UBarU Camp and Retreat Center is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit facility located on 142 acres in the scenic Texas Hill Country some 15 miles west of Kerrville that is open to the public. It is owned and managed by the Unitarian Universalist Friends Retreat Foundation (UUFRF), whose sole purpose is the care of UBarU; UUFRF trustees are members of Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in Texas (currently representing Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Kerrville, Georgetown, and Plano.) The mission of UBarU is “to provide a welcoming, peaceful place to gather for spiritual, educational and recreational purposes in harmony with our UU Principles and the Land.”
The ADA Accessibility Project
With a fund-raising effort exceeding $600,000, UBarU expanded its ADA accessible facilities with the construction of the Rev. Dwight and Marie Brown Center (DMB Center), completed in 2015. This lodging facility consists of two buildings housing four fully accessible suites along with accompanying bathrooms and showers, an accessible parking pad with accompanying pathway to the DMB Center and thence to the Meeting House.
We now look to complete the expansion of ADA accessibility by tying the larger existing parking lot to the new walkway between the DMB Center and the Meeting House (MH).
Donor support is absolutely essential in continuing this process will be most helpful and appreciated. We have used private appeals and Faithify.org to fund projects in the past and will use these venues to complement funding for this ADA Accessibility project. We hold a long term goal of expanding accessibility to each of the facilities and contemplative and recreational venues on the property with each new investment we make. With this project, we have targeted and limited our request to focus on the Meeting House and the Campfire Circle as the daytime and evening centers of social, instructional and contemplative activities.
Continuing the Progress
The goal of this project is to continue to expand ADA accessibility to the most prominent, most used, and most enjoyed facilities on the site. The project will expand accessibility by funding the construction of two ADA accessible parking spaces immediately in front of the Meeting House, establish an ADA accessible paved, concrete walkway from the parking area to the sitting porch of the MH in one direction and to the evening’s most popular attraction, the Campfire Circle in the other.
The Meeting House is the central focus of dining, instruction and indoor recreational activities of all types and for all ages. The Campfire Circle seats upwards of four dozen persons and is the focus of evening activities of fellowship, reflection, story-telling and star-gazing.
Funding from all sources will ensure ADA accessibility to persons of limited mobility to the most prominent and rewarding locations on the property.
Elements of the project
The project consists of, but is not limited to the following list of specific ADA accessibility-focused infrastructure investments.
a) Construction of two concrete-pad, handicap accessible parking spaces in the parking area immediately in front of the Meeting House.
b) Construction of a concrete sidewalk connecting the ADA parking spaces (a) above and the parking area to the front steps of the Meeting House.
c) Construction of a concrete sidewalk crossing the newly-constructed sidewalk in (b) above, to the Meeting House and providing a new sidewalk and accessible ramp to the walkway currently connecting the DMB Center and the Meeting House.
d) Construction of a concrete sidewalk intersecting the newly-constructed sidewalk to the Meeting House in the same location as (c) above and proceeding to the Campfire Circle.
e) Construction of a concrete pad at the Campfire Circle to accommodate two wheelchairs, and adjacent to companion bench seating, in-line with existing seating in the circle.
These are detailed in the Accessibility Improvements site plan drawings generously provided by Environmental Disciplines Inc., a Corpus Christi based architectural design firm. UBarU’s website (UBarU.org) hosts this link to allow aspiring contributors to access the Site Plan, Cost Estimate and an Aerial Drone Overview of the project location.