Building Project Update

Update, August 31

Our Timeline for September includes:


·         Finishing touches on the Admin Offices

·         Completion of the Classrooms and Nursery

·         Installation of the AC systems in the Classrooms and Sanctuary

·         Ordering comfortable chairs and carpeting for the Sanctuary (blue)

·         Complete the painting of the Sanctuary interior (same colors)

·         Free Trial for the Hearing Loops in the Sanctuary

·         Complete Music Director’s Office (new ceiling, lights)

·         Repair of roofs

·         Bid for Solar

·         Begin permit process to convert main bathrooms for disability access (ADA)

·         Redesign kitchen to accommodate ADA bathrooms

·         Complete design for courtyard and landscaping in front

·         Install new ramp landscaping in front

·         Recondition and paint wrought iron handrails, side fence and gate

·         Finish Upgrade on electric system

·         Install upgrades for Sanctuary audio and video systems

·         Install fans in Chapel

·         Thanks, Unity Community for your good input

·         And we are still under budget!

From your busy Building Committee: Rev Larry, Diane Doiron, Jessica Smith, Derek Carlson and Nola Force 


Update, August 24

Here is an update on our Building Project:

We successfully moved into our new administrative offices on August 22. What a pleasure it is to be in our beautiful new space. Thank you to all who helped in the move! We are up & running and will be settled completely very soon!  We are beginning construction of the new Youth Building. Starting with the ceiling removal, and a new heating and air conditioning installation...other changes are happening the week of August 28. 

Update, August 9, 2017

The new Administrative Offices will be completed by Friday, August 18. A long time coming but soon we will be moving and setting up our new space. If you want to lend a hand, talk with Joan. 966-2239 or email her at

The Youth Classrooms will be next, and the two bathrooms and the kitchen are being redesigned to facilitate disabled persons. Depending on the City permit process this may be completed this year. The Sanctuary upgrades are scheduled to be done in October of this year.


Update, July 26, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project:

Rendering of Upcoming Remodel of Sanctuary

A NEW LOOK FOR UNITY IS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. The scope of work and budget for the next phase of our Campus Renovation was unanimously approved by the 22 members present at the Sunday, July 23 Member’s Meeting. Construction Committee Chair, Nola Force reported that the current scope of work underway is being completed below the approved budget. This includes the move of the bookstore and administrative offices, now scheduled for completion the first week of August; classrooms are scheduled for occupancy by mid-September.
The next phase will begin in August and be completed in early October. THE SANCTUARY WILL BE AVAILABLE TO US ON WEEKENDS.
Building Committee members Jessica Smith and Diane Doiron unveiled the colored rendering and material samples for the Sanctuary, showing that the current basic color scheme will remain, using new carpet tiles, moveable/stackable chairs, hearing loops and upgrades to the electrical, sound, recording and visual systems. Quiet ductless airconditioning will be installed, and roof and skylight repairs will be completed in this phase.
The approved budget for the Sanctuary renovation, outdoor meeting space (courtyard), remodel of bathrooms for disability compliance, improvements to pantry/kitchen/storage and completion of deferred maintenance is in the amount not to exceed $340,000. You will find the new ADA Ramp well underway this week, ongoing work in the admin offices and repairs to our sidewalks. For further information see Nola at the Unity Board Table next Sunday, August 6, after services.

Update, July 7, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project:

The administrative offices are on track to be complete by mid-July. 

Youth Classrooms' construction will take place in August.  



Update, June 29, 2017


Here is an update on our Building Project:

·         There was a change to the layout in the administrative offices, so we were delayed as the architect made new drawings for the City to approve. Permit in hand, we are back on track, with a revised end time of mid-July. 

·         Nola will be available in the new offices between services on Sunday. 






Update, June 7, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project:

The paint has been selected, carpet tiles are on order, and we're measuring for desks and furniture, preparing for our move to the new administrative offices. 

Nola will be available in the new offices between services on Sunday. 



Update May 18, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project:

  • Demo in Noreen's new office is complete. 

  • Expect drywall, paint, carpeting to be complete in Noreen's office by the end of the week, May 19.

  • New Administrative offices demo is scheduled for week of May 22


Update May 4, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project:

  • Our contractor, Armstrong Associates, pulled our construction permit on May 1.

  • Our floor coverings, are made by Curtis Carpets of SB in shades of blue, selected by our interior designer and Unity member Jessica Risko-Smith, and approved by our staff.

  • Renovation begins this week on the new Administrative offices with the move in date is scheduled for the end of May.

  • The Children's classrooms’ renovation is expected to finish by the end of June.

  • Roof repairs and cement walkway repairs are underway.

  • The work is underway weekdays with minimal disruption of daily Unity activities

Update April 28, 2017

We have hired Armstrong Construction and they will begin demolition of existing walls to make way for the new Administration offices and an office for Noreen. We will move the Admin offices in May and the Childres's Wing renovation will be in June. We will also be completing some deferred maintenance items.  

Update April 14, 2017

Following a unanimous vote of approval at our community meeting last Sunday we are authorized to move ahead and hire Armstrong Construction to begin the first phase of our building project. We are blessed and grateful!

At the April 9 Special Membership Meeting, the plans of the Building Committee were approved to complete the children's classrooms and administrative offices as well as upgrade the electrical capacity as needed in all buildings, install a Hearing Loop installation in the Sanctuary, repair the Sanctuary roof shutters, repair leaks and wall stains in the Chapel basement, as well as other needed improvements. This increased scope of work in the improvement project will be done now to better organize the work and make economical use of our contractor time. The estimated cost of this project has not changed but costs between the Phases have been reassigned and a larger reserve added to the budget.

Work will begin shortly in the administrative/bookstore area and then move to the classrooms. Construction is expected to occur during the May-July timeframe and will only minimally hamper the event schedule at Unity. The Building Committee continues to be responsible to the Board for supervision of this project with Nola Force as liaison between the architect, contractor, committee and Board. She can be reached at 530-966-0916 by call, text or email

Update March 31, 2017


Friday, March 31, 2017

Re:  Vote of the Membership on Building Project Expenditure

Dear Unity of Santa Barbara Member,

Please attend the Unity of Santa Barbara Membership Meeting on Sunday, April 9th to be held after the second service at approximately 12:30 PM. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on an expenditure in excess of $25,000.  Specifics regarding the expenditure are provided in the Building Committee Report and the Updated Remodel Project Budget accompanying this notice.

We are sending this notice in accordance with the Bylaws, which state as follows: “#3.04 Powers of Active Members…(d): Vote on any question of sale or pledge of real property owned and/or used for the operation of this Ministry, or any expenditure that exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in value. A majority of those active members in attendance is required to approve the sale, pledge, or expenditure.”

At its March 28, 2017 regular meeting the Board of Trustees approved an expenditure covering the $175,600, subject to the approval vote of the Membership on April 9, 2017. This expenditure is for the remodel of the Youth and Administration areas, ADA compliance, pantry revision, deferred maintenance, and sanctuary repairs to the skylights and upper windows. Additional details about the project will be provided to the members at the April 9th meeting, with time for questions and discussion. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact the Building Committee Chairperson, Nola Force at

With abundant blessings on behalf of the Unity of Santa Barbara Board of Trustees,


MaryJo McGrath,

Board President

Below are links to the Building Committee report and the Remodel Budget

Building Committee Report

Remodel Budget



Update January 26, 2017


GOOD NEWS! The building permit is ready for Phase One!

First of all, we want to thank Jessica Risko-Smith, our Board of Trustee’s Vice President, talented Interior Designer and Unity’s remodel and construction consultant, for the long process of stewarding the Building Committee through the design and permit process; and special thanks to the other members of the Building Committee focus group, Rev. Larry, Derek Carlson and Diane Doiron for their many ideas and hours of planning.

Now we introduce Nola Force, a board member with over 20 years of construction and property management who will be updating you this year on the building project progress while working on the building committee. The remodeling and move of the administrative offices to the Sanctuary wing, and the remodel of what will now be the children’s classrooms will begin after final selection of materials and a general contractor, now underway.  We currently are receiving final bids. Questions? Text or call Nola at 530-966-0916 or see her at Unity!


Update October 27, 2016

HLC approved our plans and we submitted prints to the City Building Dept. last Tuesday.  Turn around time for permit issuance estimated at 4-6 weeks. We have solicited bids from 3 local general contractors for the Phase 1 work.  We are in the pipeline and giving thanks for progress and Divine Order in our process.


Update September 29, 2016

Our plans for the Administrative Offices/Youth Classrooms Project (Phase 1) were finally approved by Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) on Wednesday, September 21. We are waiting for their staff to finalize everything and below is the schedule and information as submitted by Dennis Thompson of Thompson Naylor Architects

Phase I:

  • We expect to have all of our consultants’ work completed by Oct. 7 including electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, structural, and surveyor drawings.
  • These drawings will be coordinated and submitted to HLC for Final sign-off and approval Oct. 19. 
  • We can then submit to the Building Dept. and go out to Bid to General Contractors on Oct. 20.  Building Department review is 6-8 weeks.  
  • We can expect a Building Permit by approximately Dec 15.

Phase 2:

  • We are scheduled for Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) concept review on Oct. 5. We have reviewed the design preliminarily with their staff and this will be the first review by the full HLC Board.  

Update September 1, 2016

Our plans for the 1st phase of the project (relocation of Admin offices and develop Youth class space) were conditionally approved by the Historic Landmark Commission last week!  Additional engineering consultations for A/C and electrical are in process in preparation for submitting complete Phase I plans to City and solicitation of competitive bids by end of September. We are grateful for the progress and excited about the new changes to support more efficient facility usage and our Youth and Family ministry that are within sight! Watch this page for periodic updates as progress unfolds.


Update August 24, 2016

Our plans for the 1st phase of the project (relocation of Admin offices and develop Youth class space) were submitted to the Historic Landmark Commission today!  Once we have their approval we will complete bid packages to submit to City and solicit contractor bids.  We are moving forward!


Update July 1, 2016

Please join us Sunday, July 17 after the second service for continued dialogue on the CONCEPT drawings for the exterior fellowship and landscape projects (Phase 2). 
We will be presenting some further ideas for the interior remodel of our current kitchen to support our needs better, as well as ADA/accessibility revisions for the current bathrooms, which will be required by the city as part of this project.
We will have answers to questions already submitted, as well as a forum to receive your comments and answer additional questions. 
We look forward to a spirited conversation!

Update June 17, 2016

Concept Drawings for the proposed (Phase 2) exterior gathering space, garden design and preliminary kids playground (termed “tot-lot”) are now on display in the Narthex, as well as linked below for your viewing and download/printing.  We will have some copies of the rendered and annotated site plan (colored drawing) available for pick up on Sunday.
We have already received some wonderful feedback and questions from the initial presentation on June 5.  We are gathering these comments and questions in one place so that we can keep track of them and incorporate them into our next round of design.  PLEASE FORWARD YOUR THOUGHTS/COMMENTS/QUESTIONS/CONCERNS as soon as possible so we can include all voices in the process.   There is a box right under the display in the Narthex to drop off your ideas.  You can also email them to  Subject Line: “Building Project”
Phase 1 Update:
We are happy to be moving forward with the unanimously approved Phase 1 Children’s Ministry/Administration Project! 
The architect is getting the engineering we need to provide drawings to the HLC (Historic Landmarks Commission) so that we can approve the required ADA improvements triggered by the project, as well as some required reviews related to the proposed addition of Air Conditioning to the Phase 1 project areas and other parts of the campus. 
They plan to present to the HLC as soon as Mid-July.  
Submitted by Jessica Risko Smith, Board Vice President, Design Team Member
Click on this link:


Update June 5, 2016

The Members of Unity of Santa Barbara in attendance at the June 5th Members Meeting made a unanimous decision to accept the proposal for Phase #1 (Children's Ministry/Administration Project) of the renovation project which had been previously approved and recommended by the Board of Trustees.
Concepts Drawings for a proposed exterior gathering space and landscape area were also presented. These drawings will be on display in the narthex and posted to our website very soon. Your comments and concerns are welcome as we continue to consider and evaluate these proposals to enhance our physical space.

Update April 29, 2016

We have received preliminary cost estimates for Project #1 (Children’s Ministry & Administration Relocation) of our Building Project.  The scope of work entails moving the children’s ministry into the current administration spaces, and the administration offices into the spaces opposite the courtyard into the Sanctuary Building.  The Prayer Room will be relocated to a quiet room above the Chapel.
Our Architect is working toward completing the Permit package to issue to the City, and the BID package that we can issue to 3 contractors for pricing simultaneously.  We anticipate issuing this by mid-May.  Permits generally take 30 days and our Bid Pricing will be back within this timeframe. 
The Board has seen the preliminary costs and project details and has recommended we present the full scope of work to the membership for authorization.  We are excited to get the youth ministry into a functional, appropriate space that supports their growing needs.
There will be a CommUNITY Meeting and Membership Vote on June 5 to review the Costs and Plans and membership approval to proceed.  We will send out more details in advance of this meeting.  
Submitted by Jessica Risko Smith, Board Vice President, Desiign Team Member

Update April 21, 2016

We have been busily weaving the myriad of threads together for the building project.
We are scheduled to receive complete cost estimates for Project #1 (Children’s Ministry/Administration Project) of our Building Project on Friday 4/22. Moving the children’s ministry into the current administration spaces, and the administration offices into the spaces opposite the courtyard. 
The Prayer Room will be relocated to the quiet room above the Chapel during this project.
Our Architect is completing the permit package for this scope of work. 
In addition to the pricing and permit preparation for this scope of work, we have been doing research, testing and engineering to better understand the campus’ complete heating and ventilation system so that we can determine what is required in order to provide Air Conditioning to our spaces.  There are a number of sticky wickets to this process due to the age of our building and the current infrastructure and the new energy codes for ventilation systems.  These factors have to be carefully figured into the project so that we may obtain a required permit for this work.  All of this must be pre-determined so we appropriately cost out the work and determine what is feasible for our budget.   We’ve brought in a Mechanical Engineer to assess the systems, test our current systems and provide our contractor with the needed calculations and scope of work so they can provide pricing. 
Portions of the above HVAC work needs to be considered as part of our relocation project for the children so we can efficiently do this work and include it in our permit.
We have completed concept work on Project #2 (Exterior Courtyard Sanctuary/Fellowship Hall Project). 
We are eager to present these ideas to the congregation for your review!  Our landscape architect and project architect have presented some beautiful and functional ideas to enliven our campus and create a very special gathering space.  Pricing estimates and permit requirements are already being developed so we will be able to make swift progress based on your feedback.  
We tentatively plan to hold a congregation meeting and membership voting in early to mid-May that will address:
Project #1 Budget Review/Approval Children’s Ministry/Administration
Project #2 Concept Presentation Exterior Courtyard, Sanctuary/Fellowship Hall



Update, July 26, 2017

Here is an update on our Building Project: