CHICAGO, IL (August 2, 2010) – Offices of the Evangelical Covenant Church will relocate to the Covenant’s new administrative home near O’Hare International Airport in mid-September, with a decommissioning service planned for the current building located adjacent to the Swedish Covenant Hospital campus.
The new home, a six-story building purchased last year, formerly housed a Bank of America branch operation and related bank offices. Covenant employees will begin work in the renovated office space on Monday, September 13.
Relocation discussions have been ongoing for the past 15 years. The building at 5101 North Francisco Avenue, which has housed Covenant offices since 1948, had become functionally obsolete as well as unable to house the entire staff. The hospital’s need for the property for its own campus expansion – combined with a soft commercial real estate market that provided quality, affordable options – brought important considerations into alignment.
Three Covenant ministry locations will be consolidated into one, including the 5101 North Francisco offices, the offices of Christian Formation and Ordered Ministry at 3311 West Foster Avenue, and the offices of Covenant Trust Company, currently housed in leased space at 5215 Old Orchard Road in Skokie.
The new building provides additional cost savings in several areas, notes Steve Dawson, who has provided leadership to the building renovation project. Various boards, commissions and other Covenant groups – including the Executive Board – will meet in the new facility, eliminating the need for costly hotel meeting room space. The building is in close proximity to hotels, public transportation and the airport, which means groups can use public transportation from the airport and can walk from a hotel to the facility.
Enhanced technology will allow video conferencing, which can be used to eliminate travel expenses, as well as a more robust copying capability, which allowed closure of the print shop and elimination of related expenses.
A new media center will allow production of video content for Covenant website use as well as major Covenant events and curriculum.
A number of mechanical efficiencies were introduced during the renovation work that will make the building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Acquisition and renovation of the building will have no negative impact on the Covenant’s operating funds as those costs are covered by proceeds from the sale of the current 5101 facility to the hospital and other facility related funds that had been set aside.
A decommissioning service for the current facility will be conducted on Monday, August 30 (see separate story elsewhere in the online news report). Plans call for the building to be razed in the fall as part of the hospital’s campus development plan.