Christ Church, Summit NJ
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Life in Summit
Our Gift to the Next Generation
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Christ Church of Summit, NJ, undertook the project of rennovating
and expanding its facilities. The Executive Board appointed the
Barnwell Steering Committee to prepare a study of the Church's
current and projected needs and make a financial feasibility study.
The project has passed several milestones to date.
A fund-raising consulting firm and an architectural firm were engaged;
our needs and financial situation have been studied;
preliminary architectural plans were drawn, presented to the
congregation in feedback sessions and subsequently
revised and refined. In December, 2000, the congregation voted unanimously
to proceed with the consruction project and supporting capital campaign.
The original steering committee has now split into two
committees, one to manage
design & construction, the other to run the
This webpage summarizes progress to date, and will be used to keep
congregation members informed of developments as they unfold.
Initial Plans & Assessment of Needs
Since the Fall of 1999, the Barnwell Committee has been
working to address the matter of renovating and possibly expanding
Two simple factors have driven the Committee’s work
from the start: 1) Christ Church has
more programs and more people, especially children in Sunday school, and thus
needs more space; and 2) Barnwell Hall, which is used for our Christian
Education programs, is deteriorating and often not functional for
program needs. Over the past year, the Barnwell Committee has met with
church committees, clergy and tenants of Christ Church to develop a
facilities plan that will effectively meet the immediate and
foreseeable needs of Christ Church. After careful study, they have
identified a capital project that will enhance both our facilities and
our capacity for services and activities.
The Barnwell building, constructed in 1966, is the
educational and community center for the Church. To date, the building has not
undergone any type of addition, alteration or renovation beyond minor finishes
and furniture changes. The scope of the proposed project will enable us to:
expand and modernize Barnwell; address some of the design and functional
limitations inherent in the site; create a unified and complementary structure
in conjunction with the sanctuary; anticipate and prepare for some of the
requirements that are likely to emerge in the future. Some of this will be
accomplished through the construction of a two-story addition connecting the
sanctuary to Barnwell, while other needs will be satisfied through
modifications made to the existing space.
Architectural plans that show the proposed space configuration are
given at the top of this webpage.
Primary areas we are addressing through the new design are:
Expand the multi-purpose Fellowship Hall on the first
floor so that it can comfortably seat 200 people for dinner (about 25
Create a comfortable space for adult education seminars
and group meetings.
Relocate the stairway leading to the second floor to
make it code compliant and more functional.
Relocate and modernize the kitchen to improve its
functionality and to accommodate larger congregational gatherings, including a
food preparation area, freezers and basic storage.
Modify the building to comply with current codes,
including ADA accessibility requirements, sprinkler fire suppression, etc.
Utilize the ground floor level of the addition to be
built between the sanctuary and Barnwell to improve the flow for people moving
between the two buildings and to create additional office and storage space;
e.g., for youth director, treasurer, music director, general church needs.
Eliminate the driveway that runs from Springfield
Avenue to New England Avenue and redesign the area between the buildings while
providing handicapped accessible parking.
Make the exterior of the 1966 building (Barnwell) and
the addition consistent with and complementary to the design and
appearance of the adjacent sanctuary.
Christian Education/Youth Functions
Build two new Sunday school classrooms. Reconfigure the
three large rooms in the west wing of the 2nd floor into six rooms. This will
increase the rooms for Sunday school to ten from five. The nursery will remain
on the 1st floor, and all rooms will be upgraded.
Create a room to be used as a multimedia/computer-based
Establish a dedicated art room with sufficient space
for large/long murals, flooring that accommodates paint spills, and provide a
separate area for storage of art supplies.
Dedicate space for use by the Middle and Senior High
Music and Theater
Provide basic shower facilities.
Increase closet space to store beds, linens, pillows,
blankets and towels.
Design & Construction
The Barnwell Steering Committee interviewed a number of architectural
firms, solicited bids, looked at projects they had done in the area,
and finally selected the firm of
Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch, Architects, in Princeton NJ
(you can visit their
The firm is well-known in Summit --
they designed the new
Summit City Hall
and they have been engaged by the
Unitarian Church in Summit
for a major building project.
We are also working with
on the site & civil work,
Princeton Engineering Group
on the Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing / Fire Protection
for the project and
Bourne, Noll & Kenyon
for our legal representation.
The drawings shown at the top of this webpage as thumbnails (click on
them to zoom in) are not final, but do represent the result of many
iterations with the Boards and committees and the congregation of
the church trying to balance what we would like to do
with what we can afford to do. Until the capital campaign
is complete, we won't know exactly what we can afford, so some
elements of the design remain optional for now.
Also, the actual facing material hasn't been selected yet, so the
color in the colorized sketch is only meant to give an idea
of what it might look like.
As of March, 2001, the Barnwell Construction Committee
is working to finalize the details of the plans, looking
for a general contractor to hire, and making alternate
venue plans for the Sunday School program and
other groups that will be displaced from the Barnwell building
during the months of construction.
The firm of CCS (Community Counselling Services) was engaged
early on to assist with our capital fund-raising campaign
(you can visit their
website). As of March, 2001, Bill McLean from CCS is working with
us and is present at the the Church most weekdays.
The capital campaign has evolved into several phases, each conducted
by a different committee (with some overlap):
(I) an initial Financial Feasibility Study was chaired by Dennis Bushe,
(II) a Capital Fund Drive Planning phase was chaired by Pat Calhoun, and
(III) the Fund Drive itself, which in turn is moving through
several phases -- a Leadership Gifts phase,
a Major Gifts phase, and a Special Gifts Phase.
We were pleased that Leadership Gift pledges, totalling more
than $1.9 million, had been secured as of Jan 1, 2001.
As of May, total pledges have reached $3.4 million.
Information on the progress of the Capital Fund Drive will be
posted here. Meanwhile, if you are a member of the Christ Church
congregation, please consider the Gift possibilities outlined below.
Gift Options for Your Consideration
This is the most common method of completing a financial pledge. Your
gift to Christ Church is tax deductible and may be paid over three to
Gifts of Securities:
A gift of appreciated securities is one way to make a significant
contribution at a reduced cost to you. General tax laws allow a
charitable deduction for the full market value of securities on the
date of your gift. Please consult with your tax advisor on the tax
treatment as this may vary from individual to individual.
Gifts of Real Property:
Real property can be given as an outright gift or by bequest.
Milestone Events for the Renovation of Barnwell Hall
Listed below are selected milestones for the renovation
work on Barnwell Hall.
As with any large building project, the schedule tends
to change, and delays are common. We will update the schedule and
add further detail as the actual construction schedule is determined.
|| Target Date
|| Solicit ideas & program needs from the congregation
|| Preliminary architectural drawings and cost estimate
|| Approval of the congregation to proceed
(Dec 17 '00)
|| Solicit input from the neighborhood and the community
|| Capital Funding Campaign (which should last 3-4 months)
|| Summit Board of Adjustment approval
(Jul 16 '01)
|| Vacate Barnwell Hall
(Late Jun '01)
|| Preliminary construction
|| Started July 2001
|| Groundbreaking Ceremony
|| September 9, 2001
|| Substantial completion – moving back in
|| July-August, 2003
|| Final Completion & Dedication Ceremony
|| September 14, 2003
The original Barnwell Steering Committee has now
split into three committees, which run in parallel and
handle the several aspects of the Barnwell project.
Capital Campaign Executive Committee --
Managing the fund-raising overall:
Helena Ring (Chair) |
Pat Calhoun |
Doug Koppenol |
Capital Campaign Committee --
The Capital Campaign is in its Special Gifts Phase.
Committee members for this phase are:
Al Mac Rae|
Claire & Chris Rupkey
Design & Construction Committee --
As of March, 2001, the members are:
Dave Graepel (Chair)
Tim Bland (Design & Engineering)
Dave Bunting (Money Matters)
Anne Parker (Communications)
Chuck Rush (Senior Minister)
Penny Vigilante (Alternate Venues)
Mike O'Sullivan (Schedule Coordinator)
Paul Tukey (Website)
If you are a member of the congregation and know your
login and password for the access-restricted portion of
this website, you may click on
for phone numbers and email addresses of individual committee
members, and for access to the committee e-mail list.
(If you are a member of the congregation but don't know your
login and password, click on
Members Pages for help.)
We value your feedback. Please send your comments and questions
on any aspect of the project to Mike O'Sullivan,
who will either reply himself or forward your comments to the appropriate
(Send questions about this webpage to