Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Access Project Update 23 Dec 2014

Author Nadine Sapirman, Written Dec 23, 2014

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Raymond and Don--proud Access Committee members--in front of the new classroom walls, 22Dec14

Raymond and Don–proud Access Committee members–in front of the new classroom walls in Fellowship Hall, 22Dec14

Last week’s work on the Access project had its share of “wrinkles”, shall we say.  When the floor behind the sanctuary was opened up (where the reading rooms and bathroom were), the builder learned that there was insufficient structural support to handle the ramp that would be


Hallway and new offices behind the front sanctuary wall 21Dec2014

placed in that space.  It’s fair to say that there were many conversations and some anxiety over this new development.  The good news is that the builder, in consultation with the architect, found a solution.  The entire space needed to be gutted so the proper supports could be put in.  They were able to do so in a way that we could use that hallway for our December 21 holiday pageant.  I applaud how the builder has been working with us to accommodate our needs for the holidays.

The crews started to wrap the addition in Tyvek, which improves energy-efficiency. DSC03878 Weather-permitting, the wrapping and siding will be completed soon.

As you see in the top photo, the walls for the new classrooms are up.  We passed inspection so the next steps include taping, spackling, painting, and completing the electrical work in those spaces.

The UUCSH Aesthetics Committee is working on selecting flooring for the new spaces, and making sure the paint is matched.  Making choices that are in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is important, as that is the primary purpose of this project.

Please note that we are re-using items (doors, for example) when possible, and donating those items that can be re-used elsewhere to Habitat for Humanity.

How is the construction impacting our activities at UUCSH?
Parking.  Please reserve spaces in the side lot for those with mobility challenges (special needs).  The rear lot is available, but it is to be used at one’s own risk as it remains a construction zone.
Entry. People may enter through the side or front doors.  Access to Fellowship Hall is only via the stairs at the front of the building.
Restrooms.  There are two restrooms on the first floor.  There is no longer a restroom on the second floor.
Nursery.  We will not be able to offer an enclosed nursery space until early- to mid-January.
Coffee Hour.  Fire code regulations prohibit having more than 49 people on the first floor unless we have two means of exiting.  So, there will be no Coffee Hour for at least a few weeks.

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