FAQs about Renting
- How do I find out about available dates?
Visit UUCB’s online calendar.
- Booking your date
In order to book a date, we will need a signed contract and a refundable security deposit from you. While we are working on the contract, we will hold the date for 2 weeks and notify you before releasing this date back to the public. To determine the terms of the contract and full estimate we will need to have a consultation which can happen either on the phone if you are familiar with the space, or in person after a tour. During this consultation we will determine which rooms you would like to rent, how much time you will need for setup and breakdown, and how long you would like your event to be. We will also need details about whether you plan to have your event catered, if you plan to serve alcohol, and what AV/music needs you will have for your event.The security deposit amount depends on the size of the event and a few other factors. We can give you the amount during our consultation though it’s usually between $250 and $1000. Deposits and Payments can be made via check made out to UUCB and mailed to us at 1 Lawson Rd, Kensington, CA 9407 or via PayPal at email@example.com. All rental deposits and payments much have the rental number written in the memo section of your preferred payment method. This rental number can be given to you by the Administrator.Other than the security deposit, which is due with the signed rental contract, any additional payments can be made at any time up to 1 month prior to your event. If your event is less than 1 month away when you sign the contract, the entire payment is due with the signed contract to book your date.
- Rental Time Periods
Rentals start when an affiliated person enters the building to begin setting up for their event and ends when guests have left, the renter has finished cleaning up, and they are ready to leave the premise. All rentals are per hour unless you have booked an all-day (also called wedding/gala) package. If you, your guests, or your vendors enter the building earlier, even if the building is open, you will be charged for that time. Please plan enough time for decorating and prep and inform your guests and vendors accordingly.
- COVID-19 Protocol
We expect all events to follow the guidelines of the CDC, the State of California, and Contra Costa County. The contract signer for the event is responsible to enforce these guidelines, including mask mandates and contact tracing. Regardless of current masking guidelines, we ask that you and your guests wear masks throughout your event. This is especially important in all spaces that you are not renting, including the bathrooms, to protect staff and other building occupants.We have upgraded out HVAC system throughout the building to achieve a 6.4 air exchange rate. 6.0 is what is recommended for singing in person, making it much safer from air transmission of COVID-19.
- Sanctuary/Sunday Rentals
The Sanctuary has recently been outfitted with a new HVAC system for COVID-19 safety. This system has a 6.4 air exchange rate, which means the air in the sanctuary is replaced by outside air 6.4 times per hour. The CDC recommended Air exchange rate for singing is 6.0. This, however, makes the room as cold as the air outside. If you are planning to hold and event in winter, please dress accordingly, and warn your guests as such as it can be particularly cold.We do not allow events to come into the building to begin setting up until 2:00pm on Sundays due to our own worship service needs. If you do not have an experienced sound engineer (approved by rentals manager), you must hire an event host if you are using our sound system.We have a new high-quality sound and livestreaming system in the Sanctuary only that is available for rent. It has high speed wifi internet of 70MB download and 25MB upload speeds, 3 mounted PTZ cameras, and capabilities to stream to YouTube and Facebook Live for concerts and events. Pricing for the livestream depends on a few different factors and requires 2 event hosts be on site for the duration of the event. A rehearsal of 1-3 hours in the days leading up to the event is recommended to work out the details of shots, streaming needs, and sound capabilities and can be included in your contract.
- Event Hosts
An event host is required at $30 per hour for the entire duration of your rental period to be on-site as proxy of the church. All event hosts are trained on all of our AV systems, opening and closing procedures, and the rules of UUCB. At this time we are requiring all of our event hosts to be background checked, fully vaccinated, quarantine for at least 5 days after any possible COVID-19 exposure, and wear a mask at all times during any events for your safety.The only instance where we do not require an event host to be on site is in the event where a member of your rental team is a Trusted User of our church. If this is the case, please let the rentals coordinator know in advance.
- Day-of Event Insurance
UUCB requires all renters to provide a Day-of-Event Certificate of Insurance with one-million-dollar ($1 million) liability coverage, naming the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley as additional insured. You can usually find this through your homeowners or renters’ insurance, or on the internet. Please make sure they are able to cover events in California before purchasing event insurance off of the internet. Waivers for this requirement may be given on a case-by-case basis for small events only.
- Audio Visual Equipment and Musical Instruments
For information about livestreaming in the Sanctuary see the sections Sanctuary/Sunday Rentals.We provide 2 speakers and up to 2 microphones for every rental. The Sanctuary and Fireside rooms are already outfitted with sound systems and require no external speakers to be set up. Additional Microphones and other AV equipment are available for rent on a per case basis. We do not allow renters or outside vendors to use our ethernet connections, but we do have Wifi in every room that is available for anyone to use.We have a projector screen in the Sanctuary that is available for rent for $50, as well as a mobile projector and screen or a Flat screen TV for use in other rooms for the same price.Pianos of various size are available for use for a $150 fee. The Sanctuary has a Yamaha Grand Concert piano on the chancel that cannot be moved to other rooms but can be used on the chancel. Baby grand pianos can be moved to other rooms in the church except for up onto the Social Hall stage, and into the Safir room. We can also move baby grand pianos to the floor areas in front of the pews in the Sanctuary, just not onto the Chancel. We offer pre-event tuning of any of our pianos for an additional $200 fee. Recommendations on pianists can be given, we also have several on staff for your use if you’re interested.The pipe organ in the Sanctuary is not available for personal use but may be rented along with our staff organist to play it. Please let the rentals coordinator know if you are interested.
- Tables and Chairs
We currently provide tables and chairs at no cost from what we have on-hand. At this time we have 19- 8’ rectangle tables that can seat 8 maximum, 3- 6’ rounds that can seat 6 maximum, and an assortment of smaller rectangle and square tables that can be used for food, décor, etc. We do not have cocktail tables. We have 70 orange fabric and wire chairs and 150 brown padded folding chairs. The padding on the folding chairs is two different colors (beige and maroon) and we cannot guarantee they will all match. If you would like different tables and chairs, please contact your caterer or local rental companies for options.We will set up any tables and chairs that we have provided for you prior to the event and break them down following the event. Staff time breaking down tables and chairs will NOT increase your rental time period. This does not apply to any tables and chairs rented from outside UUCB or the time needed for removal of decorations or vendor break down & clean up.
- Kitchen Use and Catering
At this time, we are only allowing rentals to use the kitchen for prep and plating only. Ranges and Convection ovens are not turned on, but use of the refrigerators, freezer, and Hobart Sanitizer are allowed. There is a $150 flat kitchen use fee to use the kitchen space. We do not allow caterers to use any of our kitchen items including pots, plans, utensils, and dishware, please have your caterer supply their own.If you are bringing in your own food (finger foods, snacks, potluck style, etc.) and do not need the kitchen space to prepare, you do not need to pay the kitchen use fee, but you are allowed to prep in spaces you have rented during your rental period.We ask that you use our preferred caterers as they know the space and limitations. If you decide to use someone who is not on our preferred caterers list it will be an extra $250 flat fee because they need additional staff time. Caterers/renters are not allowed to use our equipment, however you can rent our coffee/tea service.You may serve beer and wine (no hard liquor) on premise for an additional $250 refundable security deposit. If you are selling drinks or if your caterer is providing and serving alcohol you will need to obtain a day-use liquor license from the county, or have your caterer provide us with their liquor license in advance.
All events can be cancelled up to 3 months prior to the event date with no penalties. If the event is cancelled less than 3 months before your event date you will forfeit your security deposit.In the event of a safety issue (like COVID-19 cases increasing) you may cancel or reschedule your event with no penalty.
UUCB does not provide security services. We recommend events open to the public and/or over 150 people consider hiring temporary security. Event organizers are responsible for any damage done by their attendees.
- Outside Ministers/Officiants
All outside ministers or officiants must be approved by our senior minister before the contract is issued. Failure to get a religious official or officiant approved by the church beforehand will result in a loss of the security deposit.
- Event-Specific Considerations
Event Planners:Staff are not available for event planning, and your principal Planner/event contact is allowed one preliminary tour/consultation before the contract is signed and one final walk through before the event. Additional questions will be answered the day of the walk-through.Memorials:We highly encourage you to engage our senior minister for your memorial service or celebration of life. They are experienced in organizing these events and are a valuable resource in dealing with the myriad of issues that can arise. Services can include/not include providing the eulogy according to the spiritual preference(s) of the family.If you decide not to engage our minister, you will be restricted to one setup meeting where the contract is signed and a final walk-through before the event.
You may engage our senior minister for your wedding who will have a separate planning consultation with you regarding your spiritual preferences.
Pre-event deliveries can be made Monday-Friday only during normal business hours with pre-approval from the Rentals Manager. Items/rentals that cannot be removed at the end of the event must have a pick-up time approved by the Rentals Manager or Event Host. Anything left over from the event will be considered a donation to the church.
- Neighborhood Considerations
Free parking is plentiful and is allowed in the UUCB lots only. We have over 200 parking spots available. Please do not park on the city streets or play loud music from cars, as we are in a residential district.Events cannot run past 10 pm due to noise ordinances. You may rent until 11 to allow for cleanup time for an extra $100.
- UUCB has an organ and a grand piano in the Sanctuary. May I hire a musician of my choice to play at my event?
The church’s principal organist has first right of refusal on all requirements for a keyboardist during your wedding or memorial service. If you opt to use your own musician and our organist is available, you will be required to pay a “bench fee.”
Here are some helpful tips to consider if you’re thinking about renting UUCB for your special event:
- Be sure to check available dates on our online calendar first!
- Facility tours are available by appointment only. No “drop-ins,” please. Appointments may be scheduled by email.
- Rental office hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:30 am–12:30 pm and 1:30 to 5:00 pm.
- ALL renters are required to obtain day-of-event liability insurance with $1,000,000 coverage which names UUCB as additional insured. No exceptions.
- We have an excellent selection of caterers on our “preferred list.” Use of a caterer not on our list requires an additional security deposit. Contact the Administrator for details.