Report of the Ad Hoc Common Room Committee
Approved at the Meeting for Business 11.11.12
The 1.21.12 all clerks' meeting called for the formation of the ad hoc common room committee. Clerk Candace Shattuck identified and recruited members for this committee. Posey Boicourt, Lorraine B Claggett, Tom Corl, Mary Cotton, Clay Owens, Nancy Robbins and John Schreiner served on the committee. Tom Corl convened and clerked the committee.
The common room has not had significant improvements for many years. The current conditions are disorganized, cluttered, shabby and unattractive. The purpose of the committee and this report is to:
- Assess and evaluate the uses, contents, arrangement and the conditions of the common room;
- Make recommendations to the Meeting about changes or improvements to these; and
- Achieve more effective use of the space, more flexible arrangement of contents, to make the common room more attractive and useful for Meeting activities.
The committee conducted a thorough and detailed assessment of uses, furnishings, contents, arrangements and conditions of the common room. The committee consulted with and invited the clerks of other committees to review this report and these recommendations.
2. Uses of the Common Room
The ad hoc common room committee finds that principal uses of the common room are:
- Fellowship and hospitality at the rise of meeting for worship
- Committee meetings
- Meeting events—worship sharing, adult religious education, silent retreats and other Meeting gatherings
- Receptions for weddings and memorial meetings
- First Day School
- Museum—The Meeting does not have a dedicated museum space as such, but has many historic artifacts and works of art. Many of these are displayed in the common room.
- Information—A wide variety of papers, brochures, leaflets, posters and other information resources are displayed or stored in the common room. This use is especially poorly organized and unattractive.
- External uses—A variety of outside groups, usually with some connection to the Meeting or a Friend, are permitted use the common room, for uses consistent with character of Third Haven.
- Storage—Many things are stored or left in the common room. The common room has become the junk room of Third Haven.
3. Proposed Minute
Third Haven Friends Meeting authorizes the Property and Grounds Committee and the Facilities Use Committee to implement the recommendations set forth in this report. Implementation will proceed through established committees, consistent with available resources, and such additional Meeting approvals as may be needed.
The committee considered a wide variety of recommendations and improvements to the common room, for the near and longer term. The following recommendations are prioritized as low cost, moderate cost and high cost. Implementation sequence should proceed accordingly, as resources become available. Proceeds from the carriage shed sale and special designated fundraising may be used for more expensive improvements.
- Attic—Complete the removal all non-essential items from the attic of the common room.
- Closets—Remove all unused items from the common room closets. The left closet will be used only for tables, chairs, cleaning supplies and access to the attic. The right closet will be cleaned out. Right closet containers will be provided for books (Ken's book, Faith and Practice) and note cards. Meeting committees needing common room storage will have assigned containers in the right closet.
- Information—Current common room information is disorganized and very unattractive. Install and use designated bulletin boards and information display racks to organize and manage information display and eliminate unattractive clutter.
- Museum—Form a committee or subcommittee of the Property and Grounds Committee for the museum function of the Meeting—to protect, display and manage the historic artifacts and art of the Meeting. Use the glass-door cabinet for historical artifacts. The subcommittee will consult with a fabric conservator on the conservation and location of the quilt.
- Bathrooms—Replace soft toilet seats with conventional ones. Install doors on the toilet stalls, and a fold-down diaper-changing table.
- Lighting and Wall Space—Remove the 9 wall sconces, to free up wall space for the calendar, bulletin boards, art and information display. Replace the 14 ceiling light fixtures with attractive ceiling fixtures that properly light the common room.
- Furnishings—Remove furniture and items that are not in regular use. Move in extra benches from the old Meetinghouse for seating, allowing more space and flexibility. Replace the broken tables with new lighter, more durable round and long tables.
- Kitchen—Acquire and install a Town of Easton recycling container, locate it appropriately with screening as needed. Remove the old screen and install a permanent wall with a bulletin board. Develop a plan and timetable with cost estimates to refurbish the kitchen area as soon as practical. This should include the efficient use of cabinets. Replace the existing sink with a deep-well sink and the small sink next to the refrigerator with a second dishwasher. Install a garbage disposal, new counter tops and new lighting.
- Flooring—Replace the carpet as resources allow.
The current responsibilities of Property and Grounds, Facilities Use and Hospitality Committees do not adequately cover some common room food management, cleanliness and maintenance matters. Property and Grounds Committee and Facilities Use Committee will be responsible for the implementation of the recommendations set forth in this report, in collaboration with others as may be appropriate.
- Property and Grounds Committee will be responsible for all necessary improvements, repairs and maintenance to the building, common room and equipment.
- Property and Grounds Committee may establish a subcommittee to implement these common room recommendations.
- Property and Grounds Committee should form a subcommittee for the museum function of the Meeting—to protect, display and manage the historic artifacts and art of the Meeting.
- Facilities Use Committee will be responsible for the use of the common room, the supervision of its use, the orderly organization of its furnishings and contents, and routine maintenance. At least twice annually, purge and clean the kitchen area of foodstuffs and excess items. Because of these additional responsibilities, the Nominating Committee should add members to the Facilities Use Committee.
- Upon approval of the proposed minute and recommendations, lay down the ad hoc common room committee.
Common Room Comm report 11.15.12