Stewarding Our Facility

Stewarding Our Facility

November 8, 2021

When you come to Northland for weekend worship services or a small group or any other event, you probably aren’t thinking about things like the doors or faucets or fire alarm systems or emergency lighting. These are things we take for granted in our every day life that are an essential part of our operations as a church. The Northland Facilities Team takes extraordinary care of all of these things and so much more. Led by Jean Cope, this team of two maintenance technicians and eight housekeepers keep our Longwood campus up and running and looking great, all while adhering to a conservative budget. All members of this team have joined our staff since spring of 2019.

This team’s expertise has saved Northland thousands of dollars by doing more work in-house, rather than contracting it out. Our two maintenance technicians, Tim Marino and Brian Silvia, efficiently tackle air conditioning maintenance, plumbing repairs, ceiling and wall damage, lighting upgrades, demolition, and construction, which saves us close to $100,000 a year in contractor costs. Tim is keen on the lights, when asked about savings: “There are about 140 lights in the foyer which we are gradually upgrading to LED. The initial cost is more per bulb, but we save over ten times that in energy in one year. We’ve done around sixty bulbs, which saves us over $10,000 per year. Once all of these lights are upgraded to LED, the energy savings from them being on for four hours a day is over $24,000 per year. We’re also going to tackle the exit signs since they are on 24/7.”

Housekeeping/Safety Coordinator Chantel Banks leads her team of seven, providing coverage for mishaps and needs when guests are on campus, as well as turning around spaces in between groups. This team works well together and takes great pride and ownership in their service to the church.

Their sanitizing efforts were absolutely essential as we opened our doors to the community during the pandemic. If we had to pay a janitorial contractor, along with a mark-up on high-demand materials, the cost would have been much higher than staff housekeeping. We are so blessed to have these amazing people as part of our Northland family. Our housekeeping staff saved Northland $13,000 this year, and that does not include avoiding the additional cost of COVID sanitization. “It’s an incredible blessing and honor to clean God’s house and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ,” says Chantel. “God has continued to bring personal blessings with the people He has allowed me to love on and walk beside in this department. I’m beyond grateful to serve Northland alongside some amazing people while anticipating His mighty love and growth in the lives of those He chooses to bring to housekeeping as we do life together.” 

Northland is also committed to helping folks who come seeking opportunities for community service hours. Many of the people who seek Northland to fulfill these hours are adults trying to get back in right standing with their communities and the authorities. Brian, Tim, and Chantel put great care into providing these opportunities and use their hearts to make meaningful connections. “Working with these men and women allows me to be an example of the love of Jesus, by showing them trust and value, with absolutely no judgment for their reasons for needing community service time,” says Brian Silvia. “Many of the men have not been introduced to God with examples of His greatness, so He allows me a moment in each of these men’s lives to see His goodness. Chantel in housekeeping ministers to the women in the same manner.”

“It’s an incredible blessing and honor to clean God’s house and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.” 

The Facilities Team is always looking for ways to improve processes and reduce costs. For the work that requires outside help, Jean has made a concerted effort to find thorough, knowledgeable, and reasonably priced experts who are available when needed .

“I ask God to reveal the people He wants to do the work, and He always provides,” says Jean. Drawing from her mechanical and process engineering background, she evaluates the expertise of companies the church is already in contractual agreements with, considering their safety practices, professionalism, commitment to community, integrity, and quality of work. She uses online ratings, interviews, and small jobs to evaluate those qualities before entering a long-term contract when seeking new service providers. Bids are accepted, and costs are compared on each scope of work. She has acquired better services to maintain HVAC, elevators, parking lots, fire sprinkler systems, refrigeration, roofs, and roll- up doors, all while saving Northland over $50,000 in the past year. “Sometimes, the best contractor is a Northland congregant, and they give us excellent pro bono service.”

So next time you come to the Northland campus, take a look around and think about all the ministries facilitated by these resources that require care. Say a prayer for those who work hard to keep it all clean and working. 

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