The building project has moved on to the permitting phase! Here are the latest plans. It is best to download the document so you can read the tiny print!
The ceremonial start of the capital campaign construction project will be June 17, right after the service. All Follenites, young and old, are invited to take part in the groundbreaking and get their pictures taken, shovel in hand (smaller shovels will be provided for smaller Follenites). Cake and lemonade to follow. The church will be fenced off for the construction the next day and work will begin, with a goal of completion next spring.
The Construction Oversight Group is holding a Q&A at hospitality after services on April 8th and 15th. Come and find out if about the Historic District Commission approval and see our updated plans, model, and learn about our possible construction schedule and financing.
You can see the final plans here!
We are excited to share new progress with the capital campaign. Over the past few months the Construction Oversight Group (COG) has worked with our architects at Maryann Thompson Associates (MTA) to hone a floor plan that we love. It features a gracious, light-filled fully accessible entrance to the sanctuary from the street side, with an elevator and an open stairway leading down to the Community Center and up to the Sonin Family Music Center.
Along with a liaison from the Historic Districts Commission (HDC), we’ve fine-tuned the outside appearance to facilitate approval by the HDC, which we hope to win at a hearing on April 5th . You can see these plans and drawings in person upstairs outside the Anne Smith Room, at coffee hour
You’ll note that there is a covered walkway between the main building and the Marshman
Center, but that the expansion of the Marshman Center has been dropped. The concept was lovely, but the cost was high for little space gain.
We’re currently working with engineers and ZVI Construction to design utility connections, HVAC systems and storm water drainage solutions as well as to pare costs to meet our target budget. MTA expects to start construction drawings in the next few weeks.
Delays in scheduling our HDC hearing leave us with a compressed time frame to gain necessary approvals for an early summer construction start. We’re trying to set up parallel tracks to speed those approvals, knowing that construction can proceed most smoothly if there is full access to our property when neither Follen nor Waldorf School are in regular sessions. If there are unanticipated delays that push a construction start date past Sept. 1, we will delay starting until next spring.
There is a good chance that we will be back in the sanctuary for services, with nursery care in its usual below-sanctuary space, at the start of the church year. Our current plan is to temporarily relocate staff offices to the Marshman Center and to use the Waldorf School for RE. We have made connections with other places in town to offer other youth and adult programs and meetings. If all goes well, construction could be complete about 10 months after it begins!
On December 18, 2017, the capital campaign committee reported to FHRAT for the last time in 2017.
On November 27, 2017, Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee reported to the the FHRAT committee the following update about the capital campaign:
The $1 million challenge gift is not yet committed; family wants us to keep pushing toward $2.75M. Commitment expected to happen by 12/31/17, whether or not we get to the top.
There is some likelihood that the project will start as early as April or May and be completed by the end of 2018. The key variable at this point is the permitting and approval process.
There will be disruptions to church operations. However, it may well be that with careful scheduling, we can reduce the disruption and obviate having to relocate off-campus for more than a few weeks at a time, once or twice. Office administration may go to Marshman; daytime and evening meeting space may shift to Monroe Center on occasion.
Major work ahead is in the province of a construction oversight committee, co-chaired by Alice Dunn and Valerie Perkins and expected to include Greg Shenstone, Mart Ojamaa and others who have been working with Maryann Thompson Architects. Rich Papazian will continue as Treasurer. They will be charged with developing a final budget for the project and for bringing the project in on budget, not to exceed what we have received as commitments. C.C. budget will include “making whole” the Church budget for C.C.-related expenses and rental shortfalls.
This may mean that we’ll have to make trade-offs on what we can accomplish, at which time FHRAT, among other Church decision bodies, will have to consider the possibility of
Kudos to our dedicated and talented CCC team members Alice Dunn, Ben Vandiver, Epp Sonin, Gerry Mimno, John Hickey, Laura Maltby, Lynn Arenella, Mark Metzger, Rich Papazian, Trapper Markelz, Valerie Perkins, and Claire Feingold-Thoryn. And special thanks to Sarah Garner, without whose patient and diligent administrative management we’d all be in the deep, dark forest.
On September 16th, the start of the Building For All Follen General Capital Campaign launched! Here is the campaign booklet that was passed out at the event. Booklets will also be mailed to all Follen members!
Please join the Follen Capital Campaign Committee and Maryann Thompson Architects to discuss the latest building plans, and describing the options for Renewal and Renovation of the Church.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Follen Church Community Center
Everyone is welcome.
The meeting will run from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Light refreshments will be served at 7 p.m.
Our architect Maryann Thompson has come up with four schemes to achieve our primary capital campaign objectives. You can review the preliminary drawings and prices right here. If you have any comments or questions, please submit them on this site or in the comments.
Building for all
Follen Community Church is an exceptional place. In recent years, while other churches have lost membership and resources, we have thrived, growing both in size and activity. We know the reasons: our creative and committed minister, Reverend Claire Feingold Thoryn, our talented and dedicated staff, our strong lay leadership, and a lively, multigenerational culture with enduring traditions and open hearts. We have fostered an active community, centered on spiritual nourishment for ourselves and care for the world.
At Follen, we embrace life’s biggest questions: Why does my life matter? How do I raise my children to be wise, moral and kind? How do I get through periods of suffering? How can I love better? How can I help? Where can I rest and renew, take in beauty and experience the sacred?
Follen does that, and so much more.
With such a thriving and active community, however, our physical spaces have come under severe stress. Our beautiful and historic sanctuary, center of our worship life, is ill-served by inadequate and inconvenient accessibility. Our gathering spaces for social time, religious education, covenant groups, administration and more are outdated and need renovation. Space planned for a much smaller church 30 years ago has left us bursting at the seams. These spaces need expansion and re-imagining to fulfill our promise to ourselves, to all those we welcome through our doors, and to future generations.
Our goals combine practical needs and our commitments as Unitarian Universalists:
This campaign envisions the next chapter in Follen’s history. The challenges we face – universal accessibility, minimal climate impact, welcoming community and educational spaces – can be met if we work together to realize a Follen home as beautiful as our community itself.
Follen Church has always depended on the dedication of its members. Just as our abolitionist founders built a strong foundation for us, it’s time for us to strengthen and renew that foundation – for ourselves and for all those who will follow us in the future.
We believe in these goals. We invite you to join us.