Capital Campaign Update, September 2017

The trustees and Form Construction have been very busy this summer.  Below is the list according to completion, in process, and still in planning stages.


New 3 level lift at Church St. entrance
Reynard Hall –  new fire suppression system in kitchen, new windows in hall and kitchen
Sanctuary – new insulation to attic space
Link Connector – new gutters on back, re-graded lawn in front of to allow proper drainage (no more water in basement)

In Process:

Reynard Hall – new roof and insulation in the attic space
Link Connector –  new roof
Sanctuary – steps to dais made to code (SAFER, WIDER, MORE GRADUAL), the removal of pews in front, and the shortening of 2 pews for wheelchair access
Choir Loft Lift – construction is starting now and projected completion before Christmas.

Planning Stages:

Mechanic Street – vestibule and lift
Link Connector – handicap accessible rest rooms

The members of the congregation have shown their love and support of our church, by the pledges, the pledge dollars received, and time that they have put into this campaign and into the projects. Remember folks, “it takes a village”, so it is not too late to donate, nor is any amount too small.


A Welcome Home: Capital Campaign 2016 – 2019

Progress Updates

October 28: Installation of New Lift Scheduled to Begin in January 2017

 The church recently signed a contract with Form Custom Builders of Mattapoisett for installation of a new wheelchair lift that will provide better access to the basement, Reynard Hall, and the main level. Work is scheduled to begin in early January and is expected to take 10 weeks. The contract amount is $80,000, which includes an allowance of $30,000 for the lift itself. One potential complication would be the presence of asbestos in any of the building materials that are to be removed such as ceiling or floor tiles. We are awaiting asbestos test results.


July 7: Lift Project Contractor Selected

After letting the lift project out to bid this spring, we heard back quickly that the local builders are busy and for the most part couldn’t meet our summer construction schedule. To be sure to get a reasonable price, we relaxed our schedule requirement. To make a long story short, we received 3 bids and decided to award the contract to Form Custom Building and Renovation of Mattapoisett. The good news is that the bid is within our budget. The bad news is that Form isn’t available to begin the work until January, 2017.

In the meantime, we’re working on moving the pastor’s office to what is now the family room. A new bookcase was installed today so we’ll be able to move the furniture soon. It’s a start!

New bookcase from Closet Geeks

April 25: Lift at Church Street Entrance Ready to Bid

Working with the Trustees Committee to iron out the details, our architect has finalized the construction documents for the first phase of the capital campaign to make our church a welcome home. The Trustees will solicit bids from four contractors. Our hope is to be able to begin work on the new lift in June and complete the project over the summer.

As part of the project, we will also be moving the pastor’s office to the other end of the hall, to the current crib room. That will entail building a new bookcase and installing doors that provide more privacy for pastoral conversations. We’re working to be able to to move Pastor Amy into her new office on Saturday, June 4.

When the new lift is installed, we’ll be able to use the pastor’s current office as the crib room. While work is in progress over the summer, we’ll have to use the conference room to babysit during worship service.

March 22: The Thinking Behind the New Lift at the Church Street Entrance

Question: How do you get from the church office to the Christian Education director’s office?

Answer: You walk down the stairs and turn a corner. Ahh, but if you’re in a wheelchair, it’s not so simple. You’ve got to get someone to help you take the lift down to Reynard Hall, exit the building and go down the ramp to Church St., go around the block to Barstow, come back in at the lower level, assuming it’s unlocked, and go down the hall. That’s not exactly an inviting prospect even in good weather, so don’t forget your hat.

The main problem with the existing lift is that it doesn’t go down to the basement. Needing an operator to run it is another. And the placement is poor — opening the door to get on or off the lift blocks the hall and stops traffic. It also happens to be out of compliance with state regulations. Even though the lift is safe and mechanically sound, the church could theoretically be fined someday for operating it.

As part of the capital campaign for A Welcome Home, we’re solving all these problems with a new lift that will serve all three levels: the sanctuary level, the classroom level, and Reynard Hall. The lift will be self-operated. As you come in the Church Street side entrance, the lift will be on your left. You’ll be able to take it up and get out across the hall from the office, or take it down and get out where Patty’s office door is now, across from the boiler room.

In conjunction with the modifications, the Pastor’s office will move to the other end of the hall, to the “crib” or “family” room. That has the benefit of being a quieter spot that offers more privacy. We’ll set up the crib room in the Pastor’s old office, which will be about 5 feet shorter, but still plenty of room. The Christen Education office will also be smaller after the new lift is installed, but still usable. But if Patty finds she needs more room, we can consider moving the media room partition wall a few feet.

The only alternative location that would serve all three levels would be to place the new lift in the same spot as the existing one, with access to the basement through what is now the Women’s Guild closet. The Trustees considered that option but rejected it because the excavation necessary would add an unknown cost, the hall would still be blocked by anyone using it, and we’d be without a lift for the 8 to 10 week construction period. All-in-all, that seemed like an inferior solution.

The project is estimated to cost about $75,000. The Council has approved the Trustees request to engage the architect to move ahead. If all goes well, construction could start early this summer!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact any of the Trustees. You can also leave feedback here on the website.

March 14:  The first project we undertake will be replacing the existing lift with a new 3-level lift at the Church St. wheelchair entrance.  The Trustees agree that the sooner we replace it, the better. We’d like to get the ball rolling  and take care of it this summer.

After considering the alternatives, we believe the best solution is to locate the lift at the end of the office wing, taking some space from what are now the Pastor’s and Christian Ed. Director’s offices.  We see the Pastor’s office trading places with what is now the crib/family room.

This coming Wednesday, March 16, the Trustees Committee is meeting with the architect at 5 pm to discuss the Church St. lift. You’re welcome to join us if you’d like to come and learn more.