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Unitarian Universalists plan 'green' new church

BEND, Ore. - The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon announced Monday the selection of THA Architecture and Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. as the architect and construction manager for their planned church construction, to be located on the southeast corner of Skyliners Road and Skyline Ranch Road on the west side of Bend.

The plan is for the proposed building to be a national model of sustainability and community access, and is expected to be complete by 2015.

THA was selected based on their record of designing public and spiritual buildings and spaces, their advanced sustainable design methods, and their thoughtful approach to designing within the landscape of Central Oregon.

THA is a firm of 45 employees, and were the architects of such Central Oregon landmarks as the High Desert Museum, the Bend Library, and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.

Kirby Nagelhout was selected because of their long-standing reputation in Central Oregon for quality and customer satisfaction, a clear understanding of the project vision, and their strong advocacy for highly sustainable design and construction.

"After a thorough review process of professional qualifications, Central Oregon experience and positive references, the UUFCO is very confident in the choice of these two firms. Beyond the measurable elements of selecting THA and KNCC, their teams demonstrated a keen ability to connect with us," said Leslie Koc, the head of UUFCO's New Home Steering Committee.

"We are thrilled to be working with these creative and talented professionals in the design and construction of our new church," said Melissa Hochschild, President of the Board of the UUFCO. "They share our vision of a plan that can accommodate our continued growth, inspire our community and contribute to the sustainability of our natural surroundings."

The local UU fellowship, which has over 150 members, currently meets in leased space in the Old Stone Church. From when it was founded here in 1958, the congregation has met in a number of locations in town.

As the congregation has expanded it has identified the need for additional space for religious education classes, events and gatherings, administrative offices and a full-time worship space.

The new building will start with a master plan that defines an array of spaces for Fellowship and community use. The building and any related structures will keep with Unitarian Universalist principles, appropriately fit the natural landscape, and incorporate sustainable building design and construction.  For more information, visit

About the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon is a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association of congregations. UUFCO is an inter-generational liberal religious community dedicated to energizing life-long learning, freedom of belief, caring fellowship, spiritually meaningful services, and engaged social action. The fellowship holds services Sundays at 11 am at the Old Stone Church. Child care and religious education is offered for preschool through high school. The congregation welcomes a diversity of ages, sexual orientations, races, gender identities, classes, abilities, theologies and religious heritages. More information on the Fellowship can be found at

About THA Architecture Inc.
Portland, Oregon-based THA Architecture is a recognized leader in the design of buildings and urban spaces that serve people and communities. THA firmly believes architecture is best when it is an honest expression of the people and institutions it serves, its surroundings, and its materials. The firm continually works towards advancing design and construction methods to improve buildings while minimizing their environmental impact. THA's recently completed projects include a LEED Platinum adaptive reuse for the Mercy Corps headquarters and LEED Gold First Unitarian Church Buchan Building, both in Portland.

About Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company
KNCC has been in business in Central Oregon since 1986 and has grown to be the largest and most recognized commercial general contractor in the area.  Employing over 60 people, KNCC has developed a strong positive reputation with clients, architects and engineers.  Local projects include:  Grace Lutheran Church, Bend; St. Francis of Assisi Church and School, Bend; First Presbyterian Church, Bend; Redmond Airport Terminal; Deschutes County Library - Downtown Bend; and Central Oregon Community College Library and Science Building's. KNCC recently completed the LEED Platinum Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building. To learn more, visit

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