September 2018
Ground Floor Construction Around the Corner!!

Construction drawings and sub-contractor bids got finalized and permit applications submitted. The “basement” was cleaned out – books sorted and stored, music files moved, things thrown away – it was now ready to be transformed into the “Ground Floor.” And the elevator was ordered. Construction began by the middle or end of September. 

Once construction started, use of the sanctuary building was restricted during normal working hours, 7 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday.

On the fundraising side of things, we received 20 extra gifts since May 2017 as part of the OWLL (Our Whole Lower Level) Campaign, amounting to almost $121,000. CVUUS received $10,000 from Bob Kellogg’s estate, $6,000 of which was credited to the Ground Floor account. Among other things, this meant that we met our $18,000 kitchen challenge match, raising a total of $36,000 for equipment (stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.), cabinets, counters, and sinks. Including 3 bequests (Fenn, Swift, Kellogg), the total raised for the Ground Floor was $850,000. WOW!

Despite this incredible generosity, there were still several items NOT funded so far. These included audio or visual equipment for the Ground Floor, heat pump/ air conditioners for either floor, library shelving/ desk/ other furniture, built-in benches, and outdoor landscape and gardens besides the entry walk.

Submitted by Steve Maier, Jean Terwilliger, Llyn Rice, Kate Gridley and Alan Moore

April 2018

The Ground Floor Design Team was hard at work since the February congregational meeting and was now poised and pleased to present a revised budget that maintains core project elements AND reduces total costs by almost 10%. The net result is that the gap between projected income and expenses has been reduced by about $85,000 to a new total of $88,315.  As before, this number does not include estimates for kitchen equipment, counters, cabinets, fixtures, etc.

We were excited to announce that project construction could begin in September.    Between now and then, we conducted a final fundraising push that will provide both a broad invitation to participate and a focused effort on people who express a desire to help.   Capital Campaign Team: Ellen Flight, Kate Gridley, Steve Maier, Brett Millier, Alan Moore, Ted Scheu, or Rev. Barnaby.

ITEM Amount –


Revised Amount – April Notes
Construction Cost Base Project 677,889 615,431 9% reduction due to careful review and project simplification
Owner’s Costs (designs, drawings, permit fees, contingencies, etc.) 211,884 188,884 Deleted A/V, added paint, increased bridge loan interest estimate 2-3 years as pledges come in
Total Base Project Cost 889,773 804,315 9.6% reduction
Revenues Received or pledged to date (716,000) (716,000) $670K in pledges and $46K in bequests
Balance Remaining 173,773 88,315 Reduced from February; not including kitchen
Kitchen Equipment Allowance, incl. hood 25,000 25,000 Not included in above; assuming some used equipment
Cabinets, counters, fixtures, sinks, etc. 29,000 20,000 Not included in above; still working to reduce further

February 2018


We had a successful congregational meeting and discussion after services on February 18th.  Materials presented and discussed at that meeting included:

Process Summary to Date:

  • June 2015 congregational vote to proceed with project and capital campaign – $880,000
  • Winter/ Spring 2016 – decision to delay capital campaign and conduct 2-year canvass for operating budget
  • Winter/ Spring 2017 – capital campaign resulted in $672,000 in pledges; so far, about half of the pledge gifts have been made and gratefully received
  • Summer/ Fall 2017 – proceeded to full architectural drawings and hired construction management company
  • Fall 2017/ Winter 2018 – detailed cost estimates, including with sub-contractor bidding


  • Move forward with Base Project (click for more details)
  • Continue work with gbA, engineers, Russell and Subs to explore less expensive options to achieve same/ similar ends (value engineering) – cost reduction goal of 5-10% or $45-90,000
  • Convene kitchen team to explore less expensive (including used) equipment, counters, cabinets, etc.
  • Prepare for additional fundraising to begin in May or June after canvass for annual operating budget (March – April)
    • Goal to be determined after work above
    • Decide at that time whether to include kitchen items
  • Construction start projected for September

Campaign Report – May 2017

CVUUS had a great campaign.  We focused on Building More Love and on getting as many people involved as possible, with the idea that if we did that right, generous gifts would follow.

And generous gifts did follow, in many forms: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!  The May 2017 Campaign Report is here.

Next Steps for the Ground Floor

Since the Annual Meeting in June, when we voted to proceed with next steps of the Ground Floor completion project, the CVUUS Ground Floor Teams have been busy working with our architects and others in the congregation on the designs for the wonderful space. Since we have not reached our project goal of $850,000, we had some choices to make. We’ve worked on the whole project, but parts that have received special attention include the kitchen, bathrooms, heating and air conditioning options, electrical service needs, windows, and how to best work with a general contractor for the project.  All this work has pushed back our schedule a bit.  It now looks something like this:

◦ September 1st: Issue Request for Proposals (RFP) for construction management services; 50% Construction Documents due

◦ September 21st: Responses Due from Construction Manager candidates.

◦ October 1st: Interviews and Selection of Construction Manager (CM) complete

◦ November 1st: CM and subcontractor prices and estimates due

◦ November 1st to mid-January: Prepare summary documents for the congregation with designs,

budgets, and options for congregation discussions and approval.  We expect to have more detailed and precise information on what we can purchase for the $672,000 we have raised so far and what any   additional pieces of the project would cost.

◦ Mid-January to end of February: any additional fundraising the congregation decides it wants to do.

◦ April 2018 – proposed construction start date

We have been working through different designs for the kitchen space, with the latest shown here. CVUUS_Enlarged Kitchen Plan

The Building More Love Team (see below) has had an amazing experience being a part of this Campaign.  Yes, it’s been a lot of work, but our experience together and with the rest of the congregation has been very special.  We have been inspired along the way by all the ways we (all of us in the congregation) BUILD MORE LOVE, right here, right now!  And we are truly excited about the new and expanded ways we will be able to Build More Love into the future and into the wider community with the completed Ground Floor.  Campaign Brochure (PDF)


DEC 2017

Several recent conversations have led me to realize that an update on the Ground Floor Project is overdue.  Work has been increasing in several areas since September, as summarized below.  Please feel free to contact me ( or 802-238-6699) or other members of our CVUUS team (see below) if you have any questions.

Design and Construction Management Services – In September and October, with the help of our architects, gbA from Montpelier, we issued a request for proposals for construction management services, reviewed proposals, interviewed finalists, and selected Russell Construction from Rutland.  Since that time, we have been working together to refine designs, identify options, and estimate costs.  This work will continue at least into January.  We will schedule a congregational meeting once this information comes together, probably some time in February or March.  We expected we would not be able to afford everything we want, so there will be some choices to make, including whether to conduct any additional fundraising.  Once we made these decisions, gbA finalized the designs and construction drawings and Russell scheduled and bid out the work, which started in late spring and summer.

Building More Love Capital Campaign Pledges – While we were still finalizing the full extent things, we knew there would be a Ground Floor project in 2018.  So, we started collecting capital campaign pledges.