May 20, 2020 update from the Capital Campaign Finance and Building Committees:

The construction plans for the addition and remodel are moving ahead. Many architectural changes previously suggested by congregation members have been made. The Building Committee met with the architect Laurence Rose May 13 and we are going through another round of revisions. We expect to receive a revised draft of the plans on June 8. After committee review of these plans, the architectural design team will begin the final phase of construction plans.

The most recent architectural plans are mounted on posters in the church foyer. You are free to visit and look at them during Summer’s office hours, Monday & Friday, 10-3, Tuesday & Thursday 2-4. Please wear masks if you come to visit. There will be a limited number of printed copies available to take home.

A “Geotechnical Evaluation” of the church property will be conducted very soon. A backhoe will dig pits at two sites — one in the front lawn and one to the west of the Yellow House — to test the subsurface soil conditions as necessary to determine structural design parameters. The sites will be backfilled but will remain disturbed until excavation and construction begins late this year or next year.

Capital Campaign Finance Update: The original cost estimate for the building addition was $1.68 million, and pledges are presently within 2% of the total needed. In addition, approximately two dozen individuals have indicated that they still intend to pledge, or that in the future they may be able to increase their pledge. So we are optimistic about meeting this basic cost estimate. We encourage anyone who has not yet submitted their pledge to do so. Donations thus far have been strong. A total of $753,600 has been donated and expenditures are $21,650.

Before excavation and construction can begin the following items must be finished*

  1. Finalize architectural plans (late July or early August)
  2. Finalize legal agreement with county on shared use of alleyways and parking.
  3. Obtain permits from the city
  4. Finalize plans for the Yellow House: either removal following sale, or salvage and demolition. Demolition is far more likely. We need to plan for removal and storage of contents of the Yellow House. The Yellow House will not be disposed of until we have a contract for excavation and construction.
  5. Remove and store pavers that are used in the current patio, to be re-used.
  6. Rescue native plants if those beds must be demolished (likely).

*Numbers 1-3 must be completed before we request bids from contractors, so the earliest the request for bids might go out is in July. If bids fall within our pledged funding levels, then excavation and items 4-6 can proceed.

The timeline: is difficult to predict, but it seems likely that the earliest we would begin excavation is this fall.

Agreement with County mentioned above: The county owns the McConnell Mansion and we are close to finalizing a legal agreement for shared use of N-S and E-W alleyways, as well as parking between the McConnell Mansion and new parking places on the west side of the new addition.

Questions and comments can be directed to Al Poplawsky,, chair, or other members of the Building Committee: Mary DuPree, Mary Jo and Joel Hamilton, Steve Flint, Archie George, John Pool Bill Webb, and Pat Fuerst.


March 5, 2020 Update from the Capital Campaign Finance and Building Committees:

The original cost estimate for the building addition was $1.68 million, and pledges are presently within 2% of the total needed. In addition, approximately two dozen individuals have indicated that they still intend to pledge, or that in the future they may be able to increase their pledge. So we are optimistic about meeting this basic cost estimate. We encourage anyone who has not yet submitted their pledge to do so.

The Capital Campaign Building Committee is moving ahead with the architects to incorporate changes in the building plan based on the congregation’s input. If all goes as planned, we will send out for bids in early June, and if bids come in within budget, then construction could begin as early as July/August with completion by mid – 2021. That would be the earliest completion date we might hope for.

This summer, there will be considerable work needed to vacate the Yellow House — removal & storage of its contents – and then demolition. We will try to keep the congregation updated as the project moves along.




Rachel’s feasibility study presentation video:





UUCP Building Project Steering Committee (BPSC)

Update for Congregation July 14, 2019

Recent and Current activities:

  • We have approved site and building plans with architect Laurence Rose and graphic designer John Paul, and are awaiting final drawings and an updated cost estimate. These plans are not final and are subject to review and changes following input from the congregation in August and early September.
  • We are working on a shared parking agreement with Latah County, which manages the McConnell Mansion and grounds. The city requires us to provide additional, on-site parking spots since we are adding seating in the sanctuary, and this parking agreement would make that possible.

In the near future:

  • August: Present the current plan to the congregation, followed by weekly meetings, discussion of plans, and possible changes needed.
  • September 14-15: Rachel Maxwell, who visited us in October, 2018, will visit again to gauge more exactly our potential for fundraising.
  • Late 2019 or early 2020, apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the city which is required for any construction. We may also need to apply for a variance for parking regulations if we choose one of the plans to be discussed.
  • Initiation of construction would follow if we have a successful capital fundraising campaign and a contractor bid is within our means.

A previous report from the BPSC is posted below.

April 14, 2019

Updates on our future remodeling of the church and education wing

A Brief History:

  • Based on a perceived growing need for RE and worship space, in 2015-2016, a building task force led by Al Poplawsky developed four alternatives for the future of our buildings. Architect Laurence Rose provided draft architectural plans.
  • During March-May, 2018, input was solicited from the congregation regarding possible future building options. A survey was conducted and 88% of survey respondents chose “Alternative 3” as their first or second choice of the four options. The Alternative 3 plan was to keep our church building, make a major addition to it, expand the sanctuary, and remove the Yellow House.
  • In October, 2018, UU Stewardship consultant, Rachel Maxwell visited UUCP and met with staff, the UUCP Board, and Building task force; she provided guidelines for proceeding with changes to our buildings.
  • At the December 2018 Annual Congregational Meeting, we approved staying at our current location.
  • In January, 2019, the Board of Trustees solicited participation from the congregation for two committees: what is now called the Building Project Steering Committee, and the Capital Campaign Committee.

The UUCP Building Project Steering Committee (BPSC) is chaired by Al Poplawsky and has met four times between February 27 and March 27, 2019, including one meeting with architect Laurence Rose.

Items and issues discussed: Our discussion with the architect and as a committee began by reviewing draft floor plans developed by Laurence Rose and Joel Hamilton in 2016. Items discussed included how the sanctuary would be expanded while retaining current aesthetics, where parking would be located, elevator and ADA accessibility, safety and security, new heating system, play area, a commercial grade kitchen, and Fellowship Hall expansion. The plan is to utilize green technology to the maximum extent we can afford, starting with choices that have a near-term return on the investment like insulation, LED lighting, and passive and active solar. If sufficient funds are raised, additional green technology will be added. The new space will include accommodation for Family Promise and other community outreach efforts.

Architectural plan: A survey of land boundaries was conducted recently and Laurence Rose is now developing an architectural plan that he will provide by June. The congregation will review this and vote on the project this summer, if all goes as planned. The Capital Campaign will begin in earnest at this time as well, when there is a cost estimate.

BPSC members: Joel Hamilton, Bella Pekie, John Pool, Pat  Eaton, Donna Bradberry, Stephan Flint, Krista Kramer, Mary DuPree, Bill Webb, Pam Arborgreen, and Pat Fuerst.


Building plan and construction: Joel Hamilton and Pat Eaton

Furnishings and aesthetics: Donna Bradberry

Communications: Bella Pekie, John Pool, Pat Fuerst

Finance: Bill Webb

Capital Campaign liaison: Mary DuPree

Board of Trustees liaison: Mary DuPree

Meetings: The BPSC meets the 2nd & 4th Wednesday at 5 pm in sanctuary.  A link to meeting minutes and other pertinent information will be provided on the UUCP website.

Presentation: Kurt Rathmann (Pat and Dan’s son) will give a presentation about Green construction on April 17 at 7 p.m. in Fellowship Hall following a 6 p.m. Feed of Dreams hosted by the Green Sanctuary Committee. It would behoove us all to hear what Kurt has to say.