WHY we need it
For the past few years, the trustees have been discussing the need for a new building at Chapin Mill. Right now, it’s needed so that Tom and Donna Kowal can move to Chapin Mill. Tom is on staff and plans to eventually take over the caretaker’s position from Wayman, and Donna will help Eryl with rentals.
So what about other possible accommodations? The choices weren’t great. The Kubickas were granted lifetime rights to the Farm House, Andris Chapin has lifetime rights to the third floor of the Mill House, and it is also used as a zendo for staff during retreat center rentals. The Guest House is very small (but to give Tom and Donna credit, they did give it a try: they moved in for one work retreat only to find that, yup, it is very small). And the Retreat Center is rented 50-60 days a year.
For all these reasons, the trustees felt an additional building was justified. But they wanted it to be inexpensive, energy efficient, and flexible enough to meet not just immediate but also future needs.