On October 12, 2014, the congregation was invited to attend a meeting to review and discuss informal sketches of four building options for a proposed new Meetinghouse. Based on the thoughtful consideration of the congregation’s input at that meeting and its own deliberations, the Steering Committee has worked closely with our project manager, Shawn Donovan, and Andrew Garthwaite, a principal in Haynes & Garthwaite Architects of Norwich, to refine a set of plans that would:
- Transform the farmhouse into offices and small meeting rooms.
- Add a new multipurpose building suitable for worship and events for up to 100 people.
- Replace the current ell with a front entryway, kitchen and support spaces linking the renovated farmhouse and new multipurpose building, in the contiguous style of a traditional New England farm
(Click images to see a larger version.)
The Steering Committee hired Domus, Inc., a Hanover-based builder of high quality homes, to provide a preliminary opinion of cost on a project that would meet all of our needs. The price tag was estimated at roughly $886,000, about the middle of a range of estimates the committee has seen in recent months.
Along with concept and design, the committee also commissioned a feasibility study of the UUCUV’s organizational and financial capacity to undertake such a project. Christine Graham, a professional fundraising consultant to non-profits throughout northern New England, interviewed a select list of members and friends, and provided us with a wide-ranging report on what our members value, what they think of the building project, how they perceive leadership, and how they feel about our ability to raise the roughly estimated $886,000. The report was very encouraging on all points, and it included some useful critical observations as well. Taken with information about our annual giving and range estimates from a few other members of the congregation, Christine believes that with stretching to our best generosity, the congregation’s members and friends could potentially raise $600,000, and possibly another $100,000 from outside sources, such as grants, and friends in the broader community. Our former members and friends number well over 50, and many of them may welcome the opportunity to support this momentous leap forward.
The conceptual design and the feasibility study were presented to the Congregation at a formal, called meeting on Dec. 14. The UUCUV enthusiastically and unanimously voted to continue the design and engineering process, and to undertake a Capital Campaign to raise the needed funds.
Next: Next Steps >