Meeting Renovation

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Renovation News


What is the renovation project?

The Friends Meeting of Washington has undertaken over 10 years of discernment, discussion, and planning for a major renovation of our space. Through this process, Friends have envisioned a renovation of our Meeting that meets three important goals:

  • Accessibility: We'll install an elevator and passageways to connect the three buildings on our campus to each other (the Meetinghouse, Quaker House, and Carriage House).
  • Environmental Stewardship: We'll make our gardens even more beautiful, functional, and accessible, while fixing long-standing drainage problems and reducing the amount of stormwater runoff from our property that enters DC's sewer system following a rain storm.
  • Inclusivity and Welcoming: Through the above goals, we'll make our campus more inclusive of our members and attenders of all ages, including those with physical disabilities or mobility issues. We'll also provide a more welcoming space to visitors and other space users from the community.

How did we get here?

  • 1930: Meetinghouse constructed. Totally inaccessible to those with physical limitations
  • 1950: Meetinghouse expanded, including new Library, Decatur Place, and Terrace Rooms
  • 1956: Ramp to Meeting Room north entrance added, making it accessible.  Parlor and Library also accessible, via that entrance to the Meeting Room
  • 1970: Meeting purchases Quaker House, Carriage House, and grounds
  • 2002: Faith, Facilities, and Financial Realities (FFFR) process initiated to begin prayerful consideration of our renovation needs.
  • 2003: FFFR Committee recommended that Meeting House be made accessible and our facilities used to greatest extent possible.  Recommends Capital Campaign be organized.
  • 2004: Threshing sessions, visits with Friends from other Meetings that had recently undertaken reonvations, and visits to these Meetings
  • 2006: Quaker fundraising consultant engaged to help determine whether FMW could mount this renovation effort and raise the needed funds
  • 2006: Meeting for Business approved the expenditure of funds on early design concepts
  • 2008: Financing meetings with the School for Friends and other Quaker organizations to explore tenancy options
  • 2010: Capital Campaign launched
  • 2012: Meeting for Business approves current plan concept and we engage Quaker architect Evan Lippincott and archtecture and engineering firm Gauthier Alvarado Associates to move the design forward.
  • 2013: Schematic Design set completed, showing addition and back garden design.  Construction cost estimate $1.7 million
  • 2014: Design Development set complete showing additional project details.  Construction cost estimate $1.8 million
  • 2015: Progress set civil engineering (stomwater and drainage) plans completed. Construction cost estimate grows to $2.7 million. Extended discussion of possible cost reduction changes. 
  • 2016: Bid set completed. Construction estimate grows to $2.9 million.
  • 2017: Permit set completed and submitted to DC for permitting. Estimated construction contract grows to $3.8 million.  Meeting approves borrowing up to $3.5 million.  Mortgage negotiated with Sandy Spring Bank. Storm water management plan greatly revised.
  • 2018: Contract negotiations with Monarc Construction begin the year, with rough contract cost estimate of $3.6 million.  Construction set to begin in March and take about a year.

What will the renovation project look like and why is it needed?

The following 2014 videos provide an overview of the renovation project and how the FMW campus will benefit:

The project described in these plans is the current project, except that:

  • We will not merge the remaining half of the Parlor with the Library, but will keep a smaller Parlor space and the present Library.
  • We will add a new room in the current open deck space between Carriage House and Quaker House.
  • There will be a 400-square-foot bioretention pond to capture stormwater at the lower end of the East Garden.
  • We are enlarging the Assembly Room by replacing the wall between it and the Children's Library space with a folding wall, and we are upgrading the floor, ceiling, lighting and HVAC to make it a more spacious and attractive space.