The Planning Committee was reinstated in January 2017 with the committee charge identified by the Board of Trustees as, “investigate multiple avenues for increasing our physical space for services, for Religious Exploration, and for related staff and congregational needs.”
The Committee’s information gathering fits into four major categories:
1. A modest building expansion of our current location
2. A major building expansion at our current location
3. Move elsewhere to an existing building close to our current location
4. Move elsewhere and build from scratch on land close to our current location
Following is a list of events hosted by the Committee to formally engage the Congregation in the planning efforts as well as the documents produced in association with this work:
March 11, 2018: Congregation Meeting and Vote on Planning Committee Recommendation
A careful consideration of all of the information the Planning Committee collected during 2017 leads the Committee to conclude that our current location at 624 N. Broadway is not a suitable long-term home for our Congregation. The Congregation clearly expressed their need for a larger sanctuary, a separate fellowship space and a larger/brighter Religious Exploration space. Investigating many creative suggestions and consulting with professionals, the Committee has not been able to identify an addition to our existing building that addresses these three needs in a fiscally responsible manner. The equity of our current property (the land, not the building) has increased to the point that, if we sell, the equity realized could cover a substantial portion of the cost of a new building, or the renovation of an existing building, at another site. This would be augmented by our existing $200,000 building fund.
As such, the Planning Committee will hold a meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, March 11th at 11:30 and ask for an official vote on the following recommendation: “The Planning Committee should put all efforts into the search for land to build a new building and/or the search for an existing building to renovate.”
This vote is the next step in the process to address the needs identified by the Congregation. While a “yes” vote will signify support for eventually moving toward the sale of our current property, there are many specific actions to be taken before a sale would occur including, for example, a formal appraisal of 624 N. Broadway. Please note that our bylaws do not allow for proxy voting; thus, we need and urgently ask for a strong attendance at the vote on March 11th.
Materials developed by the Planning Committee to address questions of the Congregation can be located below. In addition, a Coffee Chat for any questions about the recommendation and the vote will be held on Sunday, February 4th at 11:30. No formal presentation or additional information will be presented at this Chat.
November 11, 2017: Planning Potluck
Following a delicious communal meal, 34 individuals participated in the planning part of the potluck. The conversation started with some highlights of the UUCSS genesis story. Hal Bigelow used our property survey for a review of the various possible on-site expansion opportunities and their limitations. To conclude the evening, each table of participants was asked a series of questions which were subsequently reported out to the group.
October 29, 2017: Report to the Congregation
In response to the Congregation’s questions from the Coffee Chat and other exchanges the Committee issued the Planning Committee Report 10.29.17 which includes a copy of the property survey of 624 N. Broadway and data showing attendance and pledge income overtime.
October 22, 2017: Engaging our Youth in the Planning Conversation
Members of the Committee were joined by Nurcan Atalan-Helicke who facilitated a conversation about how our youth feel about their space. This process produced both a list of their desires as well as visual depictions of their ideal space.
October 15, 2017: Coffee Chat
Following a sermon on “Building the Future with Courage” the Committee asked the 63 participants in attendance “How do you think our spiritually and our vision for the Congregation should be reflected in our physical space?” Participants shared their thoughts and the Committee answered questions and received additional questions. PC Coffee Chat Summary 10.15.17.