On Tuesday, March 1, the Mayor, and the rest of the Council held a special workshop meeting regarding the town’s various options for renovation of the church and its use as a community center. After careful examination of the three plans presented by DI Group Architecture presented the previous evening. There was general agreement regarding the need to arrive at a fourth option considering cost and the concerns expressed by community members the previous evening. Particular attention was paid to the need to find solutions to ease parking pressure in the area. Along with cost, a core principle discussed was the importance of preserving those elements of the building that are of greatest historical and architectural importance to include the beauty and functionality of the present sanctuary floor.
Four of the original five-member citizen volunteer group who toured the church and brainstormed with the architects were present. All of them expressed great enthusiasm for maintaining the church and its use as a vibrant community center. They explained that the architects asked them to generate ideas for what they would like to see done without taking cost into account. At Tuesday’s meeting, these committee members agreed that careful consideration of costs and benefits would be an important part of the process of crafting the ultimate plan.
There was considerable discussion and support for the concept of keeping initial changes to the building to a minimum to allow its uses to develop overtime with a greater understanding of what we need and want from the space. In context of this discussion, concerns were expressed that this approach might cause the town not to realize what this space can do for the town, and therefore, this resource might them never be fully developed.
Paul Neshamkin reiterated his pledge of matching funds in the amount of $25,000 dollars each year for ten years for the renovation of the church and its development as community center. Donations can be made through this website by pressing the “Donate” button.