Updates From The Space Committee
A brief history of the space conversation at Foothills shows us that the issue of space is not a new problem. We find ourselves today in a period of unprecedented growth, and our space is limiting our ability to live out our mission. We are on a multi-year journey, understanding our history, evaluating our space needs, and looking toward the future. There will be many opportunities to get involved along the way!Your Space Committee
Annual Meeting Presentation (6/3/18)
The Space Committee presented a comprehensive report of our work on June 3, 2018 at the Annual Meeting and officially recommended that we stay on our current site and expand our existing space to meet our needs.
Space Committee Update to Congregation: Download the full powerpoint presentation from the annual meeting for a summary of our work with the architects and planners who have helped us assess our needs and evaluate our property.
Foothills Unitarian Church – Programming Report: This report, provided by Infusion Architects, compiles their extensive study of our space. The report includes their evaluation of the parking lot, lobby/foyer, sanctuary, social hall, kitchen, RE building, and offices. Each section lists input from church members and staff, analysis, and conclusions. Included in this report are also social justice and environmental considerations.
Area Analysis: This chart provides data for an Expansion/Remodel Scenario and details the amount of additional space needed to expand to our desired occupancy.
Location Decision Criteria: This ExCEL spreadsheet breaks down the location decision criteria used to determine if we should stay in our current location or move to a new one.
Foothills Unitarian Church moved to current location from Old Town. Membership was approximately 100.
Membership grew to 250.
Membership increased to 475. Expansion of current church was only able to accomplish 50% of what was needed.
Space exploration committee concluded that additional space was needed. Recession prevented action at this time.
Membership exceeded 600. Space committee recommended waiting to pursue expansion until after a new Senior Minister was installed.
New space committee formed as number of members and friends reaches 900!
Evaluation of Our Spaces
We currently have three services to alleviate our space constraints, inhibiting interaction among members, and severely straining staff.
Average Sunday RE attendance is 100 to 150 youth, crowded into classrooms built for half this number. The current hallways are narrow and unsafe.
Our 96 parking spaces only accomodate about 200 people. Expanding parking would require eliminating all our green space.
Foothills has 51 groups competing for meeting space. It is difficult to accommodate our own groups, let alone opening up to outside groups.
Our current sanctuary can seat 159 people (plus 50 including the social hall). We have over 900 members and friends!
Social time on Sunday severely constrained by proximity of social hall to sanctuary.
Urgent Space Needs
A larger sanctuary would allow us to return to two services and to create a more welcoming experience to visitors joining us for the
first time. Research and our own data tell us that once the sanctuary is 80% full, visitors feel it is too crowded and that there is no room for them.
Significantly expanding our foyer would eliminate the current bottleneck, improving flow and making visitors’ initial foray into our space more welcoming.
Expanding office space would provide enough room for the entire Foothills staff to work efficiently as a group.
Expanding the width of the hallways, adding a greeting area, and classroom enhancements would make the space safer and more welcoming.
Creating a larger social hall that is more easily separated from the sanctuary would increaseour ability to have concurrent events. Our space is too small for mid-sized events, like a political town hall. We can no longer be generous, especially to outside groups, with our space.