Where Are We in Construction Planning?

Over the past few months the Construction Oversight Group (COG) has worked with our architects at Maryann Thompson Associates (MTA) to hone a floor plan that we love.  It features a gracious, light-filled fully accessible entrance to the sanctuary from the street side, with an elevator and an open stairway leading down to the Community Center and up to the Sonin Family Music Center.  Along with a liaison from the Historic Districts Commission (HDC), we’ve fine-tuned the outside appearance to facilitate approval by the HDC, which we hope to win at a hearing on April 5th.

You can see these plans and drawings upstairs outside the Anne Smith Room, at coffee hour, and on the Capital Campaign web page. You’ll note that there is a covered walkway between the main building and the Marshman Center, but that the expansion of the Marshman Center has been dropped.  The concept was lovely, but the cost was high for little space gain.

We’re currently working with engineers and ZVI Construction to design utility connections, HVAC systems and storm water drainage solutions as well as to pare costs to meet our target budget.  MTA expects to start construction drawings in the next few weeks.

Delays in scheduling our HDC hearing leave us with a compressed time frame to gain necessary approvals for an early summer construction start.  We’re trying to set up parallel tracks to speed those approvals, knowing that construction can proceed most smoothly if there is full access to our property when neither Follen nor Waldorf School are in regular sessions.  If there are unanticipated delays that push a construction start date past September 1, we will delay starting until next spring.

There is a good chance that we will be back in the sanctuary for services, with nursery care in its usual below-sanctuary space, at the start of the church year.  Our current plan is to temporarily relocate staff offices to the Marshman Center and to use the Waldorf School for RE. We have made connections with other places in town to offer other youth and adult programs and meetings.  If all goes well, construction could be complete about 10 months after it begins!



  • Two-door passenger elevator with 4 stops:  Basement (CC), Sanctuary, Offices, Music Center
  • Exterior ramps from front of property to new entry between church and Marshman Center, and along driveway to floor level of Community Center
  • One HC parking space in front of Marshman Center, off of Barnes Place and others along driveway
  • Interior ramp to chancel, from office level door
  • Accessible bathrooms on each floor
  • Accessible main kitchen at Community Center and kitchenettes in Anne Smith Room and Music Center

Energy Efficiency and Building Systems

  • Heat supplied by two high-efficiency low-temperature condensing boilers with fin-tube radiators
  • Heat-pump air conditioning units in offices and meeting rooms
  • Heat-recovery system for ventilation and makeup air in kitchen and larger meeting areas
  • Utilities sufficient to add AC to sanctuary later, if not possible now
  • Well-insulated walls and roof
  • Energy-efficient operable windows
  • LED lighting


  • Fire sprinkler system, including sanctuary
  • Improved exterior and path lighting


    • Non-gendered bathrooms (both multi-and single-stall)
    • Covered walkway at grade between main building and Marshman Center
    • Roof deck from Anne Smith Room
    • Patio between church and Marshman Center
    • Direct playground access from door at rear of Community Center