Campus Update

For nearly 75 years Preston Hollow has resided at the intersection of Preston and Walnut Hill and the intersection of life and faith, offering those longing for a connection with God a pathway to deeper faith and belonging.  It has been the Spirit's work through the people of God and the body of Christ the church.  It's a holy privilege and incredible gift to continue in ministry from this corner. As we survey the horizon for our next seventy-five years in ministry our Strategic Projects team, in conjunction with the Session, have been looking to the future and examining the readiness of our physical campus for the ministry God continues to call us from this corner.  

Please check here often for information on how we are facing the challenges of our aging infrastructure, updates on planning for an upcoming capital campaign, communications from the Strategic Projects Team and the Session and more!

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Building History

  • 1952 - Founders Hall and Original School Building
  • 1955 - 2nd Story and Attic in School Building
  • 1957 - 2 Story Classroom Wing, Gym and Attic Expansion
  • 1962 - Sanctuary & Parlor, Walkway to School, South Basement, plus additional classrooms
  • 1981 -Chapel
  • 1986 - Small additions / modifications to Education Wing and Sanctuary Expansion
  • 2001 - Latest Sanctuary Expansion, Offices, Emmanuel Hall, Jubilee Hall, Music Library and Rehearsal Areas, Youth House
  • 2014 - Exploration of Capital Campaign.  Effort ended with Pastor Blair Monie's retirement
  • 2019 - First Complex-wide evaluation of the heating, cooling and electrical systems by Brandt indicating equipment far beyond expected shelf life
  • 2022 - Replacement of the 2 primary AHUs in the church sanctuary
  • 2023 - Follow-up Engineering Evaluation of Mechanical & Electric Systems by DC4 Engineering and Deverlopment of 5 stage replacement plan for North Campus
  • 2023 - Replacement of North Building Boiler & South Building Water Heater
  • 2024 - "February Freeze" loss of Heating in Founders Hall and other areas in North Campus; Pipe failure in South Basement
  • 2024 - Replacement of North Building Cooling Tower
  • 2024 - DC4 Engineering 5 stage Mechanical & Electric Replacement Plan for South Campus
  • 2025 - Scheduled Replacement of Parlor AHU

PHPPS/PHPS Facts

Preston Hollow Presbyterian School (PHPS)

PHPS is a private, alternative school with current enrollment of 134 students in grades K-6 with a student-teacher ratio of 4 to 1. Tuition is $24,600 for the highest grade offered.

PHPS began in September 1963. Lillian Powell, a founding member of PHPC and a childhood psychologist, had the vision to start a school for children who learn differently in small classes in a nurturing environment. It was the first such school in Dallas. The inaugural class consisted of first graders and over the years PHPS was expanded to offer classes from kindergarten through 6th grade. PHPS has consistently worked with students who learn differently to enable their students to transition to traditional public or private school after their time at PHPS. PHPS and PHPPS are currently located on the campus of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (PHPC) at the corner of Preston Road and Walnut Hill Lane (9800 Preston Road). PHPS and PHPPS currently occupy and utilize over 50,000 square feet of space on the north end of the PHPC campus. PHPS and PHPPS also utilize a gymnasium, playgrounds and a miniature soccer field on the north end of the PHPC campus.

PHPS was started by PHPC but became an independent nonprofit organization in 1995 and the current agreement between PHPC and PHPS began in 2018.

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Preschool (PHPPS)

PHPPS consists of a preschool for Young Toddler, Older Toddler and Young 2’s classes for children ages 12-29 months and a PreK with 2,3- and 5-day classes for children ages 2.5 – 4 years old. Tuition and fees for Young Toddler, Older Toddler and Young 2’s classes for children ages 12-29 months are $2,740 for 1-day and $5,080 for 2-day. Tuition and fees for children ages 2.5 – 4 years old are $4,865 for 2-day, $6,125 for 3-day and $8,015 for 5-day. A Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) extended day lunch program is available to all PreK children ages 2.5 -4 years as a separate registration. PHPPS classes typically run from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

PHPPS began in September 1953 by Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (PHPC). The purpose and goal of PHPPS was to offer the community the best possible early childhood education with a Christian emphasis. PHPPS was started by PHPC but is now run by PHPS.

Campus Update

June 19, 2024

For those of you who were able to join us last Sunday during the Connection Hour, thank you for your time! We covered a lot of topics, answered many questions and probably raised a few! Check the PHPC web site ( www.phpc.org ) for a new section called “Campus Update” that will feature ongoing topics related to our building, including an FAQ. We will be updating it as decisions are made. As always, please send thoughts or questions directly to the Strategic Projects Team (SPT) at feedback@phpc.org.

To recap, members of the Session and the Strategic Projects Team presented brief overviews of 1) the mechanical systems in both the north and south campus; 2) the current situation with the school and pre-school; 3) an announcement of the retention of fundraising counsel; and 4) an invitation to begin the process of imagining the next 75 years.

Ted Gardner, head of the property committee, reviewed the history of our building, explained where the two sides of the campus are delineated (the double doors beyond the Parlor mark the beginning of the north campus), showed pictures of our aging infrastructure and reminded us that much of the north side of our building dates to 1952!

Session and SPT member Robey Canaday gave an update on plans going forward. The headline is that we will be moving all Church activities from the north to the south campus by the end of July. Because School Board leaders have made the decision to return to campus for the 2024-25 school year, it seemed most prudent to reduce the stressors on the HVAC and electrical circuits as much as possible. Church staff and our pastors are working feverishly to find workable solutions for all Church activities – Sunday school classes, weekday meetings and gatherings, the nursery, et al. The 9 a.m. Contemporary Service will likely move to the Sanctuary beginning July 21.

To put a finer point on it, the Church does not currently have the resources to address the issues presented by the failing mechanical systems, which will need full remediation after the School finishes the 2024/2025 school year. At that time, the north campus will be dormant pending future plans. It is our understanding that the School has been exploring alternate sites for its use beginning summer, 2025.

In anticipation of reimagining a new future for the north campus, the Finance Committee recently retained a highly respected fundraising consulting firm, CCS Fundraising. Over the next three months, CCS will conduct an audit of our giving histories, survey or speak directly with members of our Congregation, and work to help us determine the size, scope and vision of a potential capital campaign.

We ask for your patience and your wisdom as we move forward during this critical crossroads. May God’s Spirit be guiding each of us.

The Session and Strategic Projects Team

Letter to the Congregation: May 9, 2024

In the church’s continuing efforts over the last 18 months to focus our capital spending on repairs to the north end of campus used by PHPS, we completed the installation of the north campus cooling tower this week just as the old one was completing its death spiral!  This complements the work that was done replacing the north campus boiler and a number of other pieces of equipment integral to the operation of the north end of campus.

The cooling tower, along with the chillers, is at the heart of the air conditioning system.  The tower takes the heated water from the air handler units located throughout the building and then starts the air conditioning process by sending the first stage of cooled water back into the system to keep the cooling process going.

Because this effort impacted the school’s operations this week due to the unseasonably high outside temperatures, the church offered to turn over the south campus and the youth building to the school while the installation work was in process.  PHPS decided to use Jubilee Hall and the Atrium for some of their activities this week, otherwise they chose to remain in the north end of the campus while the work was being done.  Where we had indications the electrical system would allow, the church was able to provide portable air conditioners for the nursery school rooms.

We are pleased that another critical piece of infrastructure in the north end was remediated.  We are also well aware that there is much, much more to do and the combination of the Property Committee, the Strategic Projects Team, Staff and Session are working to develop a plan to generate the capital funding needed to address all the long overdue infrastructure issues on our beautiful and historic campus.

Past Communications

Letter to the Congregation: May 2, 2024

Next week, the church will install a new cooling tower on the north end of campus. We recognize the timing of this is not ideal for any group on campus, but we must move forward with these plans as we continue to ensure PHPC is a place where all belong (and are comfortable). As a result, the north building will not have AC next week, May 6th through 10th. Here are the steps the church has or is taking to address the issues that come with having no AC in the north building next week:

  1. The church has offered to let the school use meeting space on the south end of campus next week, where AC should be working.
  2. The school has declined to relocate all their classrooms next week but has requested the students eat lunch in the Atrium and we have set up Jubilee in multiple classroom configurations in case teachers want to move there.
  3. The church has asked all small groups that are scheduled to meet in Jubilee and the library during working hours next week to relocate so as not to disrupt the school’s activities.
  4. The church is also relocating the Wednesday night childcare to an air-conditioned room.

We expect the AC to be on and working by sometime next Friday, May 10th, so that Sunday activities will not be impacted.

Also, if you come to the church Monday, May 6th of next week, please note that the Aberdeen entrance will be blocked due to a crane and at least one tractor-trailer parked in the driveway.  All equipment should be cleared by Tuesday morning, May 7th.

As is our usual practice, all visitors are required to enter the building through the south entrance (Walnut Hill doors) during the workday to ensure the safety of all on campus. PHPC staff will be working on-site next week according to their usual hours.

“Building Update” from the Eblast

May 9, 2024

Letter from the PHPC Session and Stratgic Project Team

April 19, 2024

Matthew’s “What’s Next”

April 18, 2024

Letter from the PHPC Session

March 15, 2024

Matthew’s “What’s Next”

March 14, 2024

Strategic Projects Team Announcement

February 16, 2024

Matthew’s “What’s Next”

February 15, 2024

A Message from Allison Cochran, PHPC Executive Director

February 9, 2024

Matthew’s “What’s Next

February 8, 2024

Meet the Strategic Projects Team

Lee Coleman

Chair

Ed Perrin

Vice-Chair

Ruth Fitzgibbons

At-Large Member

Bill Bond

At-Large Member

Janelle Crays

Finance Committee Chair

Ted Gardner

Property Committee Chair

Anne Edwards

Elder

Kris Kamm

Elder

Robey Canaday

Elder

Dave Jones

Elder

Laurie Jennings

Staff

Allison Cochran

Staff

Mark Brainerd

Staff

Matthew Ruffner

Staff

FAQ

What precipitated the need to move church activities from the north campus?
The mechanical infrastructure in the north side of our building dates from the 1950s. We have known for sometime that the possibility of equipment failures was real. In the spring, the cooling tower became dysfunctional and was replaced at a cost more than $120,000. After reviewing our available capital funds, it was determined all repairs in the foreseeable future should be confined to the south campus.
Why is the church moving from the north campus, but the school is not?
After extensive deliberation and expert assessments of the mechanical systems in the north, the Session and the Strategic Projects Team determined that given the school’s desire to return for the 2024-25 school year, limiting stressors on building operations,especially the mechanical and electrical systems, would be the most prudent course for the near term.
The church has known for many years that the equipment needed replacement. Why did we wait so long and let it get into the condition it’s in today?
The answer to that involves many past Sessions, Property Committees and church leaders. While we can’t change what was or wasn’t done in the past, we can seize this opportunity to re-imagine our campus in ways that will welcome generations of church members to come.
Will the Contemporary service still be held in Founders Hall?
No, the Contemporary service, with its familiar format, music and message, will move to the Sanctuary on July 21 st . The Traditional service will continue to be held in the Sanctuary at 11 a.m.
What has been shared with PHPS and PHPPS regarding the state of equipment in the north campus, which they occupy?
Board leaders of the two schools are aware of the challenges the space poses. They have a task force reviewing alternative space and will vacate our building in July of 2025. In the meantime, they will be occupying the campus at their discretion, while being responsible for any repairs that may be needed to keep their students safe and comfortable.
What happens to the north campus once the school moves out?
Fueled by a capital campaign, which recently entered the pre-planning phase, we hope to be well along with a plan for funding the remediation, renovation or rebuilding of that end of campus.
Where can I find information about the progress of the plans for the physical plant?
A new section of the church website (www.phpc.org; click on Campus Update) will house an FAQ, Letters to the Congregation, a roster of members of the Strategic Projects Team and updates as milestones are reached. In addition, there will be ongoing Letters to the Congregation sent to members via email. Please continue to direct specific questions or concerns to the Strategic Projects Team at feedback@phpc.org.
When will the capital campaign begin?
We recently retained a fundraising consulting firm, CCS Fundraising. Over the next three months, they will work to determine our collective capacity for funding a new vision and suggest timing that makes sense.
Will there still be a school at PHPC?
We will most likely include a school in plans for the north campus, just as we did in 2012 when a capital campaign was contemplated but ultimately postponed.
Will PHPS and PHPPS return when those plans are complete?
As of now, Board leaders have communicated that they value the relationship we have shared for the past 70+ years but they are still weighing their options.
Won’t a fundraising consultant cost money that we need to spend on more urgent needs?
There are existing provisions for the consulting services outside the operating budget. That said, we believe the investment will more than pay for itself. Both research and the experience of others indicate that the incremental funds raised far exceed results likely to have been achieved without benefit of such guidance and expertise.
What is the condition of the mechanical system in the south side of the building,including the Sanctuary?
The two primary HVAC systems in the Sanctuary were replaced in November 2022. While the performance of the remaining systems is declining given their age, the expectation is that they will continue to operate at an acceptable level in the short-term.
Can the south side of campus truly accommodate church activities among all age groups for a period of several years?
Though the process has been challenging, PHPC pastors and staff have scrutinized each public space, repurposed offices and conference rooms, and devised some changes in meeting sizes and times, to develop a plan that is workable. On the positive side, the energy that will flow from the entire congregation concentrated in a smaller area on Sunday mornings will be palpable!