October 2015 Splinters from the Board

At the October 28meeting, the Board approved the naming of a room in the new building the “Marion Vaughn Parlor,” to perpetuate the legacy from the Grove Street building.

In another action related to the impending move to South Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing, the Board approved excavation of the sealed time capsule buried in 1997 in the memorial garden at 855 Grove Street. It will not be opened until a later date to be determined by the Board.

The Board received an update from the Dream Implementation Team. The contract with Central Contracting, Inc. to renovate the S. Penn building was signed, and a Construction Monitoring Team was formed to oversee progress with the renovation. Barb Wilber, Al Christian, and Brian Murphy bring abundant and varied construction project experience to the task. Arrangements are being made with the Lansing Board of Water and Light to increase the capacity of water to the building to feed a new fire suppression system and to bury the electrical power line serving the building to improve the appearance of the courtyard area that may become the new memorial garden. The Grounds Planning Group is having trees removed or trimmed as well as fighting invasive species like Japanese Knotweed and Autumn Olive.

The move to a larger building will bring new demands for staffing. Kathryn reviewed her staffing recommendations for 2016 to 2020. The Board discussed this in light of the recommendations consultant Sarai Rice made after her visits to our church. Among them was the idea of analyzing staffing allocation, determining whether we have the right people in the right positions with the right position descriptions. The Board acknowledged that clarifying a strategic plan would inform the staffing decisions. Volunteerism was also recognized for its potential to help hold down operating costs, although staff time is generally needed to organize volunteers. A work group was formed to work with Kathryn on developing a preliminary strategic staffing plan.