You Are Invited To the December 7th Adult Forum On the Realizing Our Vision Project

Please join us during the Adult Forum on December 7th for an update on the Realizing Our Vision project.  We will receive an update on the design of the Great Hall, Kitchen and Elevator from the Building Committee.  We hope you can join us to hear about the progress being made and to have an opportunity to ask questions.  Since Realizing Our Vision involves our whole community we hope everyone will be able to participate and gain an understanding of the challenges and key decisions facing the design team.   It will be exciting to see how the project is evolving as we create “Room for the Spirit, Room for All”.   We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the 7th.  If you are unable to attend we will update this section of the website with the notes within a few days of the Adult Forum.

Below are the notes on the design and planning for construction from the last update in September.


Building Committee & Architect Give Update

On Sunday, September 21st, Gerry Frank, our architect from Bechtel, Frank and Erickson, and the Building Committee, represented by Christopher Huggins, Lee Noel Chase and Bruce Francis, provided an update on the development of the design for our Great Hall renovation.


The architects are designing dimmable LED lighting for our new ceiling to enable us to have a variety of ambiences depending on the occasion and use of the room. The plan calls for three sources of light: 1.) reflective lights around the borders within the coffered ceiling 2.) downward focused lights from recessed cans, and 3.) four hanging pendant fixtures placed at the corners of the room. Sample pendants are forthcoming.


Improving the acoustics of the Great Hall is a vital part of the renovation. To meet this need, the ceiling will have acoustic tiles, and the floor will have high quality, non-staining commercial, padded carpet covering our old linoleum floor. Regular use of a carpet extraction cleaning system will keep the carpet looking beautiful. The church may choose to purchase an extraction carpet shampoo machine for the sexton’s use or schedule an outside vendor to do the carpets several times a year.

The architects are in the process of narrowing down carpet choices to present to the committee. Once the carpet is selected, other surface colors can be picked to coordinate. They will be careful to pick colors that tie into the rest of the church and are focusing on warmer tones. An additional goal is to pick colors that will not go out of style.


In July, the Building Committee and architect took a “field trip” to the Aloft Hotel in Lexington to see an elevator similar to the one we are considering installing. Everyone agreed it was of high quality. Our new elevator would be smaller than the hotel’s. We have outlined the parameters of the proposed elevator in blue tape on the floor inside the entrance to the Great Hall. For comparison, the contours of our current elevator have also been outlined on the Great Hall floor also.

Food Pantry

Also this summer, the Building Committee and architects met with Carolyn Wortman and members of the Food Pantry Board to discuss storage solutions. We have proposed having cabinets along either side of the Great Hall that would store chrome adjustable shelves on wheels. (There is a sample in the Great Hall now.) The shelves would be rolled out around the room to display items each Saturday saving them set up time. The Building Committee and architects will continue to work closely with the Food Pantry to understand and meet their needs.

Steam Pipe Replacement

The Building Committee has been meeting with mechanical engineers to explore replacing the old steam pipes that run in the ceiling of the Great Hall to the church radiators. Over 56 years the inside of the steam pipes have narrowed to a fraction of their original size. We are pricing out changing the church radiators from steam to water. An explanation of the options, rational, and costs for this work is being researched now and a report will be forthcoming. These changes will be paid for through the Capital fund.

Meeting with Board of Health

The Building Committee and architects also met with Kathy Fox from the Board of Health to discuss our kitchen. She complimented us on the relative completeness of our kitchen, noting that we have a compliant kitchen (especially compared to other churches). Kathy stated we should feel free to upgrade the kitchen flooring, replace the electric stoves, add or change cabinetry, and paint. If we were to use gas stoves instead of electric, we would need a new expensive exhaust hood and an Ansul fire suppression system because of the open flame. What we can afford to do at this time remains to be seen. At a minimum, we would want to replace the floor and paint during the renovation.

Asbestos Removal

We know there is asbestos on the pipes in the ceiling, as well as the floor tiles in the lower hallways and side stairs that will need to be safely abated. Christopher has an estimate of $10,000 for this removal.

Old Elevator/Machine Room

The old elevator and machine room off of the Great Hall will be demolished and finished as storage space for all of our chairs. The street level elevator entrance will be converted to storage room for items such as the BBQ grills.

The architects and Building Committee will present again in the near future. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Christopher Huggins, Chair of the Building Committee at (508) 395-4085 or email

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