April 5, 2017- In last weekend’s services, the Elder’s announced that through your gifts designated to the Family Life Center, and through your regular giving, we have been able to completely pay all bills for this project. Praise God!

Video Tour of the FLC

Check out this brief video tour of the Family Life Center! It’s exciting to see the project near completion, but even more so to imagine how God will use this space in the years to come, to reach our community and the next generation with the life transforming message of the gospel. | Watch the Video Tour

Drywall Finishing & Painting

Lots of visible progress in the FLC over the past few weeks! Now that a significant amount of the drywall finishing is in place, we have a crew working on painting! This phase will take a couple weeks. If you’d like to see the latest progress in person, you are welcome to walk through this weekend before or after services. Thank you for your faithful generosity that makes this project possible!

Construction & Financial Update

Walls are now going up as the needed structural, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing work is mostly completed. The students have been able to use the FLC to meet over the past month—you are welcome to walk through and take a look on Sundays when they aren’t in session! We’ve also revised the cost estimate given the need to fix a number of issues. For more details, see highlandscc.org/flc-financial-update

HVAC Units Installed

Construction on the FLC has been moving fast and furious this week! Lots of exciting progress! This morning, the large HVAC units were lifted on to the roof by crane. Electrical rough-in is about half done. Plumbing is going through rough-in inspections, and the stud walls have been added to North and South walls. The first “finishing item”, mechanized basketball hoops, have now been installed as well. Thanks for your continued prayers and generous support of the project!

Students in the FLC

Thank you for your prayers and faithful support of the FLC project! We reached a significant milestone as students were able to meet in the FLC this past weekend! (even though unfinished & in progress!) We appreciate your continued prayers for the safety of the workers and for the project as a whole.


What’s Next for Highlands?

The elders of Highlands are thrilled to share with you the next chapter that the Lord is leading us into as a church! As we seek to continue in our mission of Helping People Find and Follow Jesus, we recognize that our facilities need to draw people and reflect that we care about them as much as our Master and His message. Currently, our gym space looks neglected, as it has not been updated since the mid 1970s! The purpose of the Family Life Center project is to transform the gym into a space that will be inviting, safe, and attractive.

Did you know that 25% of the families who participate in our Upward basketball program are unchurched? Many more guests are being connected through Awana and Student Ministries. The gym is the first, and sometimes only place that many will see at HCC and where they will experience Jesus! We want to communicate to our guests that we are expecting them, and that we value every aspect of their experience with us.

We envision the gym becoming a space that our children and students will take pride in as they invite their friends. A space where our children’s, student, and adult ministries can easily host large gatherings and events. A space that can be used by generations to come. As you read more on this page about the exciting plans ahead, we invite each one of you who are part of Highlands to prayerfully consider how God might be leading you to participate in this project financially. 


Construction originally began on the gym in 1974. In the decades since, we have been blessed to see many lives changed by the gospel, enabled by the wide variety of ministries that have utilized the space (including Student Ministries, Awana, Upward Basketball and Cheer, many church wide events and groups from the community).

Rich Sims shared a story with our elders about when he brought his young family to Highlands in 1975. He asked Bill Farrell, who was overseeing the work on our emerging gymnasium, “Why do you care so much about this project, as I doubt that you will be bouncing a ball in there?” Bill responded, “It isn’t about me. It is about reaching the next generation for Christ.” This value continues to be part of the DNA of Highlands.

Needed Improvements

As we look to the future and ask the Lord how He would have us steward our resources and continue that legacy of life change, our desire is to see the gym continue to be used for Christ, and in an even more significant role. However, this will not be possible without addressing the issues that come with a room that has not been updated in over 40 years!

Our plan includes:

  • Removing the obsolete, unsightly acoustical material to make the walls and ceiling attractive for all types of gatherings
  • Remodeling the restrooms so that they are inviting and more easily accessible
  • Installing proper heating and cooling
  • Constructing a warming kitchen to properly handle food
  • Installing lighting and audio that is suitable for large group gatherings
  • Opening up the southern entry to the gym

These upgrades will help us better fulfill the mission of Highlands, and will have immediate impact on our Children’s, Student, and Adult Ministries.

Concept renderings (click to enlarge)

Cost and Timeline

Accomplishing this will be a step of faith for us as a church. We have estimated the total cost of the project to be $1,200,000. The leadership of Highlands has been prayerfully making plans and laying the groundwork for this project for many months. We anticipate construction to begin in early June of 2016 and to be completed in October of 2016. This will allow our ministries that rely on the space to be minimally impacted.

How Can I be Part of the Project?

To give to the project, simply indicate Family Life Center in the drop down menu in our online or mobile app giving. Or, indicate FLC on a giving envelope. Thank you for your continued prayers and generous support of the Family Life Center Project!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Construction is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2016.
The contractor has agreed to enable Sunday morning High School and Jr. High programming to use the gym. The area will be cleaned up each week, likely on Fridays by HCC volunteers, and equipment consolidated in a corner of the gym. All other normal uses of the gym will need to have other options. Fortunately, we will not see a huge impact since the work is being done over the summer.
We have provided a booklet called the Giving Guide to help you work through this answer–see the section “Support the Project.” Tens of thousands of people have been impacted over the past 40 years for Christ. Imagine just how many more will be touched for Christ in the future. We are taking a step of faith and inviting each person at Highlands to give above and beyond for the Lord’s work through this local body. Your generosity will make an eternal difference!
This is a great opportunity to model discipleship through giving and to encourage your child to participate along with you in kingdom work that matters. Although the space will be increasingly used for adult programs, children and students will still be the major beneficiaries of the improved space. Perhaps after you’ve discerned from the Lord your own gift, challenge your children and students what they might be able to do for the project. Then make this a family worship experience as they give.
Limited. Our role will be to support the hired trade workers by a) cleaning up on Friday afternoons, b) providing meals for the workers one day per week, c) modifying the lower gym rooms, and d) potentially constructing an outdoor space between the gym and the Early Childhood wing.
A plan is only an approximation of what will occur as there are always unknowns as we acknowledge that our Lord is the One who is really in control. We have some contingency plans in place and will continue to be open as to how He will guide.
The Renton Master Plan is at least five years away from being started and this space wouldn’t be touched for another five years beyond that. We want to use the gym space to its fullest extent over the next 10 years or more, and communicate care and value to our community and people. Much of the proposed project still fits the Master Plan, and enables us to effectively use it and the surrounding rooms until it becomes the new worship center with expanded capacity over what we currently have. A good steward takes care of what the Lord has entrusted to them.
After many long conversations, primarily among the staff leadership team, the gym became the highest priority for our attention because of its substantial deficiencies and the unwelcoming message that it sends to the unchurched. Secondly, the need for large group adult gathering space has become clear. We initially had our architect work up some concepts on improving the entrances, outdoor spaces, and the upstairs bathrooms—but we concluded that the gym needed to be done first.
In just a few years, we will be going through a Senior Pastor transition process and it was deemed wise not to be in the middle of the most substantial project ever attempted by HCC at the same time. We have been thoroughly blessed to have had only two senior pastors in 70 years of our existence and the Elders and Jim Amandus want to make that change very wisely. When we actually proceed with the Master Plan, we want to be able to finish it as the full benefits are only released when the worship center, educational space, and parking have all three been expanded to meet the current and future needs.
We stay watchful for a facility that we might rent that would be available for the Kent campus, enabling us to not go through the rigorous tear-down and set-up process of running a campus only on Sunday morning. We have reviewed many different potential facilities, but they have all fallen short of our requirements. Meanwhile, we are fully committed to the Highlands campus at Kentridge and plan to bloom where we are currently planted until the Lord may choose to open another option. At the same time, we are grateful for our positive relationship with the Kent School District and Kentridge High School, having space to grow, and believe we are in a strategic location right now.
Kent Campus people giving to the FLC project is akin to when Highlands gives to other local organizations and international missions. In both cases, a direct “benefit” may not be received by the giver, but the point is the attitude of the heart and discipleship as we give to the Lord for Him to accomplish His work through us. A measure of how we might necessarily directly benefit from something is a consumer mentality and not a Kingdom mind-set.

Have another question?

We value & encourage your questions about the project. Please submit your question using the form below, and the HCC staff member overseeing the relevant element of the project will be in touch with you promptly.