March 2016 Splinters from the Board

Guess the general theme of the March 23, 2016 Board meeting. Obviously, it was our transition to the new church building. Board members learned of well-wishes to the congregation offered by All Saints Episcopal Church, next door on Grove Street, and by former UUCGL minister Denise Tracy. Such warm support is welcome at this time of upheaval and uncertainty about when the new building will be ready.

The Dream Implementation Team talked of drainage issues being addressed by the Grounds Planning Group, sanctuary lights on back-order, and difficulty with some exterior doors not easy to close tightly. Things more positive than these annoyances were discussed, such as planning for hanging the Red Zinger mobile in the atrium and possible funding for playground equipment that is compliant with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Board gave permission to hire an additional American Sign Language interpreter to meet increasing need on Sunday mornings.

To support renovation costs, the Board moved to transfer monies, as planned, from several reserve funds to the new building fund.

Also, the Capital Campaign was reignited under the leadership of Molly Dean and Bill Arnold. With their new energy and creativity, we continue towards our goal of $1.4 million (we have just under $300,000 to go). More volunteers are being sought to help with that effort.

Preparations also extend to how space will be used once we are settled at the new location. A couple of expected multi-use rooms were given names. The board room will be called the Augusta Chapin Room, and the large room that served as a music room in the east (Religious Education) wing will be called the Kiva. The Board created and approved the charge for an Ad Hoc Building and Grounds Use Committee, which will draft a revised Building Use Policy by the end of May that encompasses:

1) priorities for use of the building and grounds by congregation and non-congregation entities,
2) designation of spaces available for rent,
3) components of a formula for determining space usage costs,
4) components of rental procedures and use specifications, including assignment of responsibility for maintaining written procedures and signage, and
5) assignment of responsibility for managing rental arrangements.

While a policy is being developed, approvals for space use made by the Board will seek the best judgement of the Ad Hoc Committee informed by their draft policy.

While much of the Board’s current focus centers around the building and its use, planning is also beginning for community outreach. Board approval was given to apply for a matching grant for beta-testing a new Unitarian Universalist Association promotion toolkit. More volunteers are being welcomed for this exciting pursuit.