1300 Evans St. | Morehead City, NC 28557 | 252-240-2283 | ucfminister@ucfnc.org

New Building!

Updates on Renovation of Our New Church

On February 12, 2019, the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship purchased the church building and property at 2900 Bridges Street in Morehead City.  The Board of Trustees asked for volunteers to be on the New Building Team and then the congregation voted to select the seven members of that team.  They are:

Joe Naset – Co-Chair

Guerry Willis – Co-Chair

Dan Phillips

Casey Benevides

Karen Baggott

Christoph Hintze

Bob Thomas

November 1, 2019 update:

October has been a very busy time for us. We have recommended and the president of the board, Tom Cullison, has signed or given approval for repair contracts for the Sunday School building. Work to remove the existing HVAC has been scheduled by Dowty HVAC for the last week of October. Carpet removal and removing the existing restrooms will start in November. In between and around the contractors we will be requesting volunteers to help clean the rooms to get them ready to paint.
If you drive by you’ll notice a stack of material at the back side of the Sunday School building. This material will be the parking lot for our property. Better than a hard paved surface, it is the same material used by North Carolina on all the Wildlife fishing ramp parking lots.
We still have the pews, but there is a church interested in them. We’re waiting a short time for that church to make a final yes or no on the pews.
Our property survey is nearly complete. There is some confusion on the actual size of the lot. We expect this to be resolved with the town of Morehead City soon.
As you know, we voted to build a new building for the sanctuary instead of renovating the existing building. New information from the Code Enforcement Office for Morehead City has changed our initial ideas on when to demolish the existing building. We will wait until we have complete plans, complete with parking areas and landscaping before applying for a demolition and building permit. That way we only need to apply once instead of paying two permit fees.
To sum up, contractors are actually working on the Sunday School building with oversight by a designated BT member and your BT is working toward a final design of the footprint for the entire building site to present to Morehead City for approval.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

October 1, 2019 update:

The past month has shown progress on the annex building. The BOT has approved a budget for the repairs that must be made before we can make use of the Sunday school (annex) building. The BT has bids for repairing the roof, bringing the restrooms up to ADA standards, new HVAC, repairing ceilings and windows, laying carpet and tile for the Sunday school building. We hope to have work under way in early October and finish by end of January 2020. At the same time, we will be working on the sanctuary building, however the vote on Oct 6 tells us to proceed.
We had a good turnout for the Coffee with the BOT on September 8th where you heard the report of the Building Team and our unanimous recommendation to raze the existing sanctuary and build a new sanctuary building at 2900 Bridges. The congregation will vote to make this important decision on Oct 6.
The survey has started and should be completed once the utility lines are remarked, and the surveyor can finish his property assessment. Besides getting the dimensions and staking out the boundaries, the survey will include elevations for drainage planning, information on setbacks and easements, and location of the utility lines necessary for pouring a new foundation or changing the existing one. Most of this information is needed regardless of whether we renovate or build a new building.
Anyone who has an idea for getting the pews a new home, please contact a member of the Building Team.
The BOT has sent out a copy of the presentation made to the congregation for you to review before our meeting on Oct 6. Please take the time to do this and feel free to contact any member of the New Building Team with your questions. The New Building Team hopes you will all attend the meeting on Oct 6th where we will vote on whether to renovate the existing or build a new sanctuary.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

September 1, 2019 update:
Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 8th. The Building Team and Board of Trustees will be holding a joint Coffee with the Board meeting with the congregation. You will hear the decision of the BOT, based on the BT’s research of whether to renovate the existing or build a new sanctuary at 2900 Bridges. We will also present to you information on renovating the Annex building.
We spoke with a design construction company in August in order to narrow down the cost for a new building vs the many estimates and quotes we have for renovation or a new building. The outcome of this meeting showed us that the estimates for separate items on our Decision Matrix are very close to actual cost. We go into the BOT meeting on August 30th with high confidence of what the cost will be for either renovation or building new.
The survey was not done as of August 23 as promised, same for removal of the gas line feeder to the building. There was some interest from a small church regarding the pews, but so far, they are all still at 2900 Bridges and we are still looking for a good home for them.
The Building Team hopes you will all attend the meeting on Sept 8th.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

August 1, 2019 Update:

We welcome Karen Baggott to the Building Team. The Board of Trustees appointed Karen to our team and Karen has accepted the position of Secretary, helping us keep organized. The Landscape Committee reports the contractor has cut down the trees behind the Classroom Building removed debris and ground the stumps down to avoid tripping hazards. The Live Oak has been trimmed back so the branches are no longer hanging over the roof of the Classroom Building. Anyone passing by may have noticed the bell is gone! Kristi Mroz is the new owner of the bell. We are still looking for anyone interested in the pews. We have some interested parties, but so far, no pews have left the building. After several calls to Piedmont Gas, the work order is in the hands of their local contractor and sometime before the September newsletter the gas line will be retired from the property. Our survey is still delayed due to the amount of backlog from last year’s hurricane and the oppressive heat wave we had in July. We have been assured that the survey will be completed soon. The decision to renovate or build is difficult to make. To help us make the big decision on the Sanctuary Building we have created two Decision Matrices. One is a list taken from the Leadership Council and input from individuals via suggestion box or otherwise. Weights are used to determine what is most important in the least biased way. The other Decision Matrix uses the best cost estimates of items compared side by side for a renovation or a new building. We will present this information to the Board of Trustees when these are completed. Bids for work on the Classroom Building are still being sought, again due to contractors being overwhelmed. Respectfully submitted, Dan Phillips

July 1, 2019 update:June brought us all great sadness with the loss of our team member, Anne Fiske. We miss her, and feel the void she leaves in our team. We can’t replace her (there is no one with her unique combination of talents) so we’ve decided to fill the position she held as Secretary now, and later when we begin work on the sanctuary add another sub-committee chair to advise and work with us on the design aesthetics of the building.
A lot of behind the scenes work has been done. We now have the full classroom remodel plan specs from Christoph Hintze and are using these to specify items that the contractors need to bid on the job. The consultant we hired has indicated that our first requests for a bid from a local contractor did not supply him with enough specific information for that contractor to make a proposal. Dan has researched many of these items, and the consultant is now working with a new contractor who better understands our needs. Joe Naset and Guerry Willis have rewritten the original contractor specification criteria which puts us in a better position to solicit additional proposals. This, coupled with the newly specified item list provides the contractors a basis to bid specific items or equivalent items. Another major factor is that nine months after the hurricane we still face a slowdown due to the backlog of work the contractors have to get folks back into their homes, so they are still slow to bid on ‘new’ construction projects which they may not be able to start for several months down the road.
The Sanctuary building has been evaluated by an engineer and following his findings and suggestions we are developing a ‘decision matrix’ to make a final determination on how to proceed – either remodel or build new. We have had the gas meter removed from the building and are making arrangements with Piedmont Gas to have the supply line removed so it will not hinder any digging or other construction activities when the time comes.
Several contractors have bid on the job to remove or trim the trees designated by the landscape committee. Bob Thomas is working to select the contractor and proceed with scheduling the work. The long awaited detailed survey of the property will be completed in the coming two or three weeks. Some of the information we need for the Sanctuary building will come from this survey.
Another item on our list is removing the pews from the building. We would like to make some money from them, but the pews and the bell need to go. Details are in the exchange. Contact any building team member for information.
Respectfully submitted, Dan Phillips

June 1, 2019 update:

In the last month we’ve made many decisions toward the goal of making 2900 Bridges St our new home. To say this has been a ‘long and winding road’ is not an exaggeration! After evaluating the needed space requirements for RE by the Leadership Council the decision has been made to NOT make the changes to the classroom building that are needed by Montessori School at this time. After we are in the building and get comfortable in our new accommodations, we can revisit renting to Montessori. The use of the building by Family Promise is also something that will be addressed in the future.
We will be selecting a Surveyor in the next week or two. The Architects RFP notebook and other documents have been given to Architects Ken Burnette (Burnette – Chalk Architecture & Planning, P.A.) of Morehead City and Brad Williams (BW ARCHITECTURE, PLLC) of Greenville.
Our Landscape Committee has made many decisions on the trees and shrubs around the building, and will be working to beautify our property. Does anyone have an idea for the cracked 250 pound bell? The bell needs repair and is a hazard where it is. We will sell it at a reasonable price but the buyer will have to move it.
After lengthy meetings on cost vs return on leasing solar arrays, our sub-committee on solar recommends this project be addressed after we are in the church, when we can get actual electric usage in the buildings rather than guessing the amount of electric we will use. We will have any renovations engineered to be able to support solar panels. This will allow the contractors to size the number of solar panels for the best return on our solar investment.
Bids are being requested for updates in the classroom building that include upgrading the restrooms to latest ADA requirements, and refitting all classrooms with windows meeting fire code egress standards for children and adults.
Final room designations have been assigned for the class room building so the Morehead City building inspector’s office can review them prior to a comprehensive meeting between the planning and inspections department and representatives of the BOT and BT.
Please stay after church on June 2 for a coffee with the BOT/BT. We’ll be there to give you the scoop, answer your questions and listen to any remarks.
As always, we welcome your input and Thank You all for your support.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

May 1, 2019 update:

The team consists of Joe Naset and Guerry Willis- CoChairs, Anne Fiske – Secretary, Casey Benavides, Christoph  intze, Dan Phillips, and Bob Thomas. The Subcommitte s so far are Solar- Penny Hooper and Landon Elswick, Grant Writing – Karen Baggott and Mary Anna Newman, Landscaping – Nan Reed, Terri Thomas, and Barbara Bergman.
We have met each Thursday for at least two hours since the NBT has been activated, a total of 7 meetings so far. The project has been divided into renovation of the Classroom building and renovation of the Sanctuary building. Christoph is finalizing a notebook to request proposals from two or more architects. He has also created Existing Conditions Documents, which detail the present measurements andplans for each building. We have completed an
overview of our requirements for the Sanctuary Building and a formal RFP document for contractors when bids are  requested. This document puts a form to the objectives, scope, specifications, timeline, selection criteria, submission format, financial information, licensing and bonding requirements, insurance requirements and references required from the contractor. We need a complete and detailed Survey to include information not given on the initial survey, but needed by the planning commission and other contractors as necessary. The utilities have been marked on the property so the landscaping subcommittee can determine where to plant the two donated live oak trees. As we  gathered bids and spoke with the Planning Commission in Morehead City, the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector, we found that this is a two step forward – one step back process, as new information comes to light. The process is  being slowed due to an ongoing shortage of contractors in the area since Hurricane Florence. Another important item is the Solar panel project – and again we have a lot of information just waiting until the Sanctuary building design is more complete.

I hope this answers some of the questions you have about our new church home. We have a suggestion box in the  ocial hall we check at least once a week. We copy the suggestions to a pdf and send them to members of the NBT. Please don’t hesitate to offer your suggestions.

Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

 

This Easter, we gathered for dinner in the social hall of the new building. Everyone enjoyed the new space where we can all be together.