Building Our Field of Dreams Updates

UPDATE as of February 15th  The contractor is meeting with the City Planning Department Monday, February 18th to get clarity on permission to use the vertical chair lift in place of an elevator.

UPDATE as of January 30th.  With the extreme cold and some unresolved questions about the final design of the chair/lift elevator, ground breaking has been post-poned until spring. All in divine order even if it doesn't match the time table of our hearts.

UPDATE as of January 3rd.  The permit has been issued. We anticipate receiving the contract for the foundation during the week of January 6th.

UPDATE as of December 16th  City is scheduled to revision additional plans on December 18th. If approved, it is possible that we will begin digging December 27th.  And start the foundation at the end of January.

UPDATE as of November 13th.  Awaiting final approval for building permit to begin excavation for foundation.

UPDATE as of September 25th.  Initial structural designs September 25th.  Soil borings to be done Oct. 2nd. Anticipating ground breaking October 24.

UPDATE as of August 29th. We are scheduled to have initial structural designs by September 28th so we can apply for a building permit with the intention of getting the foundation dug and poured prior to winter freeezing.

UPDATE as of July 31st. Met with Value Engineering/Hip Homes and contracted for Phase 2 architectural designs, including site plan, mechanical, electrical and plumbing.  We will proceed on a "design-build" path which means we will be finalizing aspects of the design even as we are taking on some of the building.  Time line is heavily dependent on City approval of plans and then inspections but we are holding to the possibility of breaking ground before winter so that contruction can continue through inclement weather.

UPDATE as of July 26th.  Met with the Lansing City Zoning Board of Appeals and received approval for a set-back variance for our building and our covered entryway.

UPDATE as of July 12th:  Met with the Lansing City Zoning Board of Appeals regarding our request for a set-back variance. There was not a quorum so it was not an official meeting. City of Lansing staff is recommending approval - especially due to the factor of handicap accessibillity.  Both the ABC Neighborhood Association and the Prospect Street Neighborhood Association have written letters of support and approval.  The City is trying to reschedule a meeting the week of July 16th so as to not further delay our project.

Approval for signing a contract with Value Engineering/Hip Homes will be presented at the Leadership Council Meeting July 16th.  Cost of the Final design phase is $35,000 which covers all the plans - electrical, mechanical, plumbing and engineering.

UPDATE as of June 26th, 2018:  Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing has asked the City of Lansing for a set-back variance.  Current code is 20 feet back from sidewalk.  We are currently 17 feet.  Postcards have been distributed to our neighbors and the hearing is July 12th.  We anticipate acceptance of this minor variance.  Once we have confirmed city approval, we will begin work with on the final architectural drawings required for building permits and final pricing.



 1.     Overall addition size:  24’ x 36’

2.     Vertical wheelchair lift.

3.     Handicap bathroom.

4.     A 10’ x 10’ lobby.

5.     A tower with a minimum of 2 picture windows (South and West) with lighting.

6.     A recessed wall between the tower and current building 18”.

7.     Double entrance doors on South side.

8.     The floor in main level will match Sanctuary floor, eliminating the current step down to get into sanctuary.

9.     A porch roof over South entrance doors.

10. Basement block windows will have a center area that opens.

11. Furnace and air conditioner installed in basement of new addition.

12. 200 Amp electrical service.

 Concept design Plan #26  - The new addition will allow us to have:

An additional 1,728 square feet with its own HVAC system.



1.     Lobby will be a 10’ x 10’ area and include a tower with large windows. Lighting in the tower will allow for a light that we can leave on at all times, just like Silent Unity.

2.     A slanted sidewalk up to a flat covered landing will accommodate ADA access. Double door entrance allows for easy entrance and exit.  

3.     Stairways wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic  will be accessible just off the lobby area.

4.     A vertical chair lift is accessible from the lobby.  It can hold a wheelchair and one other person. There will be a seat if someone wishes to sit down. Lift will access the Main Floor and Basement level.


Main level

1.     The South entrance current stairs and the ceiling in the current men’s room will be lowered to match the current sanctuary floor level for handicap accessibility.

2.     Hallways will be wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic.

3.     Handicap / wheelchair accessible bathroom.  This will also have the baby change table.

4.     2 Offices – approx. 11.5’ x 12’  each – one for minister and one for administrative assistant.

5.     Dedicated copy room that will also be used for administrative purposes on Sundays.

6.     8’ x 8’ coat rack area. 

7.     Future cabinets, countertop and sink for coffee area located in current parlor area.


Basement level

1.     Meeting room in basement – approx. 11.5’ x 23.5’

2.     Furnace/Utility room for future mop sink, utility sink, and stackable washer dryer.  

3.     Storage under the lobby will have a lower ceiling height – approx. 5’ high. 

4.     Current men’s room will be renovated into a new women’s bathroom with 2 – 3 stalls.

5.     The men’s room will be relocated where the current women’s room is now.



Estimated Cost $261,000

Could be higher, could be lower

(rounded numbers)

High cost items


Vertical Platform Chair Lift  - $48,000

Mechanical – Furnace, duct work  -  $26,000

Electrical    $35,000

Plumbing  -   $18,000

Addition Roof and Replace existing flat roof   -  $28,000 (Note: existing roof needs major repair)

Foundation and excavation  -   $32,000

Framing - $20,000


High cost total:   $207,000   

The rest of the cost would be for vinyl siding, sidewalk, drywall, insulation, windows, doors, lighting, trim, paint, sinks, toilets, door knob/ push bars, flooring, etc.


Non-construction estimates    $32,200  - $39,700  

1. Architectural Plan  - $15,000 (licensed architect/engineer) – City Requires

2. MEP Plans  (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) - $5,000-$8,000 - City Requires

3. Structural Design Drawings    - $6,500 (If Required)

4. City fees -  about $1,800 building permit plus $900 to review plans

5. Performance Bond Insurance - $7,500   Recommended


The Motion which was passed:

“I empower USCL’s Board of Trustees to spend up to $300,000, which would include a $50,000 loan, to create a 1728 square foot two-story addition including a vertical chair lift which will make the building handicap accessible.  Portions of the addition would require finishing by the congregation.”

Voting will be at our special members’ meeting on Sunday, June 3rd.