2900 Bridges St.| Morehead City, NC 28557 | 252-240-2283 | ucfministernew@gmail.com

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.  The current member are:

Joe Naset – Co-Chair

Guerry Willis – Co-Chair

Dan Phillips

Karen Baggott

Christoph Hintze

Bob Thomas

Karen Baggott

Tom Cullison

Anne Fiske and Casey Benavides were also on the original Building team.

January 2021 News from your New Building Team

I bet you thought the NBT had left the building – not so fast. We have had several months of meetings, interactions and queries passed between your NBT, our Design Build Company, and officials of Morehead City. The outcome of a lot of work and patience has been the approval of all of the variances and the Special Use Permit for our new church at 2900 Bridges St.
Our next step is getting an updated building cost from our Design Build Company. They must check with their sub-contractors and material suppliers for current costs. The cost of lumber has varied widely in the past year. As in Jeopardy, the final answer is… After this short commercial break (Christmas/New Year). We expect by the middle of January 2021 to have ‘the facts’ to share with everyone.
BTW – how about that spectacular color rendering of the projected new building?! 
We all hope you’ve had a good Holiday for 2020.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

September News from your New Building Team

September News from your New Building Team.
For quite some time the NBT has been operating with just six of the allotted seven members. We are all pleased to welcome Tom Cullison as a new team member. Tom was appointed by the BOT a few weeks ago. The NBT has been re-chartered by the BOT to be active until the new sanctuary construction is completed.
The NBT met by Zoom with one of our two design/builders to review preliminary, detailed specifications and estimates for our new sanctuary. The team reviewed these last week and will meet with them again soon. Our second design/builder will present their first proposal the first week of September. We are moving ahead in this very complex phase of the project.
Moving on – by mid-September, the church offices will be in the annex. The phone number will remain the same as it is now (252 240 2283). The NBT is passing control of the annex to the Leadership Council with the Facilities committee in charge of upkeep and daily maintenance of the building. There will be some cross over of activity between the NBT and Facilities in regard to future construction to join the new sanctuary to the annex.
All restrooms are complete, including signs. As part of our new fire alarm system there are two (2) manual pull boxes that will activate the alarm. Please do not test the pull boxes. Russ Dippman has completed re-caulking the windows in the annex. Again, Thank You Russ.
As noted in last month’s NBT news, there will be a learning curve in operating the new building, but nothing that is overwhelming. Probably the most important item is to not test the fire alarm pull boxes. We are all excited to see the annex finally open for use.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

August News from your New Building Team

The Annex has passed the Fire Marshall’s inspection of our alarm system and this means we can officially open the doors to business of the church. The rooms are ready for use as needed for authorized meetings. The Men’s Restroom and the small restroom are finished. Until we are finished installing the partitions in the Women’s Restroom, just lock the door when in use.
Those folks holding meetings please familiarize yourself with the building controls – Fire Alarm – HVAC – Electric Panel. There will be information posted for the basic controls/features that will be needed from time to time along with contact information if you have questions.
The building has WiFi and phone service. On your device search for UCF Church and enter the password. The password is posted in what will be the office assistant’s room, (first room on the right).
Russ Dippman has volunteered to recaulk and paint the windows after his normal work hours. He is doing this work for us at no charge. Many thanks to Russ!
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips
PS: Department of Health COVID-19 sanitation guidelines will be posted at the doors of the Annex . These must be followed if you are using the building.

July News from your New Building Team

Another month of progress with designing our new Sanctuary building. Our selected builders will be given the final Site Plan from our civil engineer Chase Cullipher. We have met with Chase several times via Zoom meetings. We expect the completed plans will be ready for our builders early July. Chase has been working off the new land survey so the required set back, green spaces, parking and other engineering items can be worked into the actual structural plans from the builders.
The annex has a few small items to be completed before it can be used on a daily basis. We expect the building will be open for business in mid-July. There will still be ongoing work in the annex to upgrade some facilities. None of this work will interfere with daily use of the building.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

June news from your New Building Team

The co-chairs of the NBT met with the BOT in May. They gave a report on where we are in the process and gave them a recommendation from the entire NBT for proceeding with development of the 2900 Bridges St property. We are at a point where we need to complete various site surveys before we can go to Morehead City and NC State for permits to go ahead with the demolition of the current sanctuary building and site development. There are various time lines for some items that need to be completed before others can be started. The completed and approved items then start a specified time where other items must be started, or the item may have to be reapproved by either Morehead City or NC State, depending on the item.
One of the last items on our list for the Annex is the installation of the fire alarm system. We have just had our fire alarm plan approved and the contractor will be working in the Annex the next several weeks. We are still looking for a contractor to install our restroom partitions. Several contractors have been contacted but none was able to do this type of work.
We are now a ‘HotSpot’ for Spectrum internet. The 2900 Bridges St lot has an icon with the church name and address on the spectrum.com/wifi-hotspots map. Being a hotspot does not cost UCF any money.
Some of this information may be old news to you if you attended the ‘Coffee with the Board’ and the NBT which was held after Sunday Worship service on May 24. We will have a follow meeting in two weeks on June 7th to review and answer any questions you may have before our Annual Meeting on June 14th.
At the annual meeting, you will be voting on where we go from here. One of the key issues is whether or not we will move forward with builder selection. This decision hinges on whether or not we sell the Evans Street church and raise the additional funding necessary to build our new church by borrowing the funds to cover the total costs of construction.
It’s an exciting time for UCF!! There is lots going on so stay tuned for more information as we prepare to vote at our Annual Meeting.

May news from your New Building Team:

The annex building is waiting for the fire alarm system to be installed, along with a few ‘exit’ signs. Restroom partitions are in the building and waiting for a contractor to install. Morehead City offices are closed to the public and our contacts are working part-time, if at all, due to the virus. We hope they will be available to finish inspecting the building after the fire alarm installation is completed.
We have been working with three design/build companies for the last several months and are coming close to having a building plan. We are working toward picking two of the companies to continue the design phase. Our progress so far has been amazing, considering building codes, site limitations, working with contractors and doing our best to fit all the needs and wants we were made aware of when this project started, a little more than a year ago.
We are forging ahead slowly but surely, onward ‘To infinity and beyond’.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

March news from your New Building Team:

First and foremost, SAVE THE DATE for an Open House at the Annex at 2900 Bridges Street, on Sunday, March, 29th from 11:45 to 1 p.m. This is your opportunity to tour the building and enjoy some coffee hour refreshments at the same time. A hearty thank you to Tom Cullison and all of the volunteers who helped to paint the interior of the building – it looks nice and bright and clean in there! Since then, the carpet has been installed, the HVAC is up and running, partitions are ordered for the restrooms, the rooms have been keyed, a lockbox has been ordered that will allow emergency personnel access to the building if necessary, and an automatic door opener is to be installed soon. While we still have a few loose ends to tie up before that date, we are confident that the jobs that remain will be completed in plenty of time for us to host the Open House on March 29th..
We continue to meet with three design/build companies to fine tune their plans to our needs.
In addition to designing the new sanctuary/social hall building, they are including land-scaping required by the Town of Morehead City, space needed for parking, a playground area and a memorial garden. All three com-panies have had several meetings with the New Building Team in person or in video conference. At some meetings we have had to shuffle a set of plans off the table while another company walks in the door with their own plans in hand – this work is excit-ing in more ways than one! We hope to be making a decision in the near future.
Meanwhile, back at the 1300 Evans Street Ranch, the Green Sanctuary Committee is discussing our use of paper products, and a Facilities Committee is taking shape to en-sure that our new buildings and grounds are well maintained and cared for. Thank you to all who volunteer!

February news from your New Building Team:

As Dan Phillips reported in the January Coastline, work is proceeding in the Sunday School Building with the new roof being completed, a volunteer interior painting team taking shape under the leadership of Tom Cullison, ADA compliant restrooms nearing completion, water fountain in-stalled, HVAC and carpeting work scheduled and fire alarm and smoke detectors installed soon. Dan, we miss you and hope your recovery from hip surgery goes smoothly!
One Design/Build company has presented tentative plans for the new sanctuary/social hall building, with a two others making their presentations on January 28th . Last Sunday, January 26th , we held a Coffee with the Board and New Building Team after the service. Guerry Willis presented an update on the the Sunday School building renovations (complete with photos) while Joe Naset gave a timeline of items to be completed in order to remove and replace the sanctuary/social hall building, including permits from the Town of Morehead City.
The Team is hoping to have plans reviewed by the end of February, then presented to our Board of Trustees, then to the congregation near the end of March. As a newer member of the team, I have been very impressed by, and grateful for, the knowledge and dedication that the team members have brought to the process as well as the hands-on work they have provided. They won’t toot their own horns, so I will tell you that countless hours have been spent by team members getting bids from contractors, ordering and installing ‘parts’ when possible, meeting with Town staff, overseeing contract work, finding design/build companies, etc. If you are able to help, your contribution to the painting team will be greatly appreciated.
Two dates are scheduled thus far: Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Jan 31.
We are sad to see Casey Benavides leaving the team due to other commitments and her family’s upcoming move to Peru. Casey, we appreciate your participation and wish you and your family all the best as you prepare to make this transition.

January news from your New Building Team:

Wow! Have we got NEWS for you! The Sunday School Building is sporting a new roof. The roofing contractor removed all of the fascia and replaced with material that won’t rot or need repainted. Equipment that was on the roof was removed and the wood replaced as needed and the area that was modified by previous owners to
accommodate the connector was returned to a normal roofline. And of course, beautiful blue architectural style asphalt shingles.
To comply with ADA standards, both
restrooms had to be extensively gutted and rebuilt. They are now being tiled in
preparation to installing the fixtures. Both entryways are being tiled as well. Lighting fixtures have been chosen, all are LED. We are in the process of selecting a fire alarm system that is approved by Morehead City Fire Marshall.
Ceiling and interior door repair and painting will begin soon. In short, after months of careful consideration, the selected
contractors are actively working to renovate the Sunday School Building.
The New Building Team has had all the fun and we know many of you want a piece of the action. Your chance to get some ‘hands on’ by painting some of the rooms is
approaching. We’ll be asking for volunteers in January for work parties for the later part of the month. This is going to be so much fun you won’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity.
We have selected three design/build
companies to offer preliminary plans for the new sanctuary building. We have already had a look at a first draft from one of the companies and the other two are scheduled for early January 2020. This process of looking at designs and the companies
making changes to get closer to our dream, will continue for several cycles. After that, the design company with the best design for the money will win the contract.
Your New Building Team wishes each of you a safe and happy holiday season.
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

December 1, 2019 update:

November has been another busy month for your Building Team. We have had meetings every week since being chartered as the New Building Team to coordinate renovations and repairs to the new Unitarian Coastal Fel-lowship facility located at 2900 Bridges Street. The two-hour meetings have been on average three hours, and this month our meetings were on the high end of that aver-age. Keeping work and budget in line for the Sunday School building and working to get the site plans for the building and grounds of the entire site would be a challenge without still dealing with the aftermath of Hurri-canes.
We met with another Design Build General Contractor. He gave a brief overview of pre-vious work his company has done and we gave him information as to how we would like the building and lot to be developed. He will do an initial design and return to us with his ideas. Before the end of November, we will have a package of ideas, completed questionnaires and other information in the hands of our first Design Build Contractor.
These plans will take some time to complete a first draft. At that time we will decide which company has the best grasp of what we what to do on the site and stay as close to our budget as possible.
Meanwhile, contractors have been working in the Sunday School building, removing carpet and other equipment. We were re-cently issued the building permits so now the contractors can complete their work.
Those folks waiting for a decrease in the price of a pew, your time is now. Get your pew before they are all gone!
Respectfully submitted,
Dan Phillips

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.