The Board of Trustees has entered into a purchase agreement for the purchase of 809 South Military Highway, a former professional office building, in the Indian River section of Virginia Beach.

  • It’s big, boasting 9+ acres, 111 parking spaces and 24,000 square feet
  • It’s high and dry with 6 to 8 feet of margin above likely storm flooding and and the building is dry in modeled Category 3 hurricane storm surge flooding.
  • It’s centrally located with convenient access from I-64, I-264, and Indian River Road.

Because the building was finished for professional offices, it requires remodeling to serve as a house of worship. This remodeling replaces the period┬ámechanical systems, dated lavatories, and tired interior surfaces. The offering price reflects the building’s condition and the total cost to move in is within the budget the Board has set for this adventure.

The Board and Sacred Space Team have been working with local architect Robyn Thomas to evaluate the property and develop a conceptual design for its use as a Unitarian Universalist house of worship. As part of her work, Robyn has developed conceptual designs and has engaged an acoustical engineer to assist with the design of the social hall and sanctuary spaces.

The building was built in 1959-1960 and used but not abused. Because of its age, the building needs an extensive renovation to restore its attractiveness. Because of its age, tired looks, and dated mechanicals, the purchase price is attractive and the remodeling needed to become a church addresses most of the building’s maintenance needs. Among other things the congregation would be

  • Bringing city water and sewers onto the property
  • Updating the electrical service
  • Installing modern energy management, heating, and cooling systems.
  • Installing modern energy efficient LED lighting and lighting management systems.
  • Installing modern access controls
  • Installing digital video and audio distribution and data networking systems
  • Providing mesh WiFi service in meeting areas
  • Insulating the exterior walls, sanctuary ceiling, and social wall ceiling.
  • Replacing the existing lavatories with new lavatories adequate for full house Sunday services
  • Installing new sound and lighting systems in the sanctuary and social hall
  • Installing new assistive listening systems throughout the meeting spaces using modern technology compatible with modern hearing aids.
  • Repaving the carpark

The new design has the following characteristics

  • About 22,000 square feet of meeting and office space
  • A large reception hall (narthex) with space for greeting visitors, name tag rack, pamphlet display and visitor’s table, and coat room access.
  • A social hall 1/3 larger than our current hall in which you will be able to hear each other in a reverberation controlled space that is live enough for music but tamed for coffee and conversation.
  • A large kitchen and prep space to support pot luck means, NEST hot meals, and social gathering meals or reception catering.
  • A sanctuary seating 400 having clear site lines and a balcony for those lofty of spirit. The sanctuary design and surface treatments will tune the space for good performing acoustics.
  • A new PA tuned to the space will allow those in back or on the balcony to hear the service.
  • A new T-Loop assistive listening system will transmit directly to T-Coil capable hearing aids without need for an additional receiver and headphones. Portable receivers will serve those not currently using hearing aids.
  • Nursery and toddler space with toddler sized lavatory.
  • Space for a choir room, laundry, records storage, fair trade shop, etc.
  • ADA compliant access and egress meeting modern fire codes.
  • Lift serving the second and third floors for normal access and moving stuff.
  • Courtyard and playground
  • Fenced service animal exercise and relief area with waste bins
  • Landscaped grounds with wetlands and tree grove buffer