About The Meeting House
Occupying an expansive property adjacent to the Oakland Mills Village Center in Columbia, MD, The Meeting House is an event venue that features a variety of conference and meeting spaces, preschool classrooms, and office space. Amenities include a covered entrance, an airy atrium gallery with brick fireplace, two large meeting halls, two large meeting rooms, a variety of smaller meeting rooms, fully supported audio-visual equipment with house sound system in the meeting halls, a commercial kitchen for catered events, free on-site parking, and free WiFi. Food and beverage are permitted in all of the meeting rooms. The Meeting House amenities are all on one level and fully accessible to people with mobility impairments. The facility is designed to allow for flexible room and setup configurations in order to accommodate a wide variety of events.
The Meeting House is home to the Oakland Mills Interfaith Center (OMIC), a consortium of five autonomous religious congregations that share oversight and management of the facility. Interfaith centers, or shared religious facilities, are a hallmark of Columbia’s new town planning and part of the original vision of developer James Rouse and the Rouse Company. As was the planners' intent, the centers build a stronger sense of community by fostering understanding of and respect for religious diversity. The centers also offer opportunities for mutual cooperation in community outreach efforts and mission. To enhance the versatility of the shared space and its usefulness as a public event venue, none of the meeting rooms or common areas have permanent religious iconography or artwork on display.
Constructed in 1975 at a cost of $1.08 million, The Meeting House facility has 33,000 square feet of assembly room space, classrooms and offices. A significant expansion was completed in 1985. Ongoing renovations and improvements to the meeting spaces, offices and school rooms are undertaken on a rotating basis and in response to the needs of the resident groups.
The property and facility is owned and operated by Oakland Mills Interfaith, Inc. (OMII), a religious, non-profit corporation in which the five resident OMIC congregations are shareholders. The equity-holding congregations financially support the day-to-day operations of the facility from their working budgets. In addition to a management and maintenance staff of 8 full-time and part-time employees, OMII is managed by a Board of Directors comprised of volunteer representatives from each of the equity-holding congregations.
To enhance the fiscal support of the facility, OMII contracts with a variety of clients seeking versatile conference and event space that is centrally located in the Baltimore/Washington region and readily accessible to people of all abilities. Past and current clients include federal, state and local government agencies, private organizations and companies, as well as non-profit groups, small businesses, and individuals. The Meeting House is a popular venue for clients seeking flexible and affordable rental space for conferences, meetings, seminars, ceremonies, celebrations, concerts, luncheons, banquets, and a variety of other events.
OMII also offers long-term leases. Nurturing Nest Montessori, a weekday preschool and kindergarten, currently resides in the school space at the rear of the building. When available, assembly space is leased for weekly services by congregations in the Columbia community that are without a permanent home.
All revenue derived from facility rentals is used to offset the operating cost to the equity-holding congregations.