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The Space Chronicles Vol. 2

Architects Have Landed!

If you drove into the church parking lot on July 10, you might have seen a group of people wandering around the grounds making notes on clipboards. It was the day of the architect site visit.

Fifteen architects, engineers and landscapers representing five firms met in the Social Hall, where representatives of the Space Committee welcomed them and explained the ground rules. Gretchen dropped in to provide an introduction to Unitarian Universalism, explain the Foothills mission, talk about our community partners and stress the importance of a connection to nature and ecologically sensitive building practices. All in about 20 minutes. It was impressive.

The tour included the building and grounds. Kathryn was on hand to answer questions about maintenance and where things are currently located. (What is in that shed out on the patio?) Office staff also identified areas of our building that are especially frustrating. Walk through our building as if you were seeing it for the first time and you will be convinced that we need some changes!

Identifying Firms

How were these five firms identified? The Space Committee asked for input from other churches in Fort Collins and other UU churches in the Front Range that have recently undertaken building projects. Our Climate Justice Group suggested architects who are noted for green building. The committee added to that list with an extensive internet search of church architects, green architects and a list of the top architects in Fort Collins. The city IDAP (Integrated Design Approach) also provided recommendations. From these sources a list of twelve firms was assembled, and each firm was contacted to ask if they were interested in receiving our RFP. The RFP was sent to 5 firms at the end of June. The deadline for responses was July 20.  If you would like to read the RFP, you can find it here.

Looking Back at July

While the architects were busy creating the proposal response, the Space Committee was busy figuring out how to evaluate the responses. A matrix of criteria and weights was developed. Each committee member read the RFP responses and scored the firm according to the matrix criteria. The group assembled to discuss the responses with each other; making adjustments to come up with a final score for each firm. References were contacted and the score finalized with the reference information included. The criteria used for evaluation can be found in section 8 of the RFP.

Looking Ahead to August

In August the Space Committee will be conducting interviews and choosing a firm to recommend to the Board. The Committee will develop a list of interview questions and will ask the firms to present a project vision of how they would approach our task. Everyone is hoping to be wowed by a creative vision.

The Space Committee meets on Tuesdays from 12:30-2:30 in the RE building – typically room 22. Stop in if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to! You can also send comments, ideas and suggestions to SpaceCommittee@foothillsuu.org.