Charis Bible College housing boom and growth plans unveiled
AWM Expected to Generate $ 90 Million in Annual Revenue by 2030
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After months of speculation, Charis Bible College founder Andrew Wommack unveiled ambitious expansion plans for student accommodation and a continuation of the college’s continuation, including an activity and event center.
This announcement capped an open house that drew a large crowd of residents and community leaders.
In a key financial announcement, Wommack mentioned that the debt he incurred for the parking lot was almost paid off.
He said that as soon as the debt is paid off, the college will begin the process of building student dormitories on campus. Once the houses are built, there are further plans for a student activity and event center in the future.
On November 6, Charis Bible College and Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) hosted a community open house, open to the public. The event brought together a number of guest speakers, including Woodland Park City Manager Michael Lawson, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, State Representative Mark Baisley and other local business owners and government officials. Speakers explained how Charis has positively impacted the community since arriving at Woodland Park in 2014.
Currently, the college’s main campus has over 800 students, but that number is expected to increase to over 1,000 by the first part of next year. In total, the college has over 7,000 students across the country in various programs.
During the meeting, Wommack spoke and spoke about future plans for the quorum and ministry. He discussed the current state of the organization regarding its parking garage loan as well as student housing construction projects. He also responded to rumors that have circulated since the release of a social media video that showed him saying he wanted to “take control” of Woodland Park and Teller County.
He said the campus had invested in development costs almost reaching the $ 100 million mark, consisting of a slew of new buildings. Plus, and very different from other major Teller County projects, they are paid for with almost no debt. AWM has taken out a $ 22 million loan to help finance the $ 28 million parking garage, but that loan will be repaid on December 3.
Wommack said once the debt is paid off, they will no longer borrow money for construction projects. This spring, as long as the city approves the plans, the college plans to begin construction on their student housing which is expected to be completed by fall 2023.
This could help alleviate the housing crisis that has hit Teller County hard in recent years.
AWM has a design that includes four buildings, calling for 40 dorms each with two people sharing a bathroom. The final plan includes accommodation for 300 students by the end of the project.
Huge community impact
Regarding Wommack’s earlier comments in April about the Woodland Park takeover, he said they were taken out of context. “Someone said something about our care, it was a slip of the tongue,” said Wommack. “All I was saying was, ‘Dude, we have so many staff and students here, we have to get involved and we can make an impact.’ I was just talking about the fact that we can make a difference. Our society is under attack.
Wommack admitted he didn’t speak as well as some of the people who worked for him, and that’s why he has staff around him.
An economist also made a presentation at the open house to discuss the college’s financial and fiscal impacts on the community. He began by referring to an impact study carried out in 2020.
The study found that in 2019, Charis and AWM were supporting 555 direct jobs and 229 indirect jobs. AWM’s total payroll in the Woodland Park and Teller County area was over $ 28 million. The college also generated more than $ 1.1 million in sales and use taxes in Woodland Park and Teller County between 2012 and 2019, according to the report.
During his presentation, economist Michael Verdone of BBC Research & Consulting highlighted the different ways Charis provides tax revenue to the community, even if it does not pay property taxes.
“Charis does not pay property taxes as a religious organization. However, the employees they pay and the employees who are hired to serve any ongoing business all generate sales tax (income), ”Verdone said. “When they build a campus like this, there is a user fee that they pay for the materials. So there is income that is put into these communities, it simply does not come from property taxes. “
The college expects substantial growth over the next 10 years, and AWM officials believe that growth will generate more than $ 6 million in tax revenue over the next decade. This surge could support more than 1,400 jobs and generate income of $ 90 million by 2030.
After the presentations, the college offered tours of the Charis Bible College campus and the Andrew Wommack ministry headquarters.