First Universalist Church of Southold

Charge to the Building Team Approved December 19, 2015

Following the church fire on March 14, 2015, the Board of Trustees addressed the immediate needs for continuing the activities of the church and to begin the congregational process of moving forward toward rebuilding.

Now the Board of Trustees is handing responsibility to a newly formed Building Team to complete the recovery process and to facilitate completion of a building.



The Building Team is established by the Board of Trustees. It shall take direction from, and report to, the Board.

This Charge to the Building Team is a living document and serves as a guideline.

The purpose of the Building Team, acting as an agent of the Board, is to provide overall direction and support for the processes and activities necessary to complete the building project for (1) a new church building and parish hall on Main Road, and (2) consideration of the status of the two outbuildings and playground on the property. This work includes responsibility for planning, budgeting, design, timeline and implementation through to occupation of the new space.

The ultimate responsibility for entering into contracts and making financial obligations resides in the Board of Trustees and the Congregation. However, the Building Team is charged with facilitating due diligence in negotiating contracts, working with contractors making timely decisions, and managing project finances while keeping the Board and Congregation informed of activities and progress on a regular basis.



Decision Making

  • Work with relevant professionals in the design process to provide direction consistent with input from the Congregation and the church’s financial resources
  • Coordinate with the Board to facilitate congregational discussions about design development at key stages to secure feedback about major design decisions
  • Review building project budget proposals and make recommendations to the Board for approval by the Congregation; provide the Board materials with which to present proposals to the Congregation to determine the scope of project to be undertaken and authorization to build

Operational Oversight

  • Act as the relevant professional’s client on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Church
  • Develop a contractor bid process; identify contractors to invite for bidding; ensure candidates’ adequate experience, financial capacity, insurance coverage and other qualifications before selecting a contractor for consideration; present a list of contractors for approval by the Board
  • Specific duties regarding oversight to be determined after builder is selected, these may include but are not limited to the following:
    • Recommend a Clerk of the Works or other personnel with oversight to protect the Owner’s interests
    • Develop procedures for ensuring all contractors meet their obligations; monitor progress against established timelines, contracts and budgets
  • Coordinate the replacement of contents directly tied to the building project in coordination with the committees, the minister, and the Board
  • Continue and/or complete any unfinished work of recovery, including replacement of contents lost in the fire which may not be directly tied to the building project
  • Coordinate celebratory events with other planning committees of the Church

Financial Oversight

  • Develop building budget; coordinate all financial matters with the church Treasurer
  • Establish a financial tracking, disbursement, and reporting process and present that process to the Board for approval in consultation with an auditor; subsequently report project financial status regularly to the Team and monthly to the Board
  • Continue the reconciliation process of the insurance claim for additional coverage available through to the completion of the building project in consultation with Jack Speyer
  • Monitor all billing and payment schedules
  • Approve project expenditures for disbursement by the Treasurer as defined in the tracking, disbursement, and reporting process
  • Assist with operational budget projections and planning for the fiscal year following occupation date


  • In consultation with the Board, keep the congregation informed about progress; plan for adequate time, communication, information-gathering and information sessions with the congregation before voting meetings
  • Report to the Board via email on a bi-weekly basis; report to the Congregation on a regular and timely basis, at least once a month via monthly email and postal mail



The members of the Building Team appointed by the Board of Trustees are:

  • Beth Peterson
  • Suzette Reiss
  • Mark Sisson
  • Sherry Smith
  • Irene Stewart
  • Peter Young