In 2015-16, our congregation made a fabulous decision to upgrade the main floor of the main building to be much more accessible. We hired a landscape architect and an architect, made plans, bid the project at a rather unhelpful moment (eight hotels were going up in Asheville at the time) and built what you see today with our general contractors, Patton Construction with the amazing guidance of UUCA member Bob Roepnack. We also raised nearly $800,000 thanks to the leadership of member Larry Wheeler. Unfortunately, timing is everything in the construction business, so the actual cost exceeded the money raised by tens of thousands of dollars. That’s when we applied for our mortgage. Up until then, this congregation had remained debt-free.The mortgage was a balloon mortgage, financed for a 20-year period but requiring either a final “balloon payment” on August 25, 2020 or refinancing on that date. Since then, the UUA Legacy Challenge program, Awake Now Our Vision, came into being. Our beyond-fabulous Legacy Circle Team, at the time lead by the equally beyond-fabulous Beverly Cutter, with members Mike Horak, Myrtle Bennett and Mara Sprain, signed on more bequests (legacy gifts) than any other participating organization and earned us a matching gift of $138,516.77!!!!!!!
We are receiving this essentially free money in four installments and the first three installments have been applied to the principal of our mortgage. Because we’d been making payments all along, the third payment that we made last week PAID OFF THE MORTGAGE!!!!! Congratulations, UUCA!Linda Topp, Director of Administration