Renovation Update by Rich Rivera

We are excited to provide the congregation with some updates about the renovations that have taken place on campus. Everything has been coming together very nicely and with minimal disruptions, despite the challenges of a global pandemic.

The following work has been completed in the Ministries Center:

Congregational Hall - Congregational Hall received major upgrades to its sound and acoustics system. Ample consideration was given to determine how to improve speech intelligibility, music quality and sound system performance. At the recommendation of an acoustical consultant, reverberation-reducing paneling was installed throughout the space to greatly improve the acoustics of the room, thereby allowing presentations to be heard better. To further improve the quality of presentations, a new sound system and a larger projector also were installed. In addition to those improvements, Congregational Hall received a bit of a facelift to make the space bright and welcoming. Enhancements included remote-controlled window treatments, new flooring and a fresh coat of paint. In addition, the restrooms near Congregational Hall have been completely renovated.

Activities Building - The Activities Building received a much-needed makeover. The Gloucester Room was split from one large room into two smaller rooms to provide more meeting spaces. The Fullerton Room now has wood shelving units that will house our library as well as a large screen TV and additional space for meetings and presentations. All the conference rooms received new flooring, trim, doors, LED lighting, paint and energy-efficient windows. We are particularly excited about the new art gallery which will be located in the former conference room. The gallery was constructed with a focus on the presentation of artwork via special lighting and two movable display pillars. In addition to a total overhaul of the meeting, library and art spaces, four accessible bathrooms were built near the conference rooms, and an entrance was constructed to give visitors access to the conference rooms directly from the lower level of the atrium.

Gym - The stage was removed from the gym, making way for a much-needed large room for youth ministry activities. LED lighting was installed, which will help to relieve heat and energy costs associated with running the old, high-intensity lighting system. Like the conference rooms, the gym also received new, energy-efficient windows. The loft area was opened, exposing the new windows on the west side to allow for more natural light in that space. We look forward to the youth returning to enjoy this space.

Converse House - The Converse House received some beautification, but its original structure, wood accents and stained glass windows were preserved. The hardwood floors, trim and fireplace were stripped, sanded and refinished. We also installed energy-efficient air conditioners and LED lighting on all floors.

Atrium – The newly-constructed Atrium will connect the Sanctuary and Ministries Center, making it possible to travel between both buildings safely and efficiently. While there is still work to be completed, it is well on its way to being the jewel of the renovation project. This area will feature a large skylight window with a fascinating view of the bell tower. Large windows on the north and south side will allow natural light to fill the space, highlighting impressive wood ceilings. The Atrium will consist of two levels, with the second level being accessible via steps or the new elevator. When completed, the Atrium also will– offer four accessible restrooms, glass railings and daylight-harvesting LED technology. You may have noticed a curved wall being constructed beside the Sanctuary’s main entrance. This curved retaining wall will accommodate one of the many gardens that will envelop the Atrium. A new driveway will be constructed on the south side of the Atrium leading to the front of the Sanctuary. Finally, six new elm trees will be planted on the Sanctuary lawn along with numerous new plantings throughout the campus.

We look forward to the completion of the renovations and, more importantly, sharing these spaces with congregants for many years to come!