Renovation Update: January 2020

Thank you to everyone for their input and efforts at the congregational meeting Sunday January 19, 2020. Many people presented important, well thought out points of view, and made good points.  Congratulations to the congregation for the big decision to spend up to 1.4 million dollars on a contract with W. L. Kline. Here is the text of the resolution that was passed by the congregation:

We authorize the board of UUCB to engage W.L. Kline for renovation project, not to exceed 1.4 million dollars, and to obtain a loan, not to exceed $750,000. We further stipulate that of the $750,000 loan no more than $350,000 will be carried as a long term mortgage.

We will get a fabulous amount of work done on the building. We have made good progress, come a long way, …much excitement to come (some would say we are just beginning, given that the construction is just beginning).

It’s great that work will be done on our building. If you could walk through the empty church building now, you’d probably have a shocked, visceral reaction to how filthy and dilapidated it has become. Without all of us UU’s running around, and without the furniture, the neglect becomes much too clear. We are committed to completing essentially all of the deferred maintenance, and to bringing the building up to code.

Given a firm budget from the congregation, we have been working with the architect and contractor to determine an exact plan for the renovation work. Exactly what that ‘up to 1.4 million’ means in terms of what rooms get built remains to be determined. In a meeting with the architect on January 20, the steering committee decided to direct the architect and the contractor to aim for a 1.3 project (with a 100K dollar contingency, to better handle any surprises during construction, should they occur). The architect and the contractor and his estimator have been working to determine if they can fit the chapel in this 1.3 project (certainly contribution to the Closing the Gap campaign will help). We expect a decision very soon.  Then the architect will spend the next two to three weeks drawing up the final plans, getting code approval and a building permit, and then  construction will begin.

Of course, the capital campaign is still looking for more money for the project. The Close the Gap Campaign continues. At the same time, folks are being urged to pay their original pledges as soon as possible, in order to reduce the amount of money that we need to borrow for the project. The strength and generosity of the congregation are awesome.

Meanwhile, the work to remove asbestos from our building has begun. All the floors except those in the sanctuary are coming up, and any remaining glue removed from the concrete floor surface. The air quality is being monitored through out this process, as required by law.

At the same time, details on possible directed giving goals will be unveiled soon. For instance, a number of folks have been to raise money to add a ground source heat pump HVAC system to the building. They have raised a significant fraction of the funds required, and will present a proposed plan to the board and in an upcoming town hall meeting.

— Eric Cotts, Capital Campaign Steering Committee