Capital Campaign

We are currently collecting pledges to help us with remodeling our space.

On February 24, 2019 Prairie voted at its special Parish Meeting whether to go forward with our proposed remodeling plan.  The accepted motion is:

The congregation authorizes the Board to move forward on the remodeling project as it has been proposed by the Remodeling Planning Group and authorizes spending up to a maximum of $540,000 on this project. The motion passed, vote was as follows: 35 votes in favor, 3 opposed, 4 abstentions.

According to President Rachel Long, the Board requested funds over and above the current estimate for the project to account for inflation and unexpected costs, since we do not yet have an actual bid. The chair of our Remodeling Planning Group, Tom Robinson, said they are planning a contract that specifies a cost not to exceed a certain amount and will strive to keep to the project to $505,000.

What are the next steps of the remodeling project?

The Remodeling Planning Group will now work with an architect and builder, and if the bid is acceptable, will go forward with the project. The board will begin serious exploration of rental meeting space. Finance committee will include expected rental costs in the operating budget for the period of remodeling. Given the interest shown by some of our members, we will be informing the Friends congregation of our plans, in case they want to consider a rental relationship with us. The Board will do what is needed to cover any shortfall, including additional fundraising, applying for a chalice lighter grant, or getting a mortgage. Given our tremendous success in fundraising so far, we hope to raise the entire amount and avoid a mortgage. 

How can I make a pledge to the capital campaign?

Contact Patty Stockdale at 608-271-8218 or finance@uuprairie.org.

What is the history of the remodeling plan?

Prairie members have been discussing remodeling our building for many years. Two years ago, the Board formed a Remodeling Planning Group (RPG), which obtained input from Prairie members with a wide range of points of view and worked with an architect to consider many issues and possible plans. Before finalizing plans, the group decided to fundraise to make sure the congregation was able and willing to fund the project. The RPG received a rough estimate from a builder of $275,000 and we rapidly raised over $300,000.

The Remodeling Planning Group began planning in earnest and considered making changes that would address problems they hadn’t initially included, such as changing the downstairs entrance to reduce recurrent flooding and changing doorway widths in the RE space to comply with current ADA requirements. The group presented their more detailed proposal with a more thorough estimate from the builder at a price tag $505,000.

The congregation initially suffered from “sticker shock,” but responded by rapidly increasing fund raising, including an extremely generous match from an anonymous donor.  We have now raised all but 13% of the new goal and need to raise only $67,810 in order to proceed without any debt or dipping into reserves, an amazing achievement for such a big project.

What are the benefits of remodeling?

There has been a lot of discussion of all the potential benefits of remodeling. Just some of the crucial improvements include living our beliefs in being welcoming (wheelchair and walker accessible bathrooms, doorways, and piano; gender neutral bathrooms; improved sound system for hearing impaired folks,) and more “green” dining by having better dishwashing capability. We would improve opportunity for fellowship by expanding the foyer, as well as improving the quality of our services through better technology (hanging projector and screen, up-to-date sound system) and improve our traffic flow and aesthetics to be more inviting to guests. And we need to finally remove the asbestos ceiling.

How is Prairie only $67,810 away from its $505,000 capital campaign goal?

The first $356,180 is a given and Prairie is currently collecting these sums.

The second portion of $143,820 will be matched only when Prairie has raised and collected its half $71,910, of which $9,100 is pledged. That difference plus the amount not in match is $67,810.

The matching funds from the anonymous donors are not tied to the remodeling project and can be used for capital projects in general.

Crazy capital campaign math for nerds
Remodeling estimate $       505,000
Amount not in match $         (5,000)
Matchable total $       500,000
Amount raised and matched 
     as collected, thus far $       356,180
Amount remaining from $500,000 $       143,820
Prairie’s half     $143,28÷2 is $         71,910
Amount raised thus far $         (9,100)
Balance of Prairie’s half matched  
when ALL is raised and collected $         62,810
Amount not in match          +$5,000
Amount yet to raise $         67,810