Brief news items about congregational building programs.
The Unitarian Universalist Parish of Monson, Mass., has installed a new steeple. Built in 1888, the previous steeple had been destroyed by a tornado that tore through western Massachusetts in the summer of 2011. The new steeple is designed to look exactly like the old one. Approximately 30 feet tall, it will be covered with slate shingles to match the look of the granite church. The $600,000 cost to restore the steeple was covered by insurance, Edward S. Harrison, treasurer and trustee of the church, told The Republican.
First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, has added a garden and solar panels in an effort to go green and produce its own power. The garden was dedicated in October and is intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient, with stone seating walls that provide a gathering space for congregation members.
Behind the garden is a solar array to harness sunlight and provide shade for cars. The structure also includes an electric car-charging station. The array, completed in July, is a 91.2 kilowatt installation, and provides shade for 38 cars. The 19-foot structure is capable of providing enough energy for 10 homes and will eventually offset almost 80 percent of the power consumed by the church.
This article appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of UU World (page 50).
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Allison Bennett was a UU World editorial intern in the fall and winter of 2012. She is a recent graduate of Westfield State University and grew up in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, Massachusetts.