Friday, July 2, 1999
Congregational Church approves expansion plans
Congregational Church parishioners made it official on June 21 when they voted 75 to 5 to go ahead with detailed specifications and fundraising for a long-postponed sanctuary addition to their School Street facility. The approved schedule calls for groundbreaking in October 1999 and a dedication ceremony in September 2000.
Honoring a pledge to keep neighbors informed at each step of the process, members of the church's board of trustees met with a few School Street residents the next evening to share the architect's conceptual drawings and answer questions. Those present were surprised to learn that the sanctuary, with its 60- to 70-foot steeple, will not face the street but will run parallel to it, with an entrance plaza to the east bisecting the present building. Trustee Kirk Ware revealed that the sanctuary will seat 300 worshipers rather than the 400 contemplated in the original 30-year-old plans and will be served by a 90-vehicle parking lot to the rear of the building.
The neighbors were appreciative of the fact that the addition will be set back 20 feet from the front facade of the existing building, but their unanimous concern was for the inevitable loss of trees between the rear of the sanctuary and nearby Carlisle School. Ware assured them that the large trees closest to the road will be spared, but the assurance met with continuing skepticism.
Greg and Carol Sullivan, whose house faces the building directly, worried about lighting, particularly fixtures in the all-night security system. Ware agreed to research the latest low-beam technology and, as a bonus, promised no additional asphalt on the access driveway. A follow-up meeting will be held in the fall to discuss both lighting and landscaping.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito