Project Phoenix Update – Nov. 2

Project Phoenix Update


Meeting on Options for 2650 North Druid Hills Road NE

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, there was a meeting of all active participants in the design and development of 2650 North Druid Hills Road NE. Meeting participants were as follows:

  • UUCA Steering Team: Carol Ann Arvan, UUCA Board President and former Commercial Real Estate Lender; Bryce Thomason, Interim Finance Trustee and small business owner; DeAnn Peterson, Steering Team Co-Project Manager, engineer, and former home inspector; Dave Spierman, Co Steering Team Project Manager and retired commercial real estate broker, investor, and developer
  • UUCA Design Team
    Pam Kilmer, Interior Designer; Lee Cook, AIA; Bill Mengel, AIA; Hoke Kimball, UUCA Climate Change Team
  • Collins, Cooper Carusi, Architects(CCCA)
    2 representatives: one principal and the project manager
  • Choate Interiors (Construction Manager)
    3 Representatives: 1 Senior Preconstruction Manager and 2 Senior Project Managers
  • Spenser Bristol Engineering
    4 representatives of major engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Engineering Project Management
  • Cornerstone Consultants
    our Civil Engineer
  • Uzun+Case
    our Structural Engineer

Summary of Meeting

The following topics were discussed at the meeting.


  • Through value engineering with our architects, construction manager, and engineers, refine and reduce the cost for the current $5+million proposal to renovate and enhance the existing buildings
    • The group reviewed 34 items ranging in savings as low as $4,700 and as high as $95,000. All the items were evaluated in terms of cost savings, importance to the congregation, potential Return on Investment, aesthetics, and environmental impact. The group is waiting for our Electrical Engineer to complete his analysis and assessment of potential savings of the revised electrical infrastructure and for information from Georgia Power on pricing for exterior lighting design and installation, as well as design, installation, and maintenance of electrical vehicle charging stations. Our Construction Manager, working with our engineering partners, will have a more thorough update by Friday, November 2.
  • Do a bare-bones only renovation that meets the building code and not much more
    • The group discussed dramatic revisions of the plans with the goal of completing the construction within our available funds. Our Architect, working with our Construction Manager, should have a preliminary design and pricing by next week (week of November 5th).
  • The other options identified are significantly more expensive and will require further study and evaluation using the Facilities Study and other input. Analyses of these options will occur after the work described above has been completed. These options are the following:
    • Fully develop the site by renovating and enhancing the existing buildings and build a new sanctuary and more office/classroom space.
    • Demolish the existing buildings and build new the sanctuary, office, classroom, etc. space we need and want.


Work by Project Phoenix Steering Team and with UUCA Professional Partners to Date

The current Project Phoenix (PP) Steering Team has been meeting weekly since July 2017 and has been working intensively with our Architect since June 2018, and with the Construction Manager since July 2018. Choate Preconstruction Services are charging a fixed, very small fee, and they have been outstanding with helping us to find contractors and other specialists who assisted UUCA with the move at a cost savings to us with no additional fees from Choate. Our Architect has assisted us with furniture selection and layout and design of the TreeHouse, sometimes giving UUCA their time and services at no charge. The PP Steering Team has been very fortunate with our choice of partners and asks your forbearance and patience as UUCA moves forward with this lengthy process.


As always, please send any questions or suggestions to