BUILDING 2020▪BUILDING a better welcome
What will Westmoreland look like in 2020?
Our vision is to welcome more people into the life of our church.
Our vision is to make our church building as accessible and welcoming as possible for church members and all others who share our space.
Our vision is to provide modest accessibility and infrastructure improvements to the Volunteer Corps House.
Our vision is to improve our stewardship of the environment by managing storm-water runoff and developing ecologically supportive landscaping.
HOW WE GOT TO TODAY
For more than 35 years we have grappled with the need to increase accessibility and improve our facilities. We have taken initial steps – installing handicapped-accessible restrooms, upgrading the HVAC, putting in a new hearing system in the sanctuary and social hall, enhancing sound in the parlor, and installing handicapped “buttons” on outside doors. The church building and the Volunteer Corps House still need to be more accessible.
In the fall of 2013 we expanded the conversation. We had individual and small group discussions about accessibility. The Governance Council appointed an “accessibility task force.” And a generous anonymous donation directed to improving accessibility jump-started our planning.
In 2014 the conversation grew. A Congregational Conversation and eight small group conversations led to the creation of and budgeting for a Building 2020 Team to “produce drawings or graphics and recommendations of sufficient clarity for congregational discussion.”
In January 2015 we engaged Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects for design services. We had Congregational Conversations in October and in January 2016. The Governance Council recommended and the Congregation approved plans to proceed with architectural plans for the Westmoreland Circle property and a Capital Campaign to finance construction and possible additional activities.
CONCEPTS AND PLANS
The main features of the improvements proposed include:
- Creating a new pickup and drop-off drive on the Massachusetts Avenue side, adding 4 handicapped parking spaces in this area, and improving landscaping and run-off to enhance the environment
- Building a new wheelchair accessible elevator tower next to the Massachusetts Avenue entrance with access from ground-level to the social hall and sanctuary levels
- Reconfiguring the space on the social hall level to accommodate a new catering kitchen and storage area, create new office space for the Music Conservatory thereby regaining use of the entire music room area, and creating a direct connection between the parlor and the social hall
- Redesigning the space on the sanctuary level to gain a new welcoming lobby, consolidate office space, add a new meeting room and a new handicapped restroom, upgrade the women’s restroom, and replace the elevette with a modern elevator that will access the children’s center, as well as the social hall level