Loveland Reporter-Herald

Pinkard tops out expanded church

- Bizwest Staff

Lakewood-based Pinkard Constructi­on Co. has completed the external structure for the $6.5 million, 16,000-square-foot expansion and remodel of Foothills Unitarian Church at 1815 Yorktown Ave. in Fort Collins.

A topping-out ceremony was held this week at the site, with representa­tives from Pinkard, Ewers Architectu­re PC, and members of the congregati­on and local government in attendance.

“Pinkard is a communityd­riven organizati­on, so working with clients who are such a vital part of the community is important for us,” said Tony Burke, president of Pinkard Constructi­on, in a prepared statement.

Burke said Pinkard’s preconstru­ction team was vital in the project’s progress, despite unpreceden­ted complicati­ons because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am proud our team could work together to get a budget and design to make this project feasible and fulfill the church’s vision,” he said.

Golden-based Ewers Architectu­re completed the schematic design in the summer of 2019. After a Covid-related project hold, the design resumed in 2021 with value engineerin­g and savings measures to reduce the budget from the initial $9 million plan. Constructi­on documents and fundraisin­g were completed in line with the new budget, and the project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

“The expansion results from years of visioning, planning, and the tremendous generosity of the congregati­on,” said Peg Mcmorris, a member of the church’s building expansion team. “It will allow us to be an even greater resource to our wider Northern Colorado community, especially to our partners, the BIPOC Alliance, Homeward Alliance, and the Food Bank for Larimer County.

“We are grateful Ewers and Pinkard were able to collaborat­e with us in reworking our design and budget to ensure the new space facility meets the needs of our nearly 600-person congregati­on and aligns with our vision for a growing future,” she said.

The phased project consists of 13,200 square feet of additional space and 2,900 square feet of remodeled space. It includes a new 390-seat worship center, additional gathering spaces, classrooms, and office space to enable the church to better serve its 120-year-old progressiv­e faith community in Fort Collins.

The seeds for Foothills were planted in 1886, when the Rev. Anna Jane Norris rode between Longmont and Fort Collins to promote the establishm­ent of Unitarian societies. Unity Church was founded in Fort

Collins in 1898 and moved into its first establishe­d home, a domed, stone structure on the southwest corner of College Avenue and Mulberry Street, in 1904. Unity Church merged in 1931 with First Congregati­onal Church to form the Congregati­onal Unitarian Church, with 140 total members. In 1968, the con- gregation voted to end its affiliatio­n with the Congregati­onal Church and join the newly formed, Bostonbase­d Unitarian Universali­st Associatio­n, and two years later moved onto its current property, which backs onto the north side of Drake Road halfway between Shields Avenue and Taft Hill Road.

Editor’s note: Bizwest reporter Dallas Heltzell has been a member of Foothills Unitarian Church since 2011.

This article was first published by Bizwest, an independen­t news organizati­on, and is published under a license agreement. © 2023 Bizwest Media LLC.

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