May 19, 2022

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Relocation FAQs

Click here to return to Relocation page or here for the GO! Capital Stewardship Campaign page.

Why does Westerly need to relocate?

Westerly was put up as a pre-fabricated structure on its site 55 years ago. The church, built to suit a congregation of 100 is not just outdated, but doesn't have the space to properly accomodate the 500 congregants who worship at Westerly weekly. Relocating out of our cramped 5 acre parcel tucked in a residential neighborhood to the 18.5 acre commercially-zoned property on Bunn Drive will allow Westerly to not only meet existing congregational needs that have long gone unmet (children's Sunday School classes meeting in the office work room and lobby, having no space in the church facility for Sunday morning fellowship, etcetera), but to strengthen and expand the church's ministries.  In order to meet our vision, we need more space: space to be able to pray for a hurting individual after a service, space to fellowship over coffee, space to celebrate God's work around the world at a congregation-wide missions banquet, and space to educate our children (and ourselves!).

What progress has been made on the relocation?
With the funds committed through In Christ Arise! we were able to bring on board a strong team of professionals who developed building plans. Our preliminary site plans were approved by the Township in January 2010 and then by the Princeton Regional Planning Board in June 2010. Over the course of the fall of 2010 and early 2011 they received various treatment works approvals including the Department of Environmental Projection. The final site plans were approved by the Township in August of 2012. Meanwhile, we have been working on construction documents, which have been submitted to the state for approval. Those approvals should be received by September. With the go-ahead from the Township, we plan on beginning site work by the end of August.  
Where is the property?
We'd The property is about 2.5 miles from the center of town. It is in north Princeton on the SE corner of Bunn Drive and Herrontown Road.
Click here for a larger map.
What commitment does Westerly have to the environment?

Westerly's commitment to biblical environmental stewardship remains strong.  In the mid 1990's, when we were initially confronted with the need for more spacious facilities, we proposed expanding on our current property in an attempt to meet our community's needs with minimum impact.  However, changes in the zoning regulations geared towards even lower-density development prevented us from being able to expand on our current lot.  From the start, we had a team who helped spearhead an effort to implement green design from the initial stages. 


We pulled back considerably from what the office and research zoning on the parcel would allow us to build and scaled back our parking lot to have as minimal an impact on the property as possible. In addition to our environmental team, we have on our building team three LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professionals who have helped design an extremely environmentally friendly and efficient facility. Some of the features include 7.5 acres of the property that will be protected as an environmental easement, rain gardens incorporated in the parking lot, use of permeable parking, low-flow toilets, and high efficiency lighting and HVAC. When completed, Westerly will be one of the first projects in Princeton to receive LEED certification. 


What will happen to Westerly's current property?

The sale of the current property is critical to enabling Westerly's relocation. Westerly's current property will either be sold as a single unit, or in its current state as four parcels, or subdivided into residential lots and sold to developers. The subdivision paperwork was turned into the Township in August. We expect it to take a while to complete the subdivision process. Meanwhile, individual homes the church owns on Westerly Road and Mountain Avenue are being put on the market.


How long is construction supposed to take?

Site work will begin by late August and take several months. Construction will follow. The entire process will last approximately 14-16 months, meaning that we may be able to move into our new church in late 2013.

Could you give me more specifics about reasons Westerly needs to relocate?

1)               We have inadequate worship space.

a.       Our current facilities were built in 1956 and were built to accommodate a congregation of about 100.  50 years later we're now a congregation of 500 in the same basic building.

b.      Our L-shaped sanctuary causes all sorts of problems: we cannot project any images on a screen, we are split in two and feel like two separate congregations, the quality of the sound is very problematic in the space.

2)               There is not enough Sunday School space. 

a.       On Sunday morning we have one 20+ member class that meets in the office foyer and another 15 member class that meets in the office printing room. 

b.      Most classes for children meet in spaces that are half of the recommended space per child by education experts.

c.       Because of the space issue, we only have space for one adult Sunday School class at 9:30 despite the fact that there are more than enough interested and involved to start two classes.

3)               There is not enough fellowship/care space

a.       We don't have any space for pastoral care for those on Sunday morning.  There is no space to pray with those who are hurting or to counsel those who want to become Christians.

b.      There is not adequate space for fellowship lunches, missions banquets, etc.

c.       Our after-service coffee fellowship must be held outside since all other rooms are used for higher-priority educational purposes at the same time, and thus can only operate when the weather cooperates and even in this setting we still don't have space for people to stop, sit down, talk and pray with one another.  There is not enough parking space.

d.      Half of our parking is on the road.

e.      This is more than just an issue of inconvenience (or of bothering our poor neighbors!), it is a safety issue.

4)               Our facility causes safety and upkeep issues.

a.       Our hallways are not large enough and the building is not designed to carry the kind of traffic that it sustains.  This is not only an inconvenience, but a safety issue.

b.      We have only one manual handicap door in the church and one handicap rest room. The office is not handicap accessible at all.

c.       There is no storage space.

5)               The office space is too small for a number of staff members. Some have to share desks and phones.  We have no conference room for the staff.


What has been raised through this campaign thus far?

To date $2.7M has been committed and $2.0M raised. For every commitment made, it will be matched $.50 to the $1 by a generous donor. If we are able to raise $100,000 more, then for every dollar beyond that it will be matched dollar for dollar. May we be motivated to generosity!
How much is needed for the entire project?
The entire project will cost approximately $19M. With Arise! and Go! we have raised a combined $10.9M with another $.7M pledged and we are planning on selling our current property to help fund the project as well.
How do I learn more information?
We'd be happy to send you more information. Just contact our church office and let us know if you would like that information. If you have any specific questions please contact Pastor John ( or, for personal questions about Go! commitments, the Giving Team (




Bunn Drive Building Site

Fact Sheet



Bunn Site:

18.6 acres total, 7.0 acres disturbed (38%)

11.6 acres wet-lands and other undisturbed (62%)

4.0 acres improved (21.5%)

*numbers include banked parking, less without banked parking



                1500 trees on site, approximately 460 to be removed (65 dead) = 395 live trees cut

                The plan is to replace all live trees cut, either on site or on the current Westerly Road property.



                46,000 sq ft two story building.  

The sanctuary seats 520 (four other similar-sized sanctuaries in Princeton).

                Facility is handicap accessible.



We have requested 278 spaces, we will bank 52 and use 226 (what is required by the Township). 

                Pervious parking spaces used where possible (72 spaces).

                Parking and roadways on the East (Herrontown Woods) side of the property have been removed

from the initial design.


Storm Water Management:

                Our engineers have followed all township and state of NJ DEP regulations and ordinances in the

structure of the detention basin.

Non-structural management is used where possible, but non-structural management in and of

itself is inadequate to address the on-site storm water management needs.

                Water run-off will be to the North West to Van Horn Brook.


Social spaces:

                There is one central gathering place which utilizes the atrium and multipurpose room. Two small

patios will be used in clement weather.



                Two entrance driveways have been narrowed to 30' wide .  Traffic sight lines are acceptable.

                Traffic levels will all continue to operate at good to exceptional levels.


Click here to read an open letter to Princeton.
Click here to read the Planning Board summation.

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