Two weeks ago you walked into a bright new building. As many of you know we are planning some updates in the auditorium as well. We think it is important to be open as a leadership about what our plans are.
Immediately when we began looking at some changes in the auditorium we noticed 2 problems:
1. We don’t have enough space. Many church experts say that when your auditorium is 80% full you are full. Our churchaverages about 80 - 90% full most Sundays. As an eldership we began thinking of ways to allow Northwest to grow. We looked at knocking down the back wall, but that was cost prohibitive. We have talked about doing a second service, which is still something we are exploring, but we would like to be together as much as possible.
2. Our pews are 30 years old and are worn out and dated. Seats have stains, punctures in foam, not to mention 30 years of use.
a. We looked at reupholstering our pews and redoing foam. The cost was close to installing new pews and doesn’t allow for growth.
b. We looked at new pews, but again we still can’t provide space to grow.
c. We looked at church chairs, but it doesn’t allow any extra seats, and our auditorium slopes so you feel like you are leaning forward. In addition chairs don’t have a long life span.
NONE OF THESE OPTIONS ALLOWED US THE ROOM TO GROW.
Then we ran across a company that could potentially solve both of these problems called series seating. They specialize in seating for churches and they offer a unique way for churches to maximize their seating without knocking down any walls.
Our current pews seat comfortably about 500. With this new seating company we can comfortably seat about 680 people without eliminating comfort or space to get in and out of the rows. How? Pews are bulky, they are 24” inches deep and there is a lot of extra wood. The seating we are installing are only 21 inches deep allowing us to install enough extra rows to add up to 180 extra seats with the same amount of space between rows. We currently have 12” of space between the fronts of the seat to the back of the next pew. With these stadium seats down we will retain 12” of space, but with the seats up this allows an additional 7 inches for people to go in and out of the rows.
A few other benefits of the seating…
· They are low maintenance.
· They are easier and less expensive to reupholster… zip on zip off fabric.
· It allows us to expand seamlessly when we are able to move back wall to allow for more growth.
· No arms so if you still want to spread out over two seats you can.
· More appealing to unchurched, updates our church for the next 30 years.
· These seats are very comfortable!
There may be a few concerns you have based on what you have observed with traditional stadium seating.
1. Traditional stadium seats are spring loaded and can fold up on small children. They need a certain amount of weight to hold seat down. These are weight balanced, you can actually put a songbook on the front of the seat and the seat will remain down meaning it will not collapse on small children.
2. Traditional stadium seating can be loud because of their spring mechanism. These seats are quiet. Since there are no springs there is not the loud noises associated with traditional stadium seating
3. Cost is always one of our top concerns. Pews are about 6% cheaper than stadium seating, but with the ability to grow, and to seamlessly plan for future growth this is an investment we feel is well worth it.
We know there is a lot of change happening around you all at once and it is really exciting, but it can be a little overwhelming, too. We want to thank you for being patient with us and the changes that have occurred and will occur.