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Summary: Capital Assets Planning Committee Workshop with Ritter Norton Architects

November 2, 2018

More than 50 members participated in lively discussion. In advance, CAPC had asked Ritter Norton to respond to a couple of recurring issues with the concept that had been brought up during capital campaign visits. Chiefly:

  • Distance between the kitchen and the social hall
  • Concerns about adequacy of offices for ministers and staff

Mary Means and Maryann Dillon reviewed the process of arriving at the concept shown during campaign visits. During Summer, 2017 CAPC asked RNA to give us concept at a level that would inform cost estimates to be used in capital campaign. To do so, CAPC and RNA held interviews with ministers, staff, and numerous stakeholder listening sessions in July 2017. Prepared 3 concepts with cost ranges. On the advice of our capital campaign consultant, the most visionary one -- adding a new sanctuary, was used in focus groups to test the feasibility for a capital campaign. People liked it, but ultimately, the decision was made to proceed with the less costly renovation scheme shown in capital campaign materials.


Derek Norton of Ritter Norton Architects began by reviewing this process and showing the three concepts developed in Summer, 2017. They then showed several ways design could address issues of concern. In all cases the expanded sanctuary remains as shown. Floor plans for each of these are at the end of this summary.

Alternate A

Add a warming kitchen in the social hall. It would be quite adequate for most uses and users of the social hall and overcome the distance to the kitchen. Additional storage could also be gained by removing the stairs (no longer required by code).

Enclose the existing covered walkway to the main entrance, thereby gaining additional usable space for improved offices in the (former) Lounge area. This would make possible additional separate offices and reduce the open office area.

Alternate B

Leave the offices where they are, with modest renovations.

Expand the current Lounge via an addition on the Culver Street side, and enclose the covered walkway. The combination of these two changes would enable a properly sized social hall close to the existing kitchen. A deck could be included on the Culver St end, which could be used during good weather.

Both alternatives stimulated discussion and much excitement, particularly Alternate B.


Throughout the workshop, participants raised points they wanted to be sure the renovation addressed, including restrooms, full ADA accessibility, relocation (or not) of the library, green building materials, and others. CAPC and RNA assured everyone these issues would be addressed in the next stage of design development, since today was really focused on ‘the big move:’ namely, location of the social hall.


Considering the enthusiasm shown for these alternative solutions, CAPC has asked Ritter Norton to provide cost ranges. CAPC will review the alternative concepts in greater detail, including cost estimates, and determine if one of them should be chosen to advance to the next level of design development. At that time, information about the chosen concept will be widely communicated to the congregation. Those members who have not yet made a pledge to the capital campaign will be encouraged to do so.

hopes by January, 2019 to be able to give Ritter Norton Architects a firm budget for the renovation. At that time, we will contract with them for further design development and construction drawings that will enable us to obtain permits and begin construction (hopefully, in 2020). When the design process resumes in early 2019, will conduct frequent workshops with the congregation and provide regular information throughout.

The following graphics illustrate the two alternative concepts presented on Saturday, October 27: click here to view.