GET CONNECTED with our CHURCH FAMILY … responding to human need


December 28, 2020 Update:

At the December 3, 2020 called meeting of Session, approval was given for Lewinsville Trustees to sign a contract with Whitener & Jackson, Inc., general contractors, to begin the long-awaited renovation of Heritage Hall.

The parties agreed to a construction cost of $5,433,000. The total cost does not include construction expenses already incurred or related expenses, e.g., architects’ fees, county fees and permits, attorneys, furniture, furnishings and contingency costs—all of which are expected to bring the total cost of the entire project to a bit more than $7 million. In order to keep the project costs within our budget, a number of difficult decisions were made by the Building Task Force, not the least of which was the decision to delete the six-foot extension of St. Andrews Hall toward the cemetery, thus saving several hundred thousand dollars.

Whitener & Jackson expects the renovation to take a minimum of twelve months to complete but no more than fifteen months.

We will continue to offer pre-recorded services weekly just as we have since the COVID pandemic shut down in-person worship services in mid-March. Livestreaming of services with limited staff participation is being planned for our near future although no dates have been set. Installation of lighting upgrades in the sanctuary has already begun and will facilitate our ability to offer livestreaming. New equipment has been installed at the A/V console to improve the quality of video shared on the internet.

October 15, 2020 Update:

Fairfax County has finally issued a building permit to Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, giving a green light to our contractor to begin the physical work necessary for our renovation project. The only step remaining is the signing of a contract with Whitener-Jackson, a big step, of course, but likely to take place over the next few days.  A final budget number will be plugged into the contract when a Building Task Force subcommittee finishes “value engineering” the project to make sure we, indeed, are getting full value for our dollars in terms of materials and equipment selected.

In the December newsletter, we hope to have for you a tentative construction schedule outlining major activity anticipated over the next 10 to 12 months.

When the contract with Whitener-Jackson is signed by Lewinsville trustees, the next step will be to order bricks and steel, and begin demolition. We are underway!

September 1, 2020 Update:

In spite of the health crisis we are experiencing, the building task force, through the magic of ZOOM meetings, has kept us on a path to see serious demolition this month.

All furniture, educational materials and important church documents/records have been moved to off-campus storage for the duration of the renovation. Tile flooring has been removed from all three levels. A project manager has been retained to oversee the entire effort.

The new Heritage Hall will be capable of launching a variety of new ministries to serve our community and beyond. Adult program coordinators, for example, may choose to livestream a lecture series to an internet community that has never experienced Lewinsville teaching. Each classroom will be equipped with the technology required.

We are at the half way point in our 36-month capital campaign, and have received more than sixty percent of the total dollars pledged. If you have not made a pledge or contributed a generous gift for this project, there is still time to get onboard. You may make a gift or pledge online from the website, And if you find yourself slightly behind on your pledge payments today, now is a good time to catch up, if you are able.

“These are exciting times for Lewinsville,” said Pastor Scott Ramsey. “These renovations will equip Lewinsville to pursue our purpose of loving and serving God by responding to human need in fresh, innovative, and faithful ways.”

Watch for regular progress reports in the newsletter and periodic updates in the online Sunday worship services.

August 20, 2020 Update:

The Building Task Force reports it is waiting on approval of several last minute permits from the county before it can finally begin the renovation project. While this wait continues, several subcommittees continue their work: tweaking construction priorities, revamping budgets, selecting furnishings and finishes–to name a few. 

The good news is that all required asbestos removal has been completed.  Bob Clark, Jen Dunfee and Steve Kirkland have moved from Heritage Hall and established temporary quarters in the main office complex. Our contract with Whitener-Jackson construction company is also undergoing final negotiation. We have made progress on a significant number of details, aware that our ultimate success is dependent upon making correct decisions on the details.

June 17 2020 Update:

After more than three years of planning, exploring options, probing possibilities, and reviewing architectural drawings, we find ourselves now in a “hurry up and wait” posture. Here’s why:

  • Final drawings have been submitted to the contractor who is now in the process of collecting bids to determine final cost of the project.
  • A building permit is expected from the county as early as the end of July, but may be a bit later.

And while we wait on the outcome of those activities, various subcommittees of the Building Task Force have been hard at work boxing up, wrapping up, and storing all remaining “loose” materials from Heritage Hall. Most of the materials will be placed in off-campus storage.

When the doors are opened in September 2021, we will be handed the stewardship of a state-of-the-art education center, equipped with the latest communications tools. Altogether, twenty-two digital displays will be sprinkled throughout the classrooms and major gathering places, and each capable of accommodating virtually every digital format in use today. The new Heritage Hall will be the anchor point for new ministries in the Northern Virginia community and far beyond.

Below are three images from the drawings as submitted to officials of Fairfax County to review prior to issuing the highly coveted building permit which we must have before we can continue. Click on an image to open in full size in new window.

North Wall

West Wall

East Entrance

May 5, 2020 Update:

The Covid-19 pandemic punched a hole in our renovation plans for Heritage Hall. We had hoped for a groundbreaking at the end of May with construction to start in June.  Now it appears more likely that construction will begin in late July to early August.

In the interim, many details must be resolved: (1) Final construction documents must be approved by Fairfax County, and a building permit must be issued; (2) Bid drawings must go to subcontractors and vendors whose cost estimates will determine a final budget for our project; (3) A complete scouring of Heritage Hall must be conducted for furnishings and materials destined for long term or short term storage. On campus storage will consist of typical PODS which will enable teachers to have ready access to materials they may need during the construction period.

Members may have noticed that a majority of outside groups that have enjoyed the convenience of meeting space in Heritage Hall have already found new homes for the duration of the renovation. A few are still making arrangements for their regular meetings.

March 19, 2020 Update:

Disruption and dislocation forced upon our lives by the arrival of the coronavirus has also forced the many groups that have been conducting regular meetings in Heritage Hall to seek earlier than expected moves to alternative venues. Most had already planned to be out of the building by June 1 to accommodate our renovation. Still we regret the inconvenience to all of them.

As of this writing our architect and general contractor are working closely with Fairfax County to gain approval of final permits. Securing the various permits required for this ambitious project has been a time consuming but necessary exercise.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has pushed our timetable for a groundbreaking and initial construction into June—perhaps longer. Details will be announced in the May newsletter.

Funds contributed by members for the renovation project have been invested by the Foundation in short term CDs that are fully insured. That should bring some comfort to those who have made generous contributions to this highly anticipated project.

February Update:

Almost one year has passed since the kick-off of the Trail Blazer Capital Campaign, and the enthusiastic support of the congregation has been remarkable. The committee has recorded 172 pledges thus far totaling $4,770,870. When combined with $1.5 million pledged by the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church Foundation, the total amount pledged is $6,270,870. 

The first of the three pledge years has resulted in cash and cash equivalents totaling $2,171,902.96. And we are on schedule to reach a minimum of $6.3 million by the end of 2021.  Perhaps the best measure of enthusiasm for plans to renovate Heritage Hall is this statistic: 46 percent of all pledges have been paid in full.

Most recently a number of pledgers have asked if they can meet their pledge commitments with early contributions, including the transfer of stocks and bonds. The answer is, yes, of course, but first consult with your financial adviser. Second, call Jeanne (Shan) Melone, Lewinsville’s finance manager. She will give you instructions for making a transfer of assets directly into the church account. Contacting Shan will assure that your pledge is recorded accurately.

With approvals moving apace, you may want to mark your calendar for a mid-May groundbreaking. This event will likely follow an 11 o’clock worship service.  The exact date will be confirmed soon.  As we await this important event, the committee encourages everyone to keep up with pledge commitments in 2020 and 2021.

December/January Update:

LeMay Erickson architects and representatives from our contractor, Whitener Jackson, presented updated construction costs to the Building Task Force in November. To no one’s surprise, costs have increased over the most recent six months, but not so much that they exceed the contingency built into the original estimate. In other words, the scope of the project remains the same.

As the new year begins, our architects remain at work on final design documents.  The congregation will have an opportunity to review these plans before the architects are given a green light to proceed with preparation of final documents.

The month of January will see the county give a first review of the site plan. Any required revisions will be submitted for a second review before the end of January. The Task Force anticipates that a second review will be completed by the end of February.

A Sustainable Building Practices Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been adopted by representatives of the architects, the task force and the Earth Care team. The MOU, accepted by Session in November, means all parties with an environmental interest will be working closely to make sure the renovation remains sensitive to environmental issues. A Landscape Committee, consisting of members of the Task Force, Facilities Committee and Earth Care Team, will work to develop a master landscape plan for the church and cemetery.

Finally, to assure that the newly renovated building will have state-of-the-art communication/teaching technology installed, a subcommittee of the task force is working with the architect and consultants to accommodate this requirement in the final drawings.

November 2019 Update on Lewinsville’s Trailblazer Capital Project

“We are transforming a worn-out facility into a modern center for welcoming, teaching, learning, counseling, mentoring and caring for others, an environment capable of evolving to meet the demands of emerging new ministries as they are revealed.”

Here are the very latest updates:

  • On July 10, the Building Committee, chaired by John Bowen, selected the firm of Whitener-Jackson to be prime contractor for Lewinsville’s project. The firm is well known to Lewinsville through two previous projects: 1987 expansion of the narthex, including the addition of St. Andrews Hall and new Music Department; 2003 construction of Lewinsville East, an expansion of the Lewinsville Retirement Residence.
  • Now, our contractor and architects from Lemay-Erickson-Wilcox are working to complete the land-use approval process. Site plan drawings have been submitted for review by Fairfax County. A first comprehensive review is expected in December.
  • An updated cost estimate is expected before Thanksgiving.
  • Final construction documents are expected in January.
  • Major decisions have been made with respect to environmental issues, including selection of energy efficient mechanical systems, planning for future energy demands, and selection of a landscape architect to assure compliance with highest standards set for Earth Care Congregations.

A date for a groundbreaking ceremony has not been set, but late April or early May 2020 are good targets.

If you have any questions, contact John Bowen or Bob Clark.

On July 10, 2019, the Building Committee selected the firm of Whitener-Jackson as our prime contractor. Many members recall Whitener-Jackson was our contractor in 2003 for construction of Lewinsville East, an expansion of the Lewinsville Retirement Residence.  They were also the contractors which handled the Narthex renovation in 1989-1990.

Already, our contractor and architects from Lemay-Erickson-Willcox are working to complete the land-use approval process. We expect that process to be completed by October 2019.

Construction documents will follow, including final drawings.

Permitting is expected to be completed by February 2020.  It has our intention to schedule a groundbreaking in early spring 2020.


A Site Plan is the first order of business and will take place between June 2019 and April 2020.

Construction documents, including final architectural drawings and permitting, will be prepared between June 2019 and January 2020.

A contractor will be selected by fall of 2019 and contract signed.

Groundbreaking can be scheduled on a convenient date in the Spring of 2020.

Construction will take place between April 2020 and June 2021.

We hope to dedicate the Rotunda and open our renovated Heritage Hall by October 2021 to coincide with the church’s 175th anniversary.

We will update this page with more details as they become available.

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