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Flexibility makes school expansion possible

When things don't go as planned, it doesn't mean you have to change your plans. That's what Resurrection Lutheran Church & School in Aurora, Illinois, learned during its expansion project.

Planned construction at the school, which should have been done in one year, took five years to complete. But the organization persevered, with Thrivent Federal Credit Union as its partner throughout the process. In the end, the school that serves students pre-kindergarten through 8th grade had a new entryway, five additional classrooms and a new gymnasium and cafeteria.

Pastor Philip Schupmann says, "We would not have accomplished our goals for a new addition without the Thrivent Federal Credit Union team. When we had issues, they had solutions."

For a time, it seemed like anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. There were delays with permits and problems with soil quality. Weather delays were a seasonal factor as well. Pastor Schupmann says, "They stuck with us when we were at a crossroads with the contractor."

Over the course of the project, the credit union extended the church school's 12-month construction loan numerous times. Thrivent Federal Credit Union loan officer Joel says, "We had the ability and desire to guide them along the way, and they appreciated it." He works closely with schools and nonprofit organizations that seek funding from the credit union.

Thankful for an understanding lender

The congregation realized from the start that its lender was committed to the success of the project. Pastor Schupmann says, "The credit union was very interested in helping us understand how much we could borrow and how to fund the plan."

"It was good to rely on the advice of people at the credit union who know about church giving cycles, the reality of collecting pledge cards and the insights about our budget that church attendance numbers can provide," Pastor Schupmann says.

"When you understand churches, you know the people working on projects like ours are not experts," Pastor Schupmann says. "Everyone at the credit union was very patient working with our volunteers."

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