Townhall Meeting - Building Status

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  1. 2016-2017 Activities of the Facilities Search Team

  2. Building Search Actions

  3. Exploring the possibilities of our current building

  4. Answer questions in advance of a vote at an October 1st Membership Meeting.


At the end of the meeting, consider if you would be prepared to vote on these two motions.

Proposed Vote #1:  To expand the charge to the Facilities Search Team to include exploring what are the viable options and costs for making 230 S. Holmes Street more congregant friendly and handicap accessible.

If this vote passes, members will be ask to vote on a second motion.

Proposed Vote #2:  Authorize the Board of Trustees to spend up to $15,000 from the Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing savings account to purchase the services of an architect to provide engineered architectural designs for making 230 S. Holmes Street more congregant friendly and handicap accessible building.


Facilities Mission Team Possibility Thinkers Prayer

Offered by Rev. Paulette Pipe

We now choose to place ourselves and all that is before us into the Living Stream of God consciousness, which quells all doubts, dampens all fears, and reduces to rubble all walls of resistance standing in the way of great accomplishment. Through the quickening God-power activated within us, we can do anything we set our minds to.

We are possibility thinkers who, in Truth, know Divine solutions already exist. Brimming with courage born of solid faith, we confidently tap into the wellspring of ideas, resources, and clear open channels awaiting our discovery. United heart and mind with those Divine resolutions, we collectively employ the tools at hand and use them to heal, accelerate, and prosper the work of the Unity Movement — for the good of all. We are possibility thinkers!  And so it is. Amen.”

Mission:  To awaken to our Oneness with God, each other and all creation.

Vision: Seeing a world powerful transformed through the growing movement of a shared spiritual awakening.

1.3   How Does Our Building Support our Mission & Vision According to Our Core Values

Spiritual Awakening: a building that is supportive of our spiritual journey by inspiring us through beauty, comfort, and harmonious space, inside and out.

Freedom: a building that supports the ministry in serving our congregation and our larger community in doing those things we are inspired to do – e.g. sharing our building with non-profits like A.A., scouts and other community groups, freedom to have more than one activity happening at the same time without interfering with other activities.

Integrity: a building that allows us to be a powerful force for good in our neighborhood with well-maintained, clean, neat appearance, fitting into the neighborhood, respectful of property around us.  Our building also reflects our caring for the earth with energy-saving appliances, insulation, etc.

Joyfulness: a building that is welcoming to all people by being barrier-free, while providing space for social adventures, music and movement.

Inclusiveness: a building that is barrier-free, properly lit, good sound system, and adaptable for various needs that might arise.

Stewardship: a building that uses our resources wisely.  Knowing that a ministry building is 90% empty much of the time, finding ways for multi-purposing of space, making use of our physical and financial resources with respect, wisdom and ingenuity.  Our stewardship also applies to our planet, so our physical space needs to reflect our EarthCare values.

Prayer:  a building with space dedicated to prayer.

    2.0   Report on Activities of the Facilities Search Team

         Congregational Charge to Facilities Search Team: Find a New Location to Meet Our Needs

The Facilities Team was charged by the Congregation to:  “Find a New Location to Meet our current Needs and the Needs of a Larger Congregation in the Future.”

May 2016 Members’ Meeting Votes:  Current Operating Guidelines for the Facilities Search Team

May 2016 Members’ Voted to have the Facilities Team:  “Continue looking for a New Location.”

      2.1   What Actions Have Been Taken by the Facilities Team?

In the past 18 months, the team has reviewed dozens of potential locations and has walked through 4 buildings. Team members have driven by most of them.  (In the last 5 years, the team has reviewed over 70 buildings.)


  1. Budget for purchasing:   $300,000 - $450,000 with renovations

Assets:       $244,000 Building Fund

                        $   1,000 a month put into savings – Practice Mortgage

            $100,000 - $125,000 estimated net proceeds from a sale of Holmes Street property.  

  1. Top List of Building Requirements
  1. Handicap accessible.  One level, or multi levels with elevator, chair lift or ramp.

  2. 12' ceilings for powerpoint screen.  If ceiling is lower, can it be raised to 12'?

  3. Sanctuary that seats 125-200 people.

  4. Parking for 75-100 cars. Is parking lot in good condition?

  5. More square feet (8,000 to 12,000) or land to expand building.

  6. Private office for Minister, Administration, 2-3 multipurpose/class rooms.

  7. Central air conditioning. Gas heat.  No electric heating systems. 

C.“Deal Breakers”

No handicap access, Not enough parking nor access to additional street parking , Ceilings too low for sanctuary (power point projection), Utilities and Mainenance costs triple or more than our current costs, high purchase price which would results in a mortgage of excess of $1000/month.

  1. In February 2017 we contracted a Purchaser Agreement with a CBRE for 12 months.  They have shown us three buildings and sent numerous listings to the Facilities team. 

      2.2  Findings

  1. Prices are up from $50 sq. ft. in 2012 to $65 sq. ft.  The current price of buildings that meet our estimated future needs start at $650,000.  Most need some renovation work on top of the selling price.  

  2. If there was a viable building - even if it was viable with a little financial stretch. We would bring it to the congregation, but there hasn't been anything that was even close.

  3. Based on the results of the team’s research, it appears it would be years before we could raise enough income to purchase another building or be financially viable enough to cover a substantial increase in maintenance costs to serve members of our congregation who have difficulty with stairs.

    2.3 Proposed Vote:  To expand the charge to the Facilities Search Team to explore other options, including exploring what are the viable options and costs for making 230 S. Holmes Street handicap accessible.

3.0   Explore Renovating Our Existing Building

    3.1  Considerations:

  1. No expansion of Sanctuary: Because availability of onsite parking is limited, it is unlikely that the City of Lansing would approve an expansion of our seating capacity. Our option is to offer two services when we reach that point of growth.

  2. Inspection: If we file for a building permit, our current building will be subject to an inspection.  We will likely need to upgrade electrical to 200 amps, install exit signs, and possibly a sprinkler system and/or fire doors.  We may also be required to install a new, larger waste pipe and sewer hook-up.

  3. Asbestos: We would likely need an inspection to see where, if any, there is asbestos.  If asbestos is found, only the part of the building that would be disturbed during construction would need to be remediated.  We would need to be report that the building has asbestos in any future sale.

  4. Repairs of current building: Besides any new builds, there is maintenance work needed on current structure – windows, better heating for lower level, sanctuary ceiling cracks, back fire door, kitchen sink/cabinet, door to lower level to diminish sounds between the levels, creating additional storage, etc.


   3.2  What is the estimated cost to make 230 S. Holmes Street handicap accessible?    

  1. Rough estimated prices: price range from $140,000 to $250,000 ($125-$150/ Sq. ft.)

  2. Chair Lift (mini elevator accommodates wheelchair and caregiver up to 750 pounds.)

McNally Elevator:  ballpark price for a36” to  42” wide, 3 stops with 1 Front and 2 Rear opening using code required power doors, ramp, battery lowering device, folding seat and enclosure walls by others: $39,750.00 to $44,000 for a 42: lift.  Price includes installation.

  1. Additional Requirements:  handicap bathroom, wider entrance, wider stairs to basement, upgraded electrical and other items that may be required by zoning and building codes.

  2. Optional Items: Additional storage, Meeting rooms, Private offices for Minister and Administrative Asst., a Music storage room, Washer/Dryer/maintenance room, Table storage closet.

  3. Note:  There can be no expansion of sanctuary seating because of parking limitations.


3.3  Recommendation:  Hire an architectural designer to create a preliminary plan to meet code requirements.

The Facilities search team has met with three potential architectural designers.  In order to get accurate costs, we need to contract with an architectural designer to get plans drawn up. Then we can get more accurate cost estimates from a contractor.  This year we have saved $12,000, which can be used towards paying for these services.


   3.4    Proposed Vote:  Authorize the Board of Trustees to spend up to $15,000 from the Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing savings account to purchase the services of an architect to provide a preliminary engineered architectural designs for making 230 S. Holmes Street a handicap accessible building.


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