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Christ Church, Summit NJ

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Barnwell Project
“Our Gift to the Next Generation”
Colorized Perspective - Click to zoom in pictures best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution

Elevations - Click to zoom in 1st Floor Plan - Click to zoom in 2nd Floor Plan - Click to zoom in Basement Plan - Click to zoom in

 [  Month-by-Month  |  Needs  |  Construction  |  Capital  |  Milestones  |  Committees  |  Feedback  ] 

1999, 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 capital campaign.

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 Barnwell Hall. 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:

Barnwell Hall

  • Expand the multi-purpose Fellowship Hall on the first floor so that it can comfortably seat 200 people for dinner (about 25 tables).

  • 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 learning center.

  • 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 youth groups.

Music and Theater

  • Create a new space to hang choir robes and store music.

  • Install a stage in Fellowship Hall for adult and children’s theater productions.


  • 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 website). 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 Bohler Engineering 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.

Capital Campaign

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

  • Cash Gifts:  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 five years.

  • 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.

  Milestone Target Date
Solicit ideas & program needs from the congregation Done
Preliminary architectural drawings and cost estimate Done
(Fall '00)
Approval of the congregation to proceed Done
(Dec 17 '00)
Solicit input from the neighborhood and the community Done
(Apr '01)
$$$ Capital Funding Campaign (which should last 3-4 months) Done
(Late '01)
Summit Board of Adjustment approval Done
(Jul 16 '01)
Vacate Barnwell Hall Done
(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

Barnwell Committees

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)
Terry Baker
Dave Bunting
  Pat Calhoun
Dave Graepel
  Doug Koppenol
Leanne Wells

Capital Campaign Committee --  The Capital Campaign is in its Special Gifts Phase. Committee members for this phase are:

Leanne Wells
Terry Baker
Dave Bunting
Pat Calhoun
Mary Campbell
Patty Caputo
Steve Fellows
Ellie Fischer
  Nancy Galietti
Dave Graepel
Cary Hardy
Lee Hilton
Nora Holley
Squire Knox
Doug Koppenol
Tom Loughlin
  Al Mac Rae
Jane Patrick
Helena Ring
Quimby Robinson
Claire & Chris Rupkey
Hedy Tukey
John Vigilante

Design & Construction Committee --  As of March, 2001, the members are:

Dave Graepel (Chair)
Tim Bland (Design & Engineering)
Dave Bunting (Money Matters)
Robert Fleming
Tom Loughlin
Anne Parker (Communications)
Steve Ring
  Chuck Rush (Senior Minister)
Peter Szego
Penny Vigilante (Alternate Venues)
Pat Obst
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 details 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 person.

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