The First UU construction project is finally making good progress. In the past few weeks we have seen seen concrete workers, plumbers, framers, electricians and other trades descend on the project. Floors and hallways are poured, framing of the restrooms and hallways is done, plumbing is installed and work has begun on the classroom addition. As you can see in the photo to the left, foundation and steel framing are in place!
At our regular monthly meeting with the contractor, architect and others, there was general optimism that the scheduled end of October completion of the restrooms, hallways and Rooms 7 and 8 is realistic. The schedule also calls for completion of the new classroom wing at the end of next January.
And, although unexpected problems have raised costs in some areas, we are still well within the contingency funding budgeted for such occurrences.
In other exciting news, we have signed off on the design contract for the installation of solar panels on the Gallery and Worship Center roofs. Installation is expected to be completed in November. These panels will supply a relatively small part of First UU’s electricity (6kW or approximately 5% of current use), but it is first step towards an expanded array in the future. Not only do solar panels provide both clean and “free” electricity, but they serve as a visible statement of green building and commitment to earth stewardship. We hope this will inspire others to consider solar and energy efficiency at their homes and places of business.
Keeping in mind the commitments made during the Green & Growing Capital Campaign, we have tried to make this project as environmental friendly as possible. In addition to the solar array, the following items have been incorporated into project design. Lighting uses high efficiency LED technology and, where possible, natural light. Materials have been chosen with considerations of local sourcing, earth friendliness and energy efficiency such as coated and insulated window glass and modern HVAC technology. Rain water will feed our new landscaping and reduce the use of irrigation while new permeable pavement reduces surface water runoff. These are a few of the more visible steps we’re taking to honor our UU Seventh Principle and do our part to combat climate change.
Finally, as many of you have noticed, the portable temporary restrooms have been replaced. The previous ones, while luxurious, were a constant source of problems. We hope these new ones will be less troublesome and serve us well for the remainder of the month until our new restrooms are ready.
Please do come and talk to us or email if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you!
Chair, Construction Committee