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Capital Campaign Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers will be updated as new information is obtained. If you have a question concerning our Capital Campaign and/or campus improvements send them to capitalcampaign@uusat.org.

Fellowship Hall

With the new extension, how much bigger will the Lounge and Kitchen be? How many new toilet rooms will we add?

The Lounge will expand from 414 sf to 1012 sf, an extra 598 sf. The Kitchen will expand from 232 sf to 413 sf, an extra 181 sf.

Toilet rooms will increase from 2 toilets/2 sinks to 6 toilets/4 sinks to comply with code requirements.  There will be one men’s and one women’s toilet room that are larger and compliant with TAS (Texas Accessibility Standards).  We use the term “toilet” room because a “bath” room has a bathing option such as a tub or shower).

Will we have a gender neutral (GN) toilet room?

The Architecture Committee is still reviewing the possibility of including a gender-neutral toilet room in this phase of the project.  We will continue to review this possibility in more detail as the design progresses. 

Can we turn Fellowship Hall into one large room? Alternatively, can we put in an accordion partition to divide/close off the rooms as needed? 

This topic is still under discussion; however, the Architecture Committee is currently in favor of maintaining two separate rooms. The main reasons for this position are:  #1 – we are persuaded that two different sized rooms will be more useful and more flexible for our functions than one large room (e.g. when a group meets on Sunday morning in the Main Room at the same time people are getting coffee/talking in the Lounge;) #2 – when we have a single large event, the two rooms are accessible/adjacent to each other through a double door and the hallway will be eliminated making them closer and more connected; #3 – if we create only one large room, the space would need to be reanalyzed by the architect due to an increase in fire restrictions, exiting (egress) requirements, air conditioning loads and Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS).  For example, all the doors in the entire building leading to the courtyard would need to be changed to TAS accessible doors, adding cost to the project.

As for a sliding partition wall between the two rooms, the architect recommends against that option citing, not only item #3 above but other costs.  For example, a partition wall dividing the spaces would exceed the current established budget due to additional costs for structural support, fire protection, noise isolation, and a partition divider storage closet.  

Will the passthrough from the kitchen to the lounge area remain?

The passthrough between the Kitchen and Lounge is still being studied.  The decision is partially based on the City’s fire codes and increased budget implications for increased fire suppression required by the passthrough.

How will serving tables be configured in the Lounge? Will there be enough electrical outlets if we serve from moveable tables rather than from the existing fixed counters in the Lounge?

Serving tables will be configured, on non-serving days, so that the square café tables will be scattered throughout the space, perfect for coffee and chats with friends, or pushed together for meetings.  On serving days, they will be placed in a line down the middle of the room with serving available on both sides for faster service. As for electrical outlets, there will be plugs on the new floating bar-height counters in front of the glass windows of the extension and in the wall by the patio. There will also be extra plugs around the Kitchen and its longer island. Pre-heated crockpots will be moved to the center line of tables.

Will the location of the kitchen and toilet rooms be reversed?

This topic is still under discussion.  Architectural drawings show the kitchen at the far end of the building. The reasons for this position are:  #1 – we want to have an entry from the parking lot directly into the kitchen for food drop-offs by vendors and congregants and the kitchen’s location at the end of the building makes that easier;  #2 – if separate events are going on simultaneously in the Main Room and the Lounge, traffic will be less disruptive to the Lounge event if the toilet rooms are more centrally located; #3 – the existing plumbing needs to be reconfigured/redone for the expanded kitchen and larger bathrooms regardless of the location chosen, so the cost of switching their location is minimal.

Kitchen

Why don’t we buy a dishwasher and reusable plates/cutlery and do the dishes after every event to avoid having as much trash?

  This topic is still under discussion by the Architecture Committee.  Current plans do include buying a residential-grade dishwasher.  Several concerns are identified, however, in making the other changes:  #1 – the biggest issue is to have enough volunteers or staff who can dependably stay after every event to load the dishwasher and put dishes away; this means covering not only Sunday events but other social events during the week, such as book clubs, meetings, wedding and funeral receptions; #2 –  there will be a significant initial cost to buy a dishwasher, dishes, glasses and cutlery; #3 – the architect advises that in working with other churches, none has ever chosen this option of reusable dishes after considering the costs and logistical challenges of sufficient volunteers and limited staff. 

Entry Walk from West Parking Lot

Will putting vines on the trellis/archway cause problems such as the flowers dropping on the sidewalk or the vines not getting enough water, or birds building nests? Are there any advantages to having a vine-covered trellis?   

The vine species and irrigation system will be designed appropriately to minimize maintenance while maintaining a healthy vine system throughout the seasons. Advantages are that a trellis and vines will make a welcoming entrance and provide some shade.

 

Is it better to have grass than stones along the entry path to avoid heat? Is it better to have white stones than black?

The proposed use of shadow stone is an extension from the existing courtyard, which is a very important architectural element that ties the two spaces together and creates consistency.  Introduction of grass in this area will require more maintenance, water consumption, and yearly costs.  The white stones are more reflective than black ones and could burn the vine covering on the trellis due to the increased reflective heat.  The introduction of blooming small trees on the sides of the trellis, above the shadow stone, will help shade the shadow stone below to reduce heat absorption.  The adjacent buildings will also provide shade in the shadow stone areas.  The black shadow stone hides dirt and debris very well; the white stone does not, thus requiring more frequent maintenance.

Transportation

Can we install a bike rack?

We currently have one that accommodates 6 bicycles, located in the east parking lot (school side parking lot).  We will continue to have a bike rack as long as there is a need.

If the VIA drop-off point is relocated, where will it go?

One location being considered is in the north parking lot near the covered sidewalk that leads from Building 3 to the Sanctuary. We are considering additional options.

Should we install one or more EV charging stations? 

The EV charging station is allocated to a future and separate project from the Capital Campaign.  This project needs to be studied in detail to understand not only the installation requirements, but the financial responsibilities and required monitoring during use.  We are looking for one or more interested congregants who will volunteer to do the leg work on this project.  If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact capitalcampaign@uusat.org.

Miscellaneous

Are there plans for a columbarium?

A work group has studied this issue and made a preliminary report on its feasibility.  For now, the project is on hold for a future phase after other priorities are addressed.

Are there plans to update the labyrinth and make it more accessible?

This topic is under discussion for a future phase using initial ideas from the Green Team and the architect.

Last updated 10/24/2022.

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