December 2022 Update
In their November 2022 meeting, the North Georgia Conference Board of Trustees voted to pause the buildout of the new United Methodist Center in College Park. They will revisit the construction decisions in their March 2023 meeting.
This decision occurred after a thoughtful evaluation of uncertainties in our immediate next few months and the landscape ahead of us as a conference. Most notably, we are in a period of transition with episcopal reassignments, acknowledgment of market conditions that are impacting our reserve funding for the new building costs, and unforeseen inflation in construction costs.
Trustees did determine to move forward in the immediate time frame with the demolition of the existing building on the property and then to secure the property to appropriately reduce risk for the interim period.
The Trustees will offer an update following their March 2023 meeting and will report to the 2023 Annual Conference. The Trustees welcome Bishop Dease as she arrives as our resident bishop for the North Georgia Episcopal Area and look forward to her leadership.
A United Methodist Center Relocation Task Force, charged with considering and recommending to the Conference Board of Trustees a new location for our North Georgia Conference United Methodist Center, has been at work for several years on behalf of the Annual Conference.
The lease on the current United Methodist Center, located at 1700 Century Center Boulevard, Atlanta, terminates March 31, 2023. (Note this has been extended.)
The goal of the task force was selecting and planning for a mission-centered strategic headquarters for the North Georgia Conference.
The Task Force has selected property adjacent to College Park UMC as the location for a post-pandemic hybrid space that will allow The United Methodist Church to be a witness across North Georgia by having a visible presence in a vibrant community. The selection was affirmed by the Board of Trustees and by the members of the 2022 Annual Conference.
The site is convenient to I-75, I-85, I-285, and I-20, it is served by a Marta rail station, and is just a few miles from the Atlanta airport. The property is across the street from city hall in the hub of busy downtown College Park.
Q: What is the timeline for a new United Methodist Center?
The Board of Trustees have purchased of the property on East Main Street in College Park (summer 2022).
The current landlord has expressed flexibility in offering continued lease of the upper floor of the present United Methodist Center until a new United Methodist Center is complete. That lease is in place through March 2024 and can be further extended.
Q: How will the relocation be funded?
The budget for the new United Methodist Center is $3.4 million dollars. Funds from the sale of the Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center were designated for the construction of a new UM Center.