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Sandy Spring Friends Monthly Meeting


Way Opens: Our New Community House

For pictures of the construction project, click here.

The Quaker saying, “proceed as way opens,” means embarking on a service or action without prior clarity of the details, but with confidence that divine guidance will show a path to the appropriate outcome.

“Way opens” encapsulates the story of our construction of a new home for community life and religious education. After a decade of building unity and fund-raising, and nearly two years of permitting delays and alterations to meet regulations, construction has finally begun.

meeting-house-view-121020-mMore than 10 years ago, the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the Quaker community that helped found the Sandy Spring village, had a vision for a project that would involve renovating the historic Lyceum and building a new, green, two-story addition, in keeping with both the community’s long history and environmental sensitivity.

The two-story addition, which will house meeting space and classrooms, is designed by architect Miche Booz of Brookeville. During January of 2016, after tree protections and sediment control measures were put in place, the additions to the historic 1859 Lyceum that were not considered historic were torn down.

New Addition Mirrors Meeting House


View of back of the Lyceum (far end) with wing to be replaced in the foreground, surrounded by protective fencing and stormwater controls.

The new addition will match the brick exterior and metal roof style of the Meeting House, which was constructed with donations from local families in 1817 on the site where Quakers have been worshipping since the 1700s. Financed by donations from Meeting members and attenders, the new addition will provide 8,314 square feet of meeting space. (To view floor plans, click here.)

Despite its traditional appearance, the addition will be a “green” building, with passive solar design features, structural insulating panels, a highly efficient zone heating and cooling system, low-flow plumbing fixtures, linoleum floors, and LED lighting. The project will meet or exceed stringent guidelines for construction waste management and recycling. The roof will be wired for installation of a photovoltaic solar power array. The resulting building will be powered, heated, and cooled by 100 percent renewable energy.

The project also includes renovating the historic 1859 Lyceum building, to upgrade the kitchen, refinish and repair the original oak flooring, remove the non-historic aluminum siding and restore the original wood lap siding. Community groups will benefit from the renovations and are invited to use the new space. A glass-enclosed “hyphen” passageway will connect the historic Lyceum to the new addition.

Fund-Raising Continues

Members and attenders of the Meeting have raised funds with bake sales, donations of services, craft sales, pledge drives, chili dinners and talent shows. This new building connects the Meeting’s history and its future, and will proceed, as way opens, until construction is complete. The Meeting hopes “way will open” for completion well before the end of 2016.

If you’d like to help in our efforts, please consider donating to Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting’s building fund.

For an aerial view of the Friends Meeting grounds and project site.

An aerial view of the Friends Meeting grounds and project site.