Community Meeting

June 4th

Date details +
    Room: Main Meditation Hall

    Letter to our Community:

    Dear friends,

    We are writing to share with members of the Lexington Shambhala Center the very exciting news that we will be moving our center to a new location, creating a beautiful, uplifted space and increasing our financial stability! We will try to describe this process as briefly and succinctly as possible here; everyone is invited to come to a community gathering on Sunday, June 4th at 4pm to learn more details and to provide input regarding our plans for moving forward.

    What’s Happening?

    On April 8th our main building at 315 W. Maxwell was put up for sale. We have accepted an offer of $257,000 for the building and will close on it tomorrow, May 16. We anticipate that the community gathering referenced above will be our final event at our old Center location.

    The decision to sell the Maxwell Building was made by the Center’s Governing Council in March. At that time it was also decided we would either: 1) move into our property at the corner of Mill and Maxwell St (M&M) or 2) sell both the Maxwell St and M&M properties (we have a probable buyer for M&M) and purchase a third building elsewhere. Both of these options would require extensive renovation to make the new location suitable for a dharma center; in the case of the M&M building it would also include a build-out to increase the total square footage.

    A search committee has been diligently looking to see if there is a property that meets our usage and financial criteria better than the M&M building will do. The search has a deadline of May 31. If a more suitable third property has not been located by then, we will proceed to create a beautiful new Center space at the M&M location. As of this date, we have not found anything that meets our search criteria and so it’s highly probable we will be renovating M&M. We have been working with architect/builder Craig Rushing who anticipates we could be fully moved in by the end of the year.

    We’re happy to say Center programs and events will continue to be offered using alternative locations for the next months. Please watch for further announcement about this!

    How Did We Get Here?

    Over the past eighteen months or so it became increasing apparent that it was no longer sustainable for us to own and maintain two buildings. The very old Maxwell Street building needed expensive maintenance, utility bills were sky-high and it was not handicap accessible. Our human and financial resources were stretched thin even when we had a rent-paying tenant in one half of the M&M property. Then in September of 2016, our tenant gave notice that his business would be moving.

    This event precipitated the formation of a Buildings Options Committee who was tasked with exploring all possible options for how our Center could move forward. The three most viable options were presented to the sangha at a community meeting last November, and were also presented to the entire membership via a survey shortly thereafter. The message from the community was clear; about two thirds of those who gave feedback felt it was time to move on from the Maxwell St building. Among the group who wanted to sell the Maxwell St building, there was an almost even split about whether to move to M&M or to move to a third location altogether. Our Center leadership has based all subsequent decisions based on this community feedback combined with a deep review of Center resources.

    We hope that all members can understand the thought and care that has goon into the decision-making process. Since September, the Building Options Committee has met 14 times, the Council has discussed this at every monthly meeting, we’ve reviewed property listings and looked at multiple properties for sale, deeply studied our financial situation and consulted with three potential builders and/or architects.

    What’s Next and How Can You Help?

    Now more than ever we need all hands on deck to share and support this exciting new chapter in the life of our Center!

    1. Come to the Community Meeting on June 4th to review and give feedback regarding renovation plans for our new space. Stay tuned for further announcement about the community meeting as well as your opportunity to purchase items we will not be keeping in exchange for a donation of your choice.
    2. Bring your ideas and questions to any of the people listed below this letter.
    3. Help us get moved out of the Maxwell St building. Lucia Gilchrist is coordinating all aspects of the move, including sorting through everything and packing. Please contact Lucia to find out how you can help. She’s at 859-338-8519 or [email protected].

    Finally, in our attempt to be as brief as possible, we hope we have also managed to convey the sense of optimism, fearlessness and excitement that just about everyone who has contacted us is expressing about this forward movement. Lungta is high, and the various teams that are involved in facilitating these changes are working with good cheer and remarkable energy. Ki Ki So So!!

    Yours in the Vision of the Great Eastern Sun,

    Craig Smith-Sargent, Center Director                                                                                                                  Mary Sehlinger, Building Options Committee Chair

     

    WHO TO CONTACT ABOUT YOUR IDEAS OR QUESTIONS:

    Finances

    Neil Griggs 859-396-5595

    Randy Pratt 859-327-9292

    Lucia Gilchrist 859-338-8519

    Search Group (for a new property)

    Zoe Drake 859-537-7592

    Mary Sehlinger 205-910-1927

    Neil Griggs 859-396-5595

    Renovation Plans

    Donna Hall 859-684-3348

    Craig Smith-Sargent 859-2279478

    Mary Sehlinger 205-910-1927

    Moving

    Lucia Gilchrist 859-338-8519

    General Questions

    Barbara Navin 859-537-2636

    Susan Smith-Sargent 859-227-9479