History of the Building Expansion Project (so far)
[NOTE: Click on the words in blue to link to the appropriate document.]
September, 2015 – Jane Mayer, Board President, holds a Town hall Meeting to discuss a possible building project. The consensus is to move forward.
December, 2015 – Jane and Rev. Alison Eskildsen meet with several people who indicated interest in helping with the project. The Architectural Task Force is created with the goal of recommending possible architects to the Board. The UUFA Committee on Shared Ministry conducts a survey and publishes results showing how the congregation ranks needed improvements to the facilities.
December, 2015 – March 2016 – Architectural Task Force — Naomi Braff, Chris Hayden, Iva King, Bob McArthur, Chair — reviews previous reports and surveys, and compiles the Preliminary Wants and Needs List of desired space renovations and expansions. Jane Mayer, Carol Lee Baker (Board Representative), and Rev. Eskildsen attend some Architectural Task Force meetings. A Request for Proposals, modeled upon a similar document from UU Williamsburg, VA, is sent to 11 architecture firms in Georgia and South Carolina. Three completed proposals are received. After interviews with the firms’ principals, the Task Force recommends Houser Walker Architecture, Atlanta, GA, (HWA). The UUFA Board signs a contract with HWA for preliminary master planning and design (click for HWA proposal and for pricing).
February, 2016 – Barry Finkelstein, UU Stewardship For Us consultant, spends February 12 – 14 at UUFA conducting a Next Steps Weekend. His subsequent Next Steps Weekend Report recommends moving ahead with a building renovation and expansion project and the supporting capital campaign.
April 2016 – The Board approves a tripartite leadership structure for the project (based upon a similar structure in use at UU Williamsburg). The initial meeting of the EOV Steering Committee is held on April 1.
Steering Committee: Chair Bob McArthur; Building Team Chair Iva King; Capital Campaign Team Chair Herb West; Jane Mayer, additional Building Team member; Todd Dinkelman, additional Capital Campaign Team member; Barb Schell, at-large; ex officio: Rev Alison Eskildsen; Carol Lee Baker, Board representative; Myrna Adams West, Ministry Council representative.
Building Team: Chair Iva King, Chris Hayden, Naomi Cara Braff, Jane Mayer, Penny Oldfather, Roger D Moore, Sarah Cook; ex officio: Bob McArthur, Steering Committee Chair.
Capital Campaign Team: Chair Herb West, David Jarrett, Stu Fors, John Bleyle,, John Olive, Karen Solheim, Todd Dinkelman; ex officio: Bob McArthur, Steering Committee Chair; Rich Rayburn, Treasurer.
Of the original 20 team members, only Stu Fors was not able to be active through the entire period because of travel commitments.
May, 2016 – EOV Teams members meet with all identifiable groups within UUFA to discuss a possible building project in conceptual terms. The Preliminary Wants and Needs List and the Next Steps Weekend Report form the basis for these discussions. Hank Houser and John Cearley from HWA hold a Town Hall Meeting on May 15 to discuss the master planning process and possible project concepts. On May 31, Hank and John spend the day at UUFA meeting with various groups – e.g., Choir, Ministry Council, RE Committee, Worship Arts Committee, a kitchen user group. They indicate a project addressing the full needs and wants list would cost around $3.7 million.
June, 2016 –The Steering Committee and Building Team ask HWA to focus on a reduced list of plan components with an upper limit of $1.8 million. On June 14 Hank and John return to UUFA to present three options and costs to EOV Steering Committee and Building Team.
July – August, 2016 – First congregational mailing containing cover letter and the four HWA preliminary project building plans and site plans is sent July 5. Gatherings for comments and general discussion are held after the service on July 10, 17, & 24; a Town Hall presentation is held July 27. Information is posted on the UUFA website with opportunity for members to provide online comments.
August, 2016 – EOV Steering Committee, Capital Campaign Team, and Building Team meet to analyze congregational feedback. A rough count indicates that over 170 members and friends participated in summer meetings or sent emails about the project. The teams decide to focus on Option One and to ask HWA to also include a reconfiguration of the Sanctuary that will add 40 – 60 seats. At a Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, August 28, to Hank and John present the Master Plan of building renovation and expansion, as well as a new entrance and parking lot accessed from Cheatham Road. The HWA Master Plan along with a cover letter is sent out and also posted in the Fellowship Hall and on the UUFA web site.
September, 2016 – Barry Finkelstein conducts a Financial Feasibility Study (FFS) to determine whether and at what level a capital campaign to support the HWA Master Plan project is feasible. He interviews 35 members and surveys 40 more. He also conducts a training session for Capital Campaign Team members on running the capital campaign and 2017 -18 annual budget drive simultaneously.
October, 2016 – In a video conference call with EOV Teams members, Barry reports that his FFS indicates wide readiness for a capital campaign. He suggests that anything over $1 million as a goal will be in the “stretch” range. The EOV Teams meet and decide to recommend a campaign goal of $1.3 million and a total project goal of $1.8 million (including a $500,000 replacement mortgage). A Town Hall presentation on October 16 announces a proposed campaign goal of $1.3 million
November, 2016 – The second congregational mailing containins an EOV campaign brochure with project floor plans, elevations, and FAQs about a combined annual budget and capital campaign. At a special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, November 6, the congregation approves a motion authorizing a capital campaign with a $1.3 million goal. Visiting Stewards for the leadership phase of the campaign are trained.
December, 2016 – 59 households in the leadership group are solicited for the combined capital and annual fund campaign, including Board members, Lay Ministers, EOV Teams members, Leadership Council, and others.
January – February, 2017 –Visiting Stewards for the general phase of the campaigns are trained January 3 and 5; the Campaign kickoff is Sunday, January 8. A total of 37 Visiting Stewards solicit UUFA members and friends. The progress of the campaign is charted on the EOV bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall and in the weekly E-news.
March, 2017 – Announcements at both services on Sunday, March 12 celebrate passing the $1.1 million mark in Capital Campaign commitments and meeting the annual budget drive goal. The Building Team begins a series of meetings to revise the project to fit into a reduced budget. The third congregational mailing announces a $65,000 matching fund that seven households have created to assist in closing the remaining $160,000 gap to reach the campaign goal. A fourth payment year is offered to those willing to increase their campaign commitments. At a Town Hall on March 26, four options being studied are reviewed by the Building Team.
April, 2017 – Hank and John of HWA conduct a design workshop with the teams at UUFA in order to move toward a consensus plan. At a Town Hall on April 30, the EOV Teams announce that the Capital Campaign goal of $1.3 million has been reached, with commitments from 160 households, and present the revised building project plans for discussion.
May, 2017 –The fourth Congregational mailing on May 10 contains the revised building floor plan, the landscape master plan, and a cover letter explaining what is and isn’t in these plans, and the motion seeking Congregational approval for a $1.8 million renovation and expansion project. At the annual Congregational Meeting, May 21, the EOV motion passes with near unanimity.