2021 Improvements Plan (East Wing, 1st Floor)
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(Approved by the Board of Trustees on June 16, 2021)
Earlier this year the Facilities Committee shared a draft proposal for upgrades to All Souls space. We have gathered additional information regarding costs and modified our proposal. The Committee is ready to go forward with work to improve space in the weeks prior to the church reopening. We ask for Board approval of the draft so we may go forward with fundraising and initial phases of the project. Draft resolution is at the bottom of this document.
Conover Auditorium plays an important role in the life of the church. It is where we come together to celebrate and dine together. It serves as a meeting space, the venue for the coffee house, as a classroom and it provides rental income. Improvements are also needed for the kitchen, library, meeting room and coat closet. The proposed major renovation project of 2019 never had an opportunity to receive a vote at the 2019 annual meeting due to lack of a quorum. Given the scope and expense of the project, it is appropriate to delay consideration of the project for the foreseeable future.
However, a much more moderate investment to upgrade the spaces could make these areas of the church more functional and more attractive. Looking forward to the reopening of the church in coming months, the current time provides an opportunity to improve these spaces to better serve the congregation and the mission of the church. Total current estimate: $31,487
The church has been approached by a developer and interest was expressed in acquisition of all or some of the church property. This factors into our recommendations for improvements as follows:
- It is not assured that the interest expressed by the developer will result in a formal proposal.
- If a proposal is presented, whether it will be approved by the congregation is not known.
- If some agreement is concluded it will very likely take years for anything to be finalized.
- The church can receive substantial value from upgrades until that time.
- Additionally, improvements in furnishing and equipment can be transferred to another location.
- However, some items in the proposal are listed in italics and these are things that can and probably should be deferred until the proposal from the developer is received and the congregation has an opportunity to consider it.
Components of this investment could include the following:
1. Upgrade seating. $2,500
Donate or sell bulky orange upholstered oak chairs and replace the folding chairs with stackable chairs. (price per chair $25.00/100 chairs.). Stackable chairs would take up less storage space, would, be easier to store, be more comfortable and attractive.
Priority item. Here is a link to a chair under consideration: https://www.stackchairs4less.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-stackchairs4less-Site/default/Product-Variation?pid=RUT-188&dwvar_RUT-188_configColor=Gray%20Plastic%2fBlack%20Frame
2. Eliminate the pass through from the kitchen to Conover.
3. Install base cabinetry along the walls on either side of the double entry doors. This would include upgrading the coffee service area to hide water and existing power supply lines and provide storage for items needed for coffee and food service. Cabinetry should have a hard surface for top surfaces.
4. Remove tape residue from ceiling tiles and consider installation of a track or system that would allow for hanging décor for events. https://www.ashanging.com/en_us/classic-ceiling-track
5. Explore options for an on-demand coffee service system. Current system OK for now.
6. Repurpose existing chair and table storage to provide easily accessible storage for Hunger Outreach supplies. Conover is currently used as a staging area 2-3 times a week for the Hunger Outreach Team as a part of the commitment to Social Justice while the church is no longer having Sunday Services. Currently wire shelving has been repurposed to store supplies for easy access for the program. These shelves are on rollers and could be easily moved in and out of the Conover storage closet. Repurpose the old Simpson House refrigerator to the Conover closet for Hunger Outreach supplies.
7. Install window treatments on the Warwick windows to provide light blocking for times when A/V presentations require. $1,072. DEFER
8. Assess and upgrade electrical system for the room.
a. Add outlet at coffee service area.
b. Remove unnecessary visible connection boxes.
c. Upgrade wall switch system for the space.
9. Sound system: Eliminate bulky speakers and upgrade the sound system to meet the audio-visual needs in the space. $1,000
10. Remove tack strip on Warwick wall
11. Remove bulletin board on wall next to the doorway.
Conover Alcove: $4,515
1. Fiber art installation has been added to the back wall changing the look of the space and making the alcove seem more a part of the rest of the room.
2. Install a doorway in the back wall of the Conover alcove. This will allow for better egress in the event of emergency and will permit the current fire exit hallway to serve as storage for ladders and other items. Est. $1,000
3. Add tile flooring to the space. Est. $1,125
4. Remove couch, oak sideboard and other seating so this area can be more integrated into the rest of the space.
5. Move cabinetry used by Kol Ami to the coat closet. (Consult with Kol Ami on this issue.)
6. Address lighting issues in the space. (replace existing stage lighting with suitable overhead lighting and wall switches)
7. Improve outlets as necessary.
8. Build movable room dividers for both the north and south side of the alcove to facilitate flexible storage.
Hunger Outreach Storage Space: $540
9. Closet is 5 feet wide and 17.5 feet deep
10. Clear chairs and tables from space and identify new location to store these items so this space can be used for activities of the Hunger Outreach program.
11. Add an electrical outlet.
12. Move refrigerator from Simpson House into closet for Hunger Outreach supplies.
13. Paint floor & walls.
14. Repurpose open wire shelving for use in Hunger Outreach closet to store supplies. Purchase additional shelving if needed.
15. Assess the need for purchase of storage bins for Hunger Outreach project and purchase and label them as needed.
16. Determine if additional equipment is needed to support the work of this project and purchase as needed.
1. Eliminate pass through on kitchen side of space.
2. Remove of cabinetry on the east and the west ends and replace with open wire shelving. This will require repair of the floor. Determine if the cabinetry on the west end can be repurposed and placed on the Warwick wall of the Conover Alcove for use by the Hunger Outreach team
3. Replace existing refrigerator/freezer with one freezer and one refrigerator. $3,000
4. Replace stoves. $2,000
5. Install quartz countertops. $3,300 DEFER
6. Replace faucets.
7. Add pull out shelves to the base cabinets under the windows.
8. Repair or replace existing cabinet doors. DEFER
9. Clean ceiling tiles.
10. Remove tack strip.
1. Move TV to west brick wall. Add appropriate outlets to provide power and audio-visual capacity.
2. Move oak table to another space and replace with modular tables to provide for larger meetings and to be reconfigured for classroom style set up. https://www.knoll.com/product/antenna-simple-tables?section=design
3. Replace carpet
4. Paint walls.
5. Review books and remove and donate outdated books. Assure we keep books relating to church history and Unitarian Universalism. Develop a system for periodic review library on a regular basis. Donate books that are no longer current and to acquire recent books relating to Unitarian Universalism and social justice issues for inclusion in library and update on a regular basis.
6. Consider making the theme of the room a “Church/Unitarian” focus
7. Consider moving ministers’ photos to the library, reframe, make them consistently black and white.
8. Update artwork from All Souls’ collection that relates to the theme in the library
9. Make better use of the brick wall storage space.
10. Remove one literature rack and develop a system to keep literature updated and tidy.
11. Remove card catalog and sell
12. Remove tall bookcases and repurpose to other spaces.
13. Remove folding chairs from behind the door.
14. Remove oak armchairs and sell or donate.
Meeting Room: $1,050
1. Replace carpet
2. Paint walls
Coat Closet: $1,242
The Coat Closet currently serves as a space for hanging coats and as a storage closet for easels, signs and other materials. As a result, it is generally unsightly and presents an image of a generally untidy space to members and visitors. Subdividing the closet will allow for a space to more than meet the needs for hanging coats and allow a for a separate space for storing signs, easels and other materials in a more appropriate manner. This section of the closet will not be something visitors and members would see when they use the coat closet.
1. Subdivide the coat closet into 2 sections to provide more effective management of storage.
2. Add 3-way light switches to control lights from each section.
3. Move coat hanger rods/shelves from storage section to coat hanging section.
4. Install shades so closet interior is not visible from outside. $242
5. Move cabinetry used by Kol Ami to storage section of the closet.
6. Move items that are not used on a regular basis to another storage area to reduce clutter.
7. Develop system to better manage easels and other regularly used items stored in the closet.
8. Install shelving to hold supplies for church groups such as Needlehearts and other church groups.
9. Provide shelving behind hallway door for AV equipment & wiring.
Funding: This project cannot be funded from existing All Souls funds. It will be necessary to raise funds for these upgrades to the equipment and physical spaces that are so critical to the life of the church. These upgrades will be a lovely enhancement to welcome back our congregation when the church building reopens. Cost estimates for this project total less than the $50,000 that would require a special capital campaign task group.
Facility Committee next steps:
1. Serve as the Task Force to develop ideas and refine costs associated with these renovations.
2. Communicate plans and progress with the board and congregation on a regular basis.
3. Conduct research to determine best options and costs associated with upgrades and prioritize the elements of the project based on funds available and benefit to the church.
4. Raise funds as necessary
5. Identity contractors and request bids per policies and procedures.
The All Souls BOT authorizes the Facilities Committee to proceed with the 2021 Renovations Plan and to conduct the necessary fundraising for the project. The project shall not exceed $40,000 and, upon completion, any excess funds will be transferred to the Maintenance Reserve Fund.