Parking and Capital Campaign Updates

by Jayme Trott, Co-Chair

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Parking and Capital Campaign efforts did not go on holiday over the summer! In fact, considerable progress has been made on both projects and we have reason to believe that improved and expanded parking will be a reality at UUCWC before the snow flies!!

Parking Project Accomplishments:

  • In June, the engineering firm we hired, Van Note Harvey, delivered a set of plans that was submitted to (and subsequently receive approvals from) the Mercer County Soil Conservation District and the Mercer County Planning Board.
  • We created a scope of work, interviewed contractors and compared bids. A contractor has been selected and will be ready to start work as soon as all permits are received.
  • The parking plan was revised to allow maximum number of spaces and decreased costs
  • Anticipating final approval from Hopewell Township SOON. Their engineer retired, the new engineer required that we provide information to bring him up to speed on the history and status of our plans; people’s vacations caused delays and the last two months’ meetings were cancelled. As soon as this permit is approved we will be able to order the materials and start work!

Capital Campaign status:

  • Our active outreach for Capital Campaign funds at the same time we were seeking Stewardship Campaign commitments yielded almost $930,000 in pledged donations! THANK YOU to all who have participated and pledged to the future of UUCWC in this way!! We plan to have another outreach for funding once we have architectural plans that more clearly define the projects we will implement, as we anticipate that concrete plans will be more exciting and hopefully encourage more people to pledge.
  • In June/July, we developed a Request for Proposal and sent it to 4 identified architects. We provided tours of the church facilities and grounds and answered questions. Unfortunately, 3 of the 4 declined to provide proposals, as they had larger, more urgent projects to work on.
  • We identified two more architects – one declined and the other will soon be visiting to see the church and what we would like to do.
  • Parking costs are higher than anticipated, since permits and engineering costs were more than expected. We anticipated $92,000 for parking, but it is likely to be closer to $120,000.
  • Our original “wish list” of renovations to the church and grounds was approximately $1.7 million. With the input of our expert consultant and based on what we are likely to be able to raise from our congregation, we have targeted $1.1 million as a Capital Campaign goal. Although we will have to reframe our plans based on the priorities expressed by the congregation and will not be able to fulfill all our $1.7 million in wishes, we expect to be able to make important renovations that will further the mission and vision of UUCWC in meaningful ways.
  • We will plan to schedule an informational meeting for the congregation as soon as we have architectural plans that we can share.

If anyone is interested in participating as part of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee, we would be extremely grateful for someone with experience in communications. Unfortunately, it is not a core competency of our current team, and we would value the addition of someone who would be willing to share their expertise!!