February 15, 2012

05 CN: Highway Expansion to Consume Florida Conference Office

Highway Expansion to Consume
Florida Conference Headquarters

Church sells property to state, has two years to find new home. (Posted Feb. 16, 2012)

BY A. LEE BENNETT, associate communication director, Florida Conference

The expansion of a major highway?—Florida’s Interstate 4—is paving the way for a new, more centralized, and more useful headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Sunshine State.

Nearly four years ago, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) gave notice that a portion of Florida Conference’s property in Winter Park, Florida, about six miles north of Orlando, would be subject to eminent domain and taken for expansion work on Interstate 4. In 2011 eminent domain was completed on parcels of land adjacent to the conference’s property.

After careful negotiation the FDOT ultimately approached the Florida Conference executive committee with an official proposal to purchase our entire facility/property, instead of only a partial taking, with extended possession by Florida Conference.

2012 1505NewsFloriday

MOVING ON: Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has operated from its facility in Winter Park, Florida, since July 1992. On January 27 the Florida Department of Transportation purchased this property, as it plans to expand Interstate 4. PHOTO: Dale Clark Photograhy

Florida Conference hired experienced, respected legal counsel, and negotiations with the FDOT have been professional and positive. The FDOT proposal and purchase details for the property were both fair and advantageous to Florida Conference. The Florida Conference executive committee was unified in its decision to move forward to sell the property to the FDOT.

On Friday, January 27, the FDOT purchased the facility/property, and the agreement was complete.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the interaction between our professional staff, our trusted counsel, and the representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation,” says Mike Cauley, Florida Conference president and executive committee chair. “We are in a better position than we could ask or imagine as we make plans to relocate. We see this opportunity as God’s next stepping-stone for us as we seek to positively impact more and more people and ministry for Him.”

Through the agreement with the FDOT, the Florida Conference can remain in its building, rent-free, for the next two years. At that time, moving expenses will be paid by the state.

Florida Conference outgrew its current office and parking capacity several years ago. The executive committee is committed to keeping its offices located in the Greater Orlando area.

The office relocation will benefit the conference’s churches and schools. It will mean more space to house all ministries and support teams in one centralized location.