November 28, 2023

Tribune Project Update (November 2023)


Back in the fall of 2022, we did everything we could think of to evaluate this decision to take on the Tribune as a community. We looked at the quality of the building. We considered our financial capacity as a community. We compared it to pretty much any other viable option we could find for our future. We drew up some basic plans for the renovations to see what it would look like to transform it. And yet, no matter how much investigating you do before you make a commitment like this, there will always be some surprises along the way. There’s only so much you can know before you take the leap. Today, we want to update the church on the project, including some things we might have never been able to anticipate, both in the building, and in the larger neighborhood. To listen to the full conversation between Matt Graybill and Jason Miller, head over to our podcast.

Some surprises in the building: 

  • When the drop ceiling was removed from the large room it revealed a beautiful vaulted ceiling that can stay intact for our phase 2 gathering area. We were surprised to learn that it was insulated and clear of debris. 
  • While part of our plan was to fill in the large hole in the floor that once housed large presses, the hole provided benefits for removing debris from demolition through it but also helped get large lifts to reach the peak of the ceiling for a new fire suppression system in phase 2. This will provide cost savings in Phase 2 and beyond.
  • We were surprised that we needed to add a new storm water management system that will go below our courtyard. (This requirement was unexpectedly imposed by the city when reviewing plans for the courtyard.)


Tribune Financials: 

  • Building purchase: $1MM
  • Construction cost: $3.4MM
  • We secured a loan of $2.5MM
  • Two-year commitments made from SBCC: $1,862,811
  • Total given by SBCC:  $1,560,582 (as of 11/25/23)
  • $302,229 still needed to come in to finish Phase 1 of the project. (we realize some of these commitments will not be kept because of life circumstances and welcome additional gifts or new commitments made through under the “Tribune Project” fund.


Surprises in the neighborhood: 

  • We continue to connect with other faith and community leaders in the neighborhood. 
  • The City, along with community and business partners, announced its commitment to create a formal Downtown Plan, which will set a vision for the future of our downtown and outline concrete steps to get there. “From the new Beacon Tower in the north to the rebirth of former Studebaker buildings in the south, the heart of South Bend will see roughly $1 billion of investment over the coming years for new homes, retail, and jobs of the future,” said Mayor James Mueller. “This downtown plan will create a vision and framework for how to expand opportunities for all and maximize the impacts of these transformational investments beyond the sum of each individual project.” 
  • SBCC is working with faith and community leaders to establish a Downtown Faith District which would be inspired by communities of faith to promote placemaking for the well-being of South Bend and its people.
  • SBCC has connected with numerous organizations to identify potential partnerships that could utilize the Tribune space during the course of the week. One of the most promising conversations is the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County with a wait list of over 900 kids due to lack of space.
  • On December 5, the University of Notre Dame announced their aquisition of the older Tribune building that’s connected to our building. Officials from the university reached out to us a while ago and gave us the chance to learn about their plans as they developed their 10 year strategic framework. While there is still uncertainty as to how the building will be occupied, Notre Dame has been very clear on working together to help South Bend thrive. For more information, head to our newest post.


Key Dates:

  • Open House – December 3rd from 10:15a-1:30p
  • Move-in Timeline:
    • Tribune Transition (plan A):
      • March 3 or 10: work day instead of gatherings
      • March (10), 17, 24: Sunday gatherings at Tribune
      • March 31: Easter at Tribune
    • Tribune Transition (plan B)
      • March 31: Easter at Studebaker
      • April 7: work day instead of gatherings
      • April 14: first Sunday at Tribune

Get the latest news about South Bend City Church

Sign up for our text list to receive the latest updates from SBCC. We only send texts when necessary, and we don’t share your information. To sign up directly from mobile: Text “SBCC” to (866) 397-2089

Join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.