Operation Next Gen

buildings through the past

Architects Hired for UCH Re-Design

The architectural firm of Beers + Hoffman has been hired to offer a re-design of our UCH campus.  The Lancaster-based firm has deep experience in church design; please check out their website for examples of their work.

They are currently developing some preliminary concepts and preparing a cost estimate for UCH. If the congregation votes to proceed with the project in December, Beers + Hoffman would begin final design in early 2024.

Congregation Approves Two Motions

At the December 10th Congregational Meeting, the congregation overwhelmingly approved two motions.

The first motion authorizes the Board to continue the project. It means the congregation wishes to proceed with a capital campaign to fundraise and spend money for the improvement of the church.

The second motion authorizes the Board to borrow money if they think it is necessary. However, the motion only authorizes borrowing the amount of unpaid pledges (that is, total amount pledged minus the amount already received).  That means the church should not incur long-term debt if pledges are paid as anticipated.

Financial Feasibility Study and Priorities (October and November)

Our consultant, Liz Coit, interviewed a representative 23% of UCH members, involving 42 individuals. This helped us estimate the financial capacity of the congregation for a capital campaign.

From this, we have set a goal of $690,000 in pledges to undertake the project.

Some findings:

  • 100% intend to support Operation Next Gen. (This has never happened in Liz’s practice before!)
  • 90% are already somewhat or very familiar with the proposed campaign

Over and over, participants found UCH strengths in:

  • Committed lay and professional leadership
  • Resilient, friendly, and persevering congregation
  • UCH programs for spiritual development and social engagement

Operation Next Gen will begin setting priorities from an 11-page list of desires for making the Clover Lane campus ready for the next generation of Harrisburg Unitarians. Our three focus areas are the foyer, the sanctuary, and the Common Room, with special attention to bathrooms, kitchen, and the outdoors.

October 22, 2023: Info Cafe

The Team provided an overview of the Capital Campaign process and shared the preliminary concepts provided by our Architects, Beers+Hoffman.

Milestones to watch

  • July-October 2023 – Architectural firm of Beers + Hoffman develops preliminary concepts and a cost estimate
  • October 2023 – Financial Feasibility Study targets around 22 representative members to determine our financial capacity
  • November 2023 – Preliminary Architectural Drawings unveiled
  • December 10, 2023 – Congregational Meeting to vote on extent of renovation
  • January 2024 – Final design of renovations begin

From The Reporter, September 2023:

In consultation with a number of UCH leaders, Beers + Hoffman will oversee a project to re-fit our physical space for the 21st century.  The project will ensure that our building is safe and will maximize the potential of its lovely MCM design.  We hope to raise funds to refurbish all parts of the church. Beers + Hoffman aims to design coherent campus spaces of beauty, simplicity, harmony with nature, and vitality.  We expect that the design will announce our UU identity and give our spaces greater flexibility as we respond to the challenges that the coming years may bring.

Mary Henninger-Voss, David Spear, Guy Dannelley, Andy Back, Lois Voigt, and Rev. Sandra Fees have been shepherding the early phases of this project, but they will be reaching out soon to enlist much-needed assistance.  Please be prepared to lend a hand!

Watch in all our publications for a box that that will keep everyone informed and provide links to important documents of this journey—from its beginnings in the Building and Grounds Improvement Task Force Report to the Strategic Plan to the present. 

March 3: Combined Fundraising Campaign launches. The Annual Stewardship Campaign and the Capital Campaign Fundraising will roll out simultaneously and proceed concurrently this year.

May 19, 2024: Annual Congregational Meeting. The meeting will also address any relevant topics regarding the capital campaign.

Early Summer: Final Design begins.

All sessions will be streamed live on Zoom.

Questions or comments? Email the team at NextGen@uchbg.org.

Or speak to any of the team: Mary Henninger-Voss, Chair, Andy Back, Guy Dannelley, Rev. Sandra Fees, David Spear, Lois Voigt.