the shed is being turned off by WE Energies. Most items stored in the shed have now been removed. Thanks to those who helped empty the shed this past weekend.

May 10, 2011
A package of drawings was submitted to the Village of Jackson Planning Commission on Friday, May 6. The site plan and exterior images presented to the village are now finalized and cannot undergo significant changes. The interior plans still do have some flexibility up until the point that construction drawings are completed and bids are accepted. In the meantime, please contact any FETF member with concerns or ideas you may have regarding the interior. Please continue to check for the latest updated drawings on our website.

Jackson Rummage
There are a variety of items that have been in storage for many years that will be given away at the Jackson rummage sale on Saturday, May 14. We are in need of volunteer help on Friday, May 13, at 6:00 PM to help move and prepare items for the rummage give-away.

If all goes well with the village approval process, groundbreaking will occur on Sunday, July 10, 2011, with construction beginning on Monday, July 18. Remember these dates are tentative since there are a number of variables involved.

May 24, 2011
Village of Jackson
The Village Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the Morning Star sanctuary addition at its May 26, 2011, meeting. If the Planning Commission approves the project, the next step would be for it to go before the Village Board for a public hearing at its June 14, 2011, meeting.

The WELS Church Extension Fund has approved Morning Star’s request for a loan for the construction project as well as for the mortgage. The official notification letter with details is expected later this week.

Worship/Arts Committee
A special committee has begun to meet to discuss issues such as furniture selections, artwork and décor, wood/paint/carpet color selections, lighting fixtures, along with a host of other items. The work of this group of talented individuals will be sure to result in a beautiful atmosphere for us in which to worship.

In order to allow space for a fire lane that will run between the school and the soccer field, two playground items (swing set and tetherball pole) will need to be relocated to an area west of the current playground. This will need to be done prior the to site grading that is scheduled to begin on July 18. Volunteers will be needed. Please stay tuned for more info.

Opportunities for Professionals and Non-professionals
Members and friends of Morning Star will be able to offer their services to God and our congregation through the building project. Building trade businesses are invited to bid on this project by submitting the business name and contact person to Carol Zimmerman by June 15. This info will be passed on to the project manager, Catalyst Construction, for bidding. In addition, a list of volunteer opportunities will be distributed by early June. Members will be asked to express interest in serving by returning the form.

May 26, 2011
Seeking Non-Professionals to Serve with the Building Project
Morning Star’s building project provides an opportunity for God’s people to use their unique talents to glorify God and serve others. In addition to labor provided by professionals, non-professionals can roll up their sleeves for the project. A Building Project Volunteer Form has been placed into members’ church boxes, and extra copies are available in the back of the church as well as on the church website (HERE). Please indicate your interest in one or more areas by completing and returning this form to the church office by June 30. Please contact Staff Minister Tom Banaszak with questions or comments.

May 31, 2011
Village of Jackson
On May 26, 2011, building plans were presented at the Village of Jackson Planning Commission meeting. The meeting resulted in a recommendation for approval. We now hope to obtain final approval at the Village Board meeting which is scheduled for June 14, 2011.

Construction Drawings
Morning Star’s architect, TKWA, along with our various engineering consultants have been meeting regularly during normal business hours developing final construction drawings. These drawing are currently about 50% complete.

June-July 2011

June 21, 2011
Village of Jackson
At its June 14, 2011 meeting, the Jackson Village Board approved Morning Star’s building project.

Final construction drawings are currently approximately 75% complete and scheduled to be finished by July 6, 2011. After this they will be sent to the state of Wisconsin for review. Bids for construction work will be accepted between the dates of July 8-22. Groundbreaking is set for July 10 with construction scheduled to begin on August 1. (Demolition begins the week of July 18.)

Electrical Plans
A meeting to discuss electrical plan details with the electrical contractor, MCR Services, is scheduled for June 27, 2011.

Demolition and Playground Move
There are a couple of upcoming projects that will require volunteer help from the congregation:

Prior to construction starting, demolition of the glass entrance to the existing building needs to occur. Tasks will primarily involve cleanup of debris and building of a temporary wall.
Because of a fire lane that will be installed between the existing building and the soccer field, a few components of the current playground need to be relocated.
The above projects are scheduled to be done during the week of July 18. Please express your interest in helping with these and other tasks in the future by filling out the Building Project Volunteer Form (located in the back of church) and returning it to the church office.

June 28, 2011
Development of construction drawings are in the final stages and will soon be forwarded to the state for final approval.

Electrical Needs
The FETF along with members of various sub-committees met with the electrical contractor to go over power and data outlet locations. The goal is to try to anticipate as many electrical needs up front, avoiding change orders later.

The AV committee met with our AV engineer to review preliminary plans. After making a few changes, the committee feels confident that most AV needs have been anticipated. The sound within our new sanctuary should be as beautiful as it will look.

July 10, 2011
Morning Star held a groundbreaking worship service on Sunday, July 10. We praised God for his grace and asked for his blessings on the building project scheduled to begin in August. The service began inside, and the last portion of the service took place outside on the front lawn and parking lot where worshippers broke ground. Over 360 attended this special service. View photos from Groundbreaking Sunday.

July 12, 2011
Old Metal Shed
The old metal shed is now completely empty, and electrical power has been removed. We are hoping to have the shed removed by the beginning of August.

Storage Garage
The existing storage garage needs to be permanently moved to the southern side of the playground area to make room for the new construction. This is currently scheduled to happen during the 3rd week of August.

Original Altar
The original altar (not the one we are currently using in the gym) needs a new home. If you know of another church or organization that might be able to use it, please let either Gretchen Hudock or the church office know. The altar is currently in the storage garage.

List of Bidders
A list of construction bidders has been compiled, and they are currently being given the opportunity to submit bids for various parts of the construction project. Bids are due to Catalyst Construction on July 22, 2011. Shortly thereafter, the bids will be reviewed and selected.

July 22, 2011
List of Bidders
The FETF will meet this Thursday, July 28, to review bids and select the contractors for the project. Excavation will begin the week of August 1.

Temporary Wall in the Entranceway
Prior to the demolition of the north portion of the entranceway, a temporary wall will be constructed in the entranceway. Matt Schmit will oversee this project and, with congregation volunteers, this wall will be constructed on Saturday, July 30. Beginning July 30, access through the entranceway will be blocked off, and the doors on the south end of the building will serve as the primary entranceway during the building project.

Demolition of the Entranceway
Demolition of the north portion of the entranceway is scheduled for the week of August 1. Once the contractors are selected, a specific date will be scheduled for demolition. Congregation volunteers will dispose of the wreckage. These volunteers will also disassemble and pull out a few items of playground equipment along the south edge of the playground where the future fire lane driveway will be located.

July 28, 2011
The FETF met on July 28 to review an extensive list of sub-contractors that have bid on the building project. Choices are being made based on their ability to properly do the job, recommendations from our construction manager, past experience, and, of course, price. Many of the contracts will be awarded within the next week. The FETF is still waiting for final bids from others and will meet to review these in about a week. Overall, it appears at this point that bids are coming in at or slightly below budget.

Construction/excavation equipment will be arriving at Morning Star during the week of August 1.

August - September 2011

August 8, 2011
Beginning of Construction
This is the week that things should start looking dramatically different around here. Grading of the building site as well as the new parking lot area should begin by August 11. The scheduled completion date at this time is May 29, 2012. We ask for God’s blessings on the construction phase of this project.

Web Cam
Catalyst Construction has offered to set up a web cam that will provide real time images of the building project. A link will be added to the Morning Star web page when this is available.

Volunteer Opportunities
There will be a number of opportunities for volunteers in the near future. If you already signed up for a specific task, you will be contacted. Otherwise please watch for notices of upcoming opportunities to help.

August 18, 2011
Excavation got underway this past week, and the east portion of our campus currently has a very different look. A webcam has been installed on the roof of our current building. A link will soon be available for live stream viewing on our church website.

August 23, 2011
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
This coming fall there will be a variety of volunteer opportunities. Some include grass seeding and other landscaping tasks. Please watch for opportunities to serve, and please express your interest in helping.

New Parking Lot
It is expected that the first binding layer of asphalt on the new parking lot will be laid down during the first half of September.

The organ committee has recommended that the type of organ we should purchase is a Rodgers, 2-manual organ.

Garage Move
It is expected that the storage garage will be moved a bit south to its new location by the end of August.

Playground Move
All pieces that needed to be moved have been moved and are being temporarily stored until the building site nears completion.

September 1, 2011
This past week the light poles in the current parking lot were removed and relocated into the new parking area. Much of the underground drainage system has been installed in the new parking lot, and the rough grading is nearly complete. A portion of the excess topsoil will be sold to Liesener Soils, and removal is underway.

The builders are trying to do as much earthwork as possible this fall due to the ideal weather conditions. We are hoping to have the first layer of asphalt laid and striped by the end of this week (Sept. 9). Excavation for the foundation of the church and gathering space begins this week. The vestibule will be demolished later this week or early next week. The timing of these events is dependent on the weather.

September 8, 2011
Earlier this week the garage was relocated to its new foundation, and the demolition of the vestibule took place. Foundation footings and walls are currently being poured. Excavation inside the foundation walls for plumbing and HVAC will take place in the week ahead. Plans are underway to get temporary power to the lights in the garage and new parking lot. The parking lot should be ready for traffic early in the week of September 12.

Continue to check the website for live still-shots taken from our webcam. Additional photos of the building project taken over the past few months up to the present can now be viewed on the Morning Star website.

September 15, 2011
The new parking lot is open for traffic, and the old parking lot is closed to the public and restricted to construction vehicles and workers only. Please enter the campus and access the building using the new driveway on the east edge of our property. A paved walkway connects the new lot to the sidewalk just north of the playground.

Plans are underway to erect temporary lighting along the walkway and in the new parking lot.

Footings and foundation walls of the gathering space and fireside chapel are completed. This allows the mechanical contractors (plumbing, electrical, and HVAC) to get their rough work done while the cement crew continues northward to lay the foundation of the sanctuary. Interior foundation drain tiles will be installed around all footings to ensure that underground mechanical systems aren’t jeopardized by groundwater. This work will continue through September into early October.

September 22, 2011
The dry pond near the driveway entrance is nearly complete. Parking lot islands will be partially filled this fall, and parking lot lights will be operational by Monday, September 26. Foundation drain tile is currently being installed as footings are laid, and footing and foundation walls are nearly complete. Backfilling will begin soon. Heating ducts are currently being installed, the sanitary sewer main line is installed, and additional sewer lines will be installed in the next week or two. Plans are underway to move the existing church sign closer to the driveway entrance and better mark the construction entrance with more signage. Blocks for the fireplace masonry and the firewall (located between the current building and new construction) will soon be laid. The firewall is necessary to avoid installing a sprinkler system in the current building.

September 29, 2011
In an attempt to improve the traction on a portion of the walkway from the parking lot to the building, the concrete floor of the old garage has been scored. Almost all of the footings and foundation walls are complete. Installation of the underground HVAC ductwork system continues.

The wooden framework of the walls in the gathering space is anticipated to begin the week of October 10. Placement of steel and wood beams is scheduled to occur the week of October 17.

Trees in the parking lot islands will be planted this fall. Stabilizing plantings will be seeded in the dry pond areas and berms around the parking lot. Landscaping is subject to weather conditions.

The Lord has blessed the project with great weather and an extremely cooperative and efficient team of contractors!

October - December 2011

October 6, 2011
The project is still on schedule despite a bit of lost time due to last week’s rain. The installation of drain tile around the foundation of the building is completed.

After receiving advice and input from a number of musical experts, the decision was made to purchase a Rodgers Masterpiece model 234B organ. Wiring will be installed to allow the organ to be positioned in the side front or in the back of the church.

Cleaning and other preparations are underway in the garage so that the items stored in the trailer can be returned to the garage by early November.

Weekly time-lapse videos of the building project are now viewable online on Morning Star’s Facebook page. Check the Facebook page weekly to see the progress made. Thank you to Eric Kresser for posting these speedy weekly recaps!

October 13, 2011
Some of the wooden framework of the gathering space walls was erected this past week. In the upcoming week of October 17, the fireplace unit will be installed, and the fireplace chase walls will be built. The underground ductwork will be completed by the end of the week. On October 21 the construction site will be made secure for safe touring of the site on October 23.

October 20, 2011
A gravel driveway was laid connecting the new parking lot to the storage garage. Trees are being planted on the east and west ends of the parking lot islands. The parking lot lights will be replaced with LED lights the week of Oct. 24. Even with the colder days, the project remains on schedule.

October 27, 2011
The decorative brickwork on the fireplace is nearing completion. A crane will be brought on site soon to install the wood glulam beams. The gathering space beams will be installed the week of Oct. 31. The installation of the sanctuary beams begins the week of Nov. 7.

November 3, 2011
Shrubs have been planted along the east edge of the parking lot. As weather permits, the soil and plantings in the parking lot islands will be completed.

The masons are hard at work laying concrete blocks and interior and exterior brickwork facing.

A temporary asphalt patch will be installed along the walkway just west of the old garage foundation.

The installation of the glulam structural beams will begin the week of Nov. 7. Over the next four weeks, sections of the roof will be installed as the beams are set in place.

November 10, 2011
Glulam pillars and beams in the gathering area are being set. The roof framing will follow as sections of beams are installed.

Coming up this week, November 14: roofing of the gathering area will begin, the concrete footings for the entryway canopy piers will be poured, and the final shipment of glulam materials will be delivered.

The concrete block bearing walls are finished, and work will continue on these walls with the interior face brick.

November 17, 2011
A number of congregation members have donated baked goods for the construction workers. The workers want to express their thanks for the thoughtfulness and delicious treats.

Roofing of the gathering space and sanctuary is in full swing. The builders are working as quickly as they can to enclose the building, beginning at the south end and working northward.

December 1, 2011
Installation of the sprinkler system is imminent. Flat roofing of the gathering space is completed. The rest of the gathering space roofing should be finished the week of Dec. 5. Interior steel is also scheduled to be delivered and installed the week of Dec. 5, as is the steel for the entrance canopy. The concrete in areas that will be carpeted and in the mechanical rooms is scheduled to be poured the week of Dec. 12.

Although not part of the building project, the installation of the solar panels on the gym roof has begun. Installation should be complete by the middle of December.

December 8, 2011
The roofing on the gathering space continues. Trenching for water hook up is in progress. Canopy steel should be installed the week of Dec. 12. The roof over the clerestory (high windows in sanctuary) should be constructed around Dec. 14. The siding is scheduled to be started on Dec. 16. Window frames will be installed the week of Dec. 19 with glass windows to follow.

December 14, 2011
The temporary propane heat is now on in the gathering area to protect footings and to begin slowly drying out the glulam beams. Concrete is being poured in parts of the gathering area.

Construction is progressing rapidly with upwards of 40 workers on site on fair weather days. These workers include masons, carpenters, electricians, insulators, roofers, excavators, HVAC and fire protection workers, and those setting wood and steel beams. Additionally, we are blessed to have the expertise of our Catalyst project managers to orchestrate and coordinate the work and workers.

December 22, 2011
The excavation that you see toward the front of the building is for sewer and water laterals. We anticipate additional trenching for natural gas installation around Dec. 30 or shortly thereafter. The clerestory roof should be finished around the beginning of the year. Roofing on the main part of the sanctuary has been delayed for a few days because the roofers do not want to entrap any moisture between the layers of insulation and roofing materials. In addition to all of the obvious work being done on the outside of the structure, much electrical, HVAC, and carpentry work is progressing in the interior of the building. Because of the mild weather, all brickwork is substantially ahead of schedule. Some of the brickwork slated to be done in spring has already been completed! The Lord continues to bless us with weather conditions favorable to construction.

January - February 2012

January 5, 2012
Natural gas in the new building has been hooked up by WE Energies. Windows are being installed in the gathering area. Temporary enclosures are being constructed at the north and south ends of the sanctuary. Other work to enclose the rest of the building continues. Some insulation has been installed in the gathering space and administrative areas. Brickwork on the canopy pillars should take place next week, and all brickwork should be finished by Jan. 14.

January 12, 2012
The new construction is now fully enclosed. All brickwork, inside and out, is complete. (This is way ahead of schedule as it was slated to be finished in spring.) All electrical, mechanical, and plumbing rough-in inspections are done. Sprinkler system piping installation is in process. All of the insulation in the west half of the gathering space is completed. Insulation on the east half of the gathering space should be completed by Jan. 18 which is when drywall installation will begin. Exterior siding is well underway and should be finished by Jan. 20. Work will begin on the finished tongue-and-groove ceiling boards next week (Jan. 16). By Jan. 20 all windows in the gathering space should be installed, and workers will begin to glass-in the clerestory the week of Jan. 23.

January 19, 2012
Drywall installation has begun. Fine details regarding lighting controls, telecommunications, and security and locks are being researched and explored. All the piping for the sprinkler system is on site, and installation is underway. The tongue-and-groove boards are in the process of being installed on the ceiling in the gathering space and should conclude around the end of January. Weather permitting, the siding should be completed by January 27. Clerestory and sanctuary windows should be installed by February 1.

January 26, 2012
Clerestory windows are installed. Installation of the windows in the lower part of the sanctuary should be completed by February 10. Drywall in the gathering space has been hung, and taping and priming of the drywall should be done by February 3. The pouring of concrete for the gathering space floor will begin on February 6. Concrete pouring for the sanctuary is scheduled to start on February 20. All work continues on schedule.

February 2, 2012
Work has recently been concentrated in the gathering space. The priming of the drywall and fire protection piping are completed. The exterior doors in the gathering space will be hung February 6-7, after which the concrete floor in the gathering space will be poured. After the concrete floor is poured, it will be ground, stained, and polished. This process takes 3-4 weeks during which the floor CANNOT BE WALKED ON (even by construction workers).

Nearly all of the windows in the sanctuary have been installed. Insulation in the clerestory ceiling is complete. Workers will begin installing tongue-and-groove ceiling boards in the sanctuary the week of February 6.

February 9, 2012
As of Sunday, February 12, all of the concrete in the gathering space will be poured. All of the windows in the sanctuary are in, and workers are in the process of installing exterior doors. Efforts are now being focused on the sanctuary.

February 16, 2012
The concrete floor will be poured in the sanctuary the week of Feb. 20. It will need to dry and cure for about 3 weeks. Grinding and polishing of the floor in the gathering space and sanctuary will take place in late March.

From late February into March, Morning Star volunteers will be utilized to do finish work in the administration area.

The Lord has blessed the progress of this project. Barring any setbacks, Catalyst Construction anticipates we may gain occupancy around mid-May.

February 23, 2012
The pouring of the concrete floors in the sanctuary will be completed by March 2. Work has begun on the high glass curtain wall on the south end of the sanctuary.

March - April 2012

March 1, 2012
The pouring of the concrete floors in both the gathering space and sanctuary is completed. The floors now need to dry and cure before the grinding and polishing work takes place later in March. The glass curtain wall on the south end of the sanctuary has been installed. Installation of the glass curtain wall on the north end of the sanctuary will begin the week of March 5.

March 8, 2012
The storage area behind the chancel is under construction. The temporary walls that covered the north and south faces of the sanctuary have been removed now that the glass windows have been installed. The grinding of the concrete floor is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 12.

March 15, 2012
The floor grinding process is underway. Grinding and polishing is being done by two shifts of workers to compress the timeframe of this work. This will enable the other trade workers to complete their finishing work in a timely fashion. The concrete finishing work will be completed no later than March 30. A crew of 5-10 Morning Star volunteers will be needed to lay “ramboard” protective covering over the finished floor prior to April 1.

Concrete stoops/approaches to exterior doors have been poured. The glass/framework and doors of the main entrance of the gathering space and the two remaining parking lot light poles will be installed the week of March 19. Weather permitting, site work will resume. This site work includes the small dry pond south of the storage garage and the other small dry pond on the northwest portion of our property. To carry out this site work, some or all of the construction fence will be removed.

A crew of Morning Star volunteers will begin finishing work in the administrative area the week of March 19 (drop ceiling, interior doors and windows, millwork, etc.).

March 23, 2012
The grinding, staining, and polishing of the floor in the gathering space has been completed. Volunteers have laid ramboard flooring to protect the gathering space floor during construction. This will enable painters, carpenters, and other trades to continue with finish work in the gathering space.

The grinding and polishing of the floor in the sanctuary continues and is scheduled to be completed by March 30.

Morning Star volunteers are currently installing the suspended ceiling in the administrative office area.

The final weeks of the construction project will offer more volunteer opportunities.

March 29, 2012
The removal of the old parking lot south of the gathering space is underway. This next week, weather permitting, more site work on the west side of the building will be done including construction of the small dry pond and a fire lane. As site work continues, final finished grading will begin. Installation of the gridwork for the suspended ceilings in the office and gathering space areas is almost complete. Protective ramboard flooring in the sanctuary will be laid March 30. Internal finished carpentry work continues.

April 5, 2012
Downspouts are being tied into the drainage system. With continued dry, favorable weather, work will continue on the dry ponds. Excavated dirt from the dry ponds will be used as fill around the building. The entryway doors have been installed, and interior doors are being hung. Interior window trim is being installed. The tilework in the bathrooms is nearing completion. Bathroom partitions may be installed the week of April 9. Finish work throughout the facility continues. Please make a point to drive past the church at night and view how the cross is illuminated.

April 12, 2012
Finish work for all trades continues. Installation of the sound system and projection system is underway. The louvers that will be surrounding the cross will be delivered Monday, April 16, and will be installed Monday and Tuesday. Volunteers are needed at 4:30 PM on April 19 to remove the ramboard from the sanctuary. The construction workers’ cleaning of the clerestory is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 20. On April 23 the projection screens, acoustical panels, pews, and chancel furniture will be delivered and will be installed on the days following.

April 19, 2012
The louvers surrounding the cross in the sanctuary have been installed. Cleaning of the clerestory is complete. Much of the cabinetry in the altar guild area, administration area, and kitchenette is in the process of being installed. Work continues on the framing of the interior glass. Installation of the sound system and projection system is underway. Site work continues. Early this week the projection screens, acoustical panels, pews, and chancel furniture will be delivered and will be installed on the days following.

April 26, 2012
Installation of a number of things was completed this last week including interior glass, pews, bathroom sinks, carpet in the administrative area, acoustical panels in the sanctuary, projection screens, and the large outdoor cross. The pew chairs, altar, and pulpit have been delivered. The organ will be delivered Monday, April 30. The carpet in the sanctuary and the toilet partitions in the restrooms will be installed this next week. Site work is progressing as weather permits.

May - June 2012

May 3, 2012
Finish work inside and outside continues on schedule. Thank you to the many Morning Star volunteers who have served in various projects in recent weeks. Many volunteer opportunities lie ahead. Look for future email announcements regarding these opportunities.

May 10, 2012
Most of the cabinetry and countertops in the administrative area and altar guild room are installed. The dishwasher installation and cabinetry in the kitchenette is completed. Finish details in the fireside chapel near completion. Restrooms are nearly finished. Sound and projection systems are nearing completion. The organ has been delivered. Site work continues as weather and soil conditions allow.

Wood blinds will be installed on the glass wall of the altar guild room. Shades are scheduled to be installed on the south end and side windows of the sanctuary and the south end of the fireplace chapel.

May 17, 2012
The trees and plantings which go around the new building have been ordered and will be installed by professionals (to ensure the warranty) during the week of May 21. More plantings by our volunteers will follow in the near future. Many final interior details are being completed, and we hope to obtain an occupancy permit by May 23. The final layer of asphalt will be laid after the school year ends.

May 24, 2012
The professional landscaping is nearing completion. Many final interior details are being completed. The new phone system will be installed in the church and school over Memorial Weekend.

The second layer of asphalt will be applied to the parking lot on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29 and 30. This means that we are not allowed to use the parking lot on those two days. If you need to access the building during this time, please park on the street and use the sidewalk and walking paths to reach the entryway and enter the building.

May 27, 2012
The first worship services in our new sanctuary took place on Sunday, May 27, 2012! Praise God for his abundant blessings!

May 31, 2012
The new phone system was installed in the church and school over Memorial Weekend. The second layer of asphalt was applied to the parking lot this past week. Final interior and exterior detail work continues. Furnishings for the gathering space have been delivered (Saturday, June 1).

June 17, 2012 – Dedication Sunday
Over 1000 people attended the dedication services held over the weekend. 110+ people participated in the music through the adult and children’s choirs, children’s chimes, brass, and orchestra.
8:00 & 10:30 AM: Dedication Worship Service (same service early and late) followed by coffee and cookie fellowship
3:00 PM: Dedication Celebration Worship Service with guest preacher Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Prof. Richard Gurgel (former pastor at David’s Star when Morning Star was started), liturgist Pastor Charles Raasch, and guest liturgist Pastor Daniel Schroeder (pastor at Risen Savior, Chula Vista, CA, and Morning Star’s first pastor) followed by a light lunch served in the gymnasium
What an amazing way to celebrate the blessings of our Heavenly Father and glorify him on Father’s Day!