Building Project Update

University Gathering UMC

New Building Project

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updates, mid- December 2020
When are occupants of the building moving out?
All occupancy of the building will end as of December 31, 2020. At the beginning of January architectural salvage, removal of the organs and stained glass windows, and other work will begin. As an active worksite, the building will not be safe for entry, so all entrances will be closed and secured.
What’s happening to the community nonprofit organizations that are losing their space?
This is basic information only, and subject to change. Please contact these organizations directly for info on accessing services, program/location updates, volunteering and fundraising information. Community support is needed now more than ever.
• University Gathering Children’s School moved into space at University Heights Center in October. As they re-grow their program after the pandemic, they will be launching a fundraising campaign to buy a permanent home.
• University Gathering Thrift Store closed due to pandemic restrictions in March, planning to hold a grand ending sale in the summer. It was never able to re-open.
• Urban Rest Stop hygiene center, a program of the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), closed operations November 30th. LIHI has not announced plans for another site in Northeast Seattle.
• ROOTS young adult shelter has purchased a former fraternity house in the neighborhood, which is undergoing extensive remodeling. Because of construction delays they will be using a temporary shelter location in January before moving into to their new home at the end of the month. They will move to the temporary location December 17th.
• Friday Feast will offer its last meal from the University Gathering kitchen on Christmas Day. January 1st they will re-open with meals cooked at the Vineyard Church (NE 42nd and Brooklyn), and served outdoors in the alley behind Chapel on the Ave, 4130 University Way NE. (History note: the Vineyard Church building was home to University Methodist before the large church was built in the 1920s.) Friday Feast is a program of ROOTS.
• People’s Harm Reduction Alliance is also planning to purchase a permanent home, and has secured funding from King County and City of Seattle to support the effort. Interim space has been arranged, and they plan to move the third week of December.
• Sound Health suboxone treatment and mental health services will continue to do outreach at the PHRA needle exchange, wherever it is located. Sound already has a location in Wallingford at 4200 Stone Way N.
• Earth on Air radio station KODX has not yet found a new broadcast location. They will continue to stream programming online 24/7 at
• End Youth Homelessness Now ended operations at the church in mid-2020.
Where are the church congregations going?
Both Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church (ECMCC) and University Gathering United Methodist Church moved to on-line services in March, so they have not been using the U Temple chapel and sanctuary.
• ECMCC will eventually resume their services in the Wesley Club campus ministry space, located on 15th just south of the current church in the George Russell Hall building.
• University Gathering will move its offices to the basement of University Bookstore. When it is safe to resume services, they will be held in the Masonic Lodge on the Ave, 4338 University Way NE

What happens next with the University Gathering building?
• In the first week of January the removal of church property and building components will begin.
o The Sanctuary pipe organ will be removed and trucked to storage, awaiting installation in the new church. The Chapel organ is being purchased by another church, and will also be moved out in January.
o The Sanctuary piano will move to the Masonic Lodge. Others will be stored for the new church.
o Office equipment will go to the new office space. Other furnishings, records, and church property will go to storage – some long term, and some accessible for use as needed.
o The Children’s Window in the west wall of the Sanctuary lobby –fondly called the “Bunny Window” by day care children – will be removed and stored for installation in the new church, celebrating the holiness of Creation. It will be in the west wall of an open Library area, visible from the main entry staircase.
o The Chapel Windows will go to Epiphany Episcopal Parish in Madrona.
o The Sanctuary Windows will be removed and offered for sale by Earthwise Architectural Salvage.
• Architectural salvage of other items will follow in the winter months. Earthwise will remove furnishings, fixtures and building components to be sold for re-use. This will include pews, carved woodwork, metal work, light fixtures, doors, and small hardware. Eventually these will be for sale through their website and at their SODO location. Some items will be retained for integration into the new church.
• Other work needed before the building comes down, such as hazardous materials remediation, will follow the salvage operations. The church has applied for a demolition permit, but the timing of demolition is not yet known.

When will construction begin?
• The original timeline for building the new church and student housing has been impacted by conditions related to the pandemic. It is now unlikely that construction will begin in 2021.