Remodeling

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Irwin, Pennsylvania

PRESS RELEASE – Community United Methodist Church

The McKnight Group broke ground and construction is underway for the 26,238 sf two–story addition including a new 400–seat sanctuary, 200–seat balcony, 200–seat chapel/classroom/overflow area, choir room, backstage and tech areas, foyer, café, nursery and toddler classrooms, children’s classrooms, restrooms, storage, new parking, exterior walks, patios, playgrounds, truck dock and related site improvements.  Also included is a 13,653 sf two–story remodel including kitchen and food pantry, children’s church and classrooms, youth room and mezzanine, youth classroom and lounge, offices, conference room, restrooms, storage and miscellaneous support spaces. 

Owner: Community United Methodist Church, Irwin, PA
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH
General Contractor: McKnight Development Corp., Grove City, OH
Architect/Designer: McKnight & Hosterman Architects, Inc., Grove City, OH

2018-02-08T20:46:29+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Church Building, Church Design, Press Release, Remodeling, Worship Spaces|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Completion | Lakeside Park, KY

PRESS RELEASE: Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside, KY 

The McKnight Group has completed the remodel at Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside, KY.  The remodel project consisted of nine classrooms, an office, and restrooms.  A facelift for the lower level children’s classrooms using a fresh coat of paint, new LED lighting, new flooring, a new check-in counter with a tube in counter for kids to enter through and graphic wall images.  Also, a fresh new look for the hallway and the multiuse room with a new platform and storage.  McKnight created the booth for control of the audio, video and lighting, and an environmental projection was added for the multiuse room.  New carpet, blackout blinds, a fresh coat of paint, and new flooring throughout this remodel.

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After

 

 

 

 

 

Owner: Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside, KY
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH
General Contractor: McKnight Development Corp., Grove City, OH
Architect/Designer: McKnight & Hosterman Architects, Inc., Grove City, OH

2017-11-10T20:13:28+00:00 November 10th, 2017|Children's Spaces, Press Release, Remodeling|

Engage Church Building Professionals Early: Another Cautionary Tale

Over the 40 plus years we’ve been in business, we’ve seen all sorts of leaders make any number of important decisions about their church. It comes with the territory—there are so many options to be considered when one undertakes a church remodeling project. The daunting number of choices also means that if you’re not a professional in the church building field, you can sometimes make costly mistakes.

Our vice president of architecture, Philip Tipton, has been sharing some cautionary tales. In this post, his story illustrates the importance of bringing in professionals early in the church remodeling process.

Church Building Assessments and Feasibility Studies

One piece of advice Philip often gives prospective clients is that it’s never too early to involve professionals in a church remodeling project. A church building expert, whether it’s The McKnight Group or not, can assist your church’s leaders with money and time-saving advice.

We’ve conducted numerous assessments and feasibility studies as part of the early design phase to determine multiple remodeling approaches and which one best fits a church’s vision. The scope of work often goes beyond the building itself. There are also zoning implications, utility availability, and many other factors, from slopes to sidewalks, that need to be considered.

Given the complexity of some church remodels, we’re only too happy to answer questions of all types in order to help church leaders avoid costly mistakes.

A Church Remodeling Cautionary Tale

One such mistake amounts to our next cautionary tale.

The church leaders in this story found what they thought would be the perfect church building for their renovation project. The two-story building had been a store up to this point, and one of the selling points for the building was the hill upon which it was built. Both levels of the building opened “to grade,” which means that it had external entrances on two levels.

The church’s leadership bought the building and then engaged us to undertake their church remodel.

The problem was that the building had been built for “mercantile use,” which meant the top floor had been designed to handle only 40 pounds per square foot. That’s fine for a store, where individuals and small groups of shoppers wander around a large open space.

But the church leaders envisioned an adult worship space on the top floor, which was rated at far less than the 100 pounds per square foot required for “assembly use.” Think about it: When you’ve got a worship space filled to capacity with people in chairs or pews, that’s a lot more weight to support than what most retail settings experience.

The church leaders got the bad news once the building had been inspected. We had to tell them that every single second-floor bar joist in the building would have to be reinforced in order to support the required additional weight.

As Philip puts it, that additional expense “was almost a project killer.”

Consult Before You Invest

This is why we say that you can’t involve church remodeling experts too early in the process. When you are first starting to envision a church building project, that’s the time to bring in the professionals.

We’re happy to help you avoid costly mistakes that can potentially drain resources and keep you from focusing on your church’s vision. It’s also why we share our i3 webinar series for free (simply visit our website and sign up)—we want churches to succeed in their building projects, not become the next cautionary tale.

2017-08-22T16:28:28+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

Project Completion: The Summit Church

The McKnight Group Announces Completion of Remodel in Indiana, Pennsylvania.  

Recently completed was the addition of a two-story Children’s and Youth Building in addition to the remodel of existing classrooms into new foyer space.  The new Children’s and Youth Building consists of classrooms, children’s worship space, restrooms, and play area for the children on the first floor, and restrooms, classrooms, and worship space for youth on the second floor. 

The expanded lobby provides more room for the café and a new women’s restroom.  This project cost finished under the original budget and The McKnight Group was able to return those dollars back to The Summit Church for its ministries.

Construction Start:  July 2016
Construction Completion:  April 2017
Remodel: 3,660 SF
New Construction: 12,146 SF First Floor, 5,637 SF Second Floor

Owner: The Summit Church, Indiana, PA
Design/Build Firm: The McKnight Group, Grove City, OH
General Contractor: McKnight Development Corp., Grove City, OH
Architect/Designer: McKnight & Hosterman Architects, Inc., Grove City, OH

 

2017-07-28T18:00:34+00:00 July 28th, 2017|Budgeting, Church Design, Foyer Design, Press Release, Remodeling|

Fun Church Children’s Interior Themes on a Variety of Budgets

You can tell right away when you walk into a place that children are going to enjoy. Whether it’s a child-friendly restaurant or great church children space, you know kids will be drawn in by the bright, colorful décor and interesting, child-friendly themes. In this post, we’ll show you some ways to create fun and fabulous church children’s interiors that use themes to excite both children and their parents.

Plan Ahead

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of planning ahead of time when you’re considering a church remodeling project or new church building. Doing so allows you to build your theme into every element of the children’s spaces.

Paving the Way for Children

Children Theme 1As you can see in this picture, a roadway was created that leads children into their worship space. This type of theme works well for church remodeling jobs on a budget. The sky and grass are simply paint, which is not expensive. And the road signs and barriers are easy to obtain, plus they don’t need to be customized in any way to get the message across.

But we have paid attention to the content of these signs: Children are going to see the “school crossing” sign and recognize that this means they’re going to be learning something here at church. Parents will recognize these signs and receive the message that you care about their children and their education.

Giving Church Children’s Interiors a Fun Vibe

Children Theme 2In this second picture, you can see extra steps have been taken to make a large, open space more inviting for older kids. This worship space is called the “garage,” which is going to be a fun place to hang out.

A brick vinyl wall covering on the back wall makes that “garage” statement loud and clear. The added expense of vinyl is offset by paint on the other walls. Plus, we’ve intentionally created a graphic look that helps the ceiling feel lower and makes the walls more interesting than what you would get with just a single color.

Fabulous Options for a Higher-Budget Church Remodeling Project

If your church can invest more in your children’s interiors, you can consider customized full wall graphics like the theme pictured here, using a floor to ceiling design on vinyl.

Children Theme 3In this situation, the theme planning took into account the locations of the classroom doors and incorporated them into the design. Extra lighting was also added to take full advantage of the design investment.

No matter what theme you choose, the full-wall approach provides a strong, dramatic effect. It’s pretty much impossible for children—and parents—not to be drawn in by such a hallway.

Addressing the Question of Changing Themes

When it comes to making an investment in themed children’s spaces, we are frequently asked: How do you keep your children’s spaces fresh and exciting? How often will you need to change themes?

While we as adults might see the same theme, year after year, children will be growing up and moving into new areas of your church’s interior spaces. The younger children who take their place will find those themes exciting because they will be new to them.

Find Out More

Whether you’re first considering the question of a church remodeling project or are already in the midst of constructing a major new church building, we have ideas and solutions that can help. This is why we created our free i3 webinar series. Visit our website and sign up today.

Wall Color Makes for Stand Out and Inviting Church Building Children Spaces

Every church building needs appropriate children’s spaces, but sometimes it’s difficult to know the best way to create a welcoming place for children on a limited budget.

This is why we recommend color. Color offers an easy way to make these spaces in your church building stand out—yet it doesn’t have to be expensive.

When it comes to upgrading children’s spaces, you can use color in many ways, even on floors and furniture, but choosing bright, colorful paint for the walls offers an attractive and inexpensive first step toward making your children’s spaces stand out.

Color Adds Drama to Children’s Spaces

Children_Color1As you can see in this first picture, blocks of bright color add drama to this space for younger children. Each wall is painted in a different, vibrant color. This makes it easy to see which area of your church building belongs to the children and also coordinates easily with the brightly colored chairs and partitions.

The overall impression is cheery and welcoming for children, but it didn’t require a second round of church financing in order to create the desired effect.

Paint Speaks the Language of Youth

Children_Color2Color also adds drama to spaces for older children, although here you can see that we chose not to use bright primary colors. Instead, the “cool” colors and varying stripes let youth know that they’re no longer stuck in the children’s wing.

The great news is that this paint job also isn’t expensive—all you have to do is tape off sections of the wall, then paint with a contrasting color to obtain this bold effect.

You can even involve the youth in the paint job, which gives them ownership of their space and reduces the labor cost line when it comes to church financing.

Color Defines the Children’s Wing of Your Church Building

Children_Color3This picture shows the entrance area to the children’s wing of a church building. You can see that we’ve used paint to define the space, but it’s not as overwhelming as it might be in a space dedicated to younger children.

These colors speak to every age range, with the brighter, fuller blocks of paint reserved for the younger children’s area, as you can see on the purple wall at the end of the corridor. Again, this is a relatively inexpensive way to designate the children’s wing in your church building.

Adding Thematic Additions to Your Color Blocks

Children_Color4If your church financing plan allows it, you can also build upon those basic blocks of color by adding themes to your children’s spaces. The wall graphics you see here are added on top of the basic paint job, creating a playful outdoor space—indoors. Dollars are easily stretched by choosing just a few large graphics, such as the tree and the child, and sprinkling in a few bird graphics to fill out the wall space.

You can also see in the same photo that we’ve chosen a wood-look vinyl flooring which fits in well with the theme (We’ll cover more on children’s space flooring in a future post!), and even added some color to the ceiling, helping to tie the entire space together without adding a lot to the church’s budget. Props are another possibility, as you can see with the colorful, patterned awnings installed above each classroom.

Learn More About Church Financing and Design

Since we’ve been constructing church buildings for over 40 years, we’ve learned a lot about how to make children’s spaces pop without breaking the budget. To learn more about getting the most out of your church building project, visit our website, where you can sign up for our i3 webinars—absolutely free.

2017-03-28T10:48:37+00:00 March 28th, 2017|Children's Spaces, Church Design, Remodeling, Uncategorized|

Looking to Expand Your Church Children’s Spaces to Include Child Care and Preschool?

Preschool_ChildMany churches are looking to expand their children’s ministry to include daycare and preschool programs. It may seem an easy leap to turn children church space into facilities for daycare and preschool, but different state requirements have to be considered. In this post, we want to clearly outline these differences so that, if you’re looking to include child care or preschool in your church remodel or new building project, you won’t find yourself limited by the decisions you’ve made.

Moving Beyond Code Requirements

All building codes must be met when childcare or preschool programs are offered. We’ve discussed aspects of building code requirements in a prior blog post. Be aware that these codes cover everything from the number of bathroom fixtures to whether you must have classroom doors that lead directly outside the building. So, if your church remodel plan includes turning an old basement into a child care space for children less than 3 years old, it is not a practical proposition.

Expanding Your Church Children’s Spaces to Accommodate Child Care

In addition to code requirements, states have specific ratios for how many children you can have for each adult caregiver. For example, with newborns from 0-12 months, some states say you must have one teacher for every five kids. As children grow, that number increases. So, for example, if you want to have a preschool program with children ages 30 months-3 years, the ratio is one teacher for every eight children. With 4-5-year-old children, you can have one teacher for every 14 kids.

These ratios are important when it comes to budgeting. Say you have an existing Sunday church children’s space that you want to use for 4-5-year-old daycare during the week. One teacher on Sunday might be able to handle18 kids, but the state regulations say you must add a second teacher if you’re going to have 18 kids for child care. This means you need to budget paying two teachers instead of one for the daycare in that room.

Room size is another factor. If you’re designing a new church building or wing from scratch, it’s easy to make sure the classrooms are sized correctly—either for 14 kids and one teacher, or more than 14 with two teachers. But if you’re planning a church remodel, you might find that you’re limited in the number of children you can have in your preschool or daycare program because of available classroom sizes.

Thinking Beyond the Classrooms Themselves

There are other spaces you will need to consider if you’re looking to run a daycare or preschool. Most states require 50-60 square feet of outdoor playground area for these programs. This doesn’t mean 50-60 square feet per child enrolled, but rather 50-60 square feet per child on the playground at the same time. Elementary schools stagger recess times for different classes, and you certainly can too!

Another thing to keep in mind is that child care and preschool programs are rated by the various special programs that they offer. If you want your program to receive a higher rating, consider adding a special art room or computer lab to your church children’s spaces in your church remodel or new building design.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider if you’re looking to incorporate daycare and preschool programs into your church children’s spaces. The best way to learn more about these spaces and other types of church remodel or new building projects is through our free i3 webinar series. Sign up today.

2017-03-21T11:33:25+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Children's Spaces, Church Design, Remodeling, Uncategorized|

Planning Indoor Church Children’s Spaces into Your Building Project

Healthy relationships with Christ are formed at an early age. The more ways children enjoy their time at church, the more opportunity they have to learn about God and the stronger that relationship can be. This means special planning is in order to ensure that your church building or renovation project includes effective children’s spaces in its design.

Let’s take a closer look at options and factors you should consider when designing indoor play areas for your church.

Choosing the Right Equipment for Effective Church Children’s Spaces

Play_Area_1A well-designed indoor play area is essential. The first question to consider is whether you want the play equipment to be fixed or movable. Movable equipment allows you to easily reconfigure your church children’s spaces to meet multiple needs. It also means you can put the play equipment in storage at certain times. This option is particularly useful with younger children’s play areas, which are smaller and easier to store.

More permanent play areas, like the one pictured above, allow you to install fixed play equipment similar to those found at fast food restaurant chains. In addition to creating single-use church’s children’s spaces, this fixed equipment will require more maintenance since it needs to be regularly cleaned, inside more than out. You also should decide how many children will be using each play area at a time, because the space needed and equipment cost can vary greatly, depending on that number.

Thinking Beyond Play

In addition to play equipment, you need to think about a handful of other important elements in your indoor church children’s spaces. First are restrooms, which if included within the play area itself, can keep children safe by eliminating the need for them to go to the foyer or another building.

Play_Area_2The second important element can be seen in the front of this picture. Smaller children will almost always want to join the older ones on the play equipment, but if that happens there’s a risk that they’ll get hurt by the older children. This toddler play area is surrounded by a half-wall that prevents toddlers from wandering into danger, while still giving them their own play territory within your indoor church children’s spaces.

Another important element is providing a sitting space for adults while children are using the play area. In the back of this picture, you can see some tables with chairs. This allows adults to remain comfortably nearby and discourages the children’s play area from being treated as a daycare, where parents bring their children to play while they leave for a meeting.

Effective Church Children’s Spaces Work for Everyone

These tables and chairs can also be useful if the play area is to be opened to the community for birthday parties or other events. As we’ve said before, this is a great way to bring people into your church. If you have a specified space adjacent to the indoor play area, like a multi-use Sunday school room, children can open gifts and have cake there, then come into the play area—in any weather—to burn off some of that sugar and excitement.

A great way to attract older children is to install games, such as Nintendo and foosball. A play area that appeals to children of many ages is a good way to keep all children safely in the church.

All of these indoor play area ideas are discussed in our free i3 webinar series. To learn more about planning effective church buildings that meet the needs of all ages, click the link on our home page and sign up today.

Don’t Forget about the Children in Your Church Remodel Project

Psychologists tell us that kids’ moral foundations are in place by their ninth birthday. This is a good reason for church leaders to include children and their needs in the plans for a church remodel project. Beyond that, having well-designed children’s spaces makes time spent at church easier for parents and more rewarding for children.

In this post, we’ll review some of the highlights from our free i3 webinar about which important aspects to consider when creating children’s spaces.

Let the Little Children be Safe

Check-InSafety is a key consideration when creating children’s spaces. Therefore, we pay special attention when including security features in a church remodel. A security check-in desk allows parents to confidently drop their kids off in a designated children’s area. You can have a single desk in a central location that is well-secured, or a check-in desk by each classroom or group of classrooms, depending on the size and layout of your children’s area.

Here are some other safety features you might want to include in your children’s areas:

  • Integrated computer systems for automatic tracking when parents check their children in and out of their classrooms.
  • One-way glass which allows parents and church leaders to watch what’s happening in each classroom without distracting the children while they learn and play.
  • “Dutch doors” that allow the top part to open while the bottom stays closed—preventing little ones from leaving the classroom when the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere. (Note that building codes allow Dutch doors only in a building with an automatic fire suppression system.)

Let the Little Children have the Space They Need

NurseryNaturally, you will need to consider the specific needs of various age groups in your church remodel plan. Nurseries typically need 25-30 square feet per child. Given that you also need changing areas, a sink, and countertops, we suggest planning each nursery for at least 15 children. (You may want to limit the number of nursery rooms because it’s harder to repurpose these classrooms if your age distribution changes as your church grows.)

You also want to think about adult needs when you plan the design of your children’s spaces. We suggest connecting a restroom to the nursery so that adult caregivers can remain close to their charges. Caregivers will need closets and cabinets for supplies, and a laundry and dishwasher room for cleaning bedding and toys.

If there’s room for it in your church remodel, we also suggest including a dedicated room for nursing mothers. This room should have closed-circuit broadcast or intercom from the worship space so nursing mothers don’t have to miss out on the sermon.

Let the Little Children Grow with Your Church Remodel

Elementary school-aged children have similar needs in their children’s spaces. Craft projects mean you still need sinks and countertops, but now some of them need to be the right height for little children. Cabinets and closets are critical to keeping supplies and dangerous objects away from curious little fingers. This age group requires less square footage per child (we recommend 20-25). Group restrooms are now appropriate, but they should still be located close by, and certainly within the secure zone you’ve created in your church remodel design.

Research shows that a person is most receptive to starting their relationship with Christ when they are a child.  This is why we believe effective children’s spaces should be a consideration in every church remodel and building plan. To learn more, sign up today for our free i3 webinar series, or give us a call at 800-625-6448 to talk about your own church’s needs for children’s spaces.

Addressing Changing Ministry Goals with Purposeful Remodel Plans

TargetOne of the core beliefs we have developed in our forty-seven years of church building is that no two churches’ needs are alike. Every situation is different and every church vision is unique. In this post, we continue our renovation series with the story of two churches that wanted to attract specific groups: Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene and Grove City Church of the Nazarene. Read on to learn how we executed purposeful church remodels that allowed each church to attract and sustain new members to their respective congregations.

Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene

Trevecca Community Church is situated on a college campus in Nashville, so naturally, their church vision includes connecting with college students and faculty. They had an old sanctuary attached to a warehouse building that they had remodeled, and it was not meeting their needs on a number of levels. First, the platform was cluttered because they were squeezing an entire orchestra into a very small space. Second, the foyer was tiny, and third, the restrooms were far too small for the size of the worship center.

TreveccaTrevecca Community Church did not have any excess land on which to expand, so we tore down the old warehouse and built an updated addition. As you can see here, we included an orchestra “pit” (which is actually at ground level) and made the raised platform in front of it portable, so the pit could be expanded or even eliminated as needed. We built new, larger restrooms and a bright, airy, welcoming foyer—four times larger than their previous one. We also added a café that is designed to attract students and give guests and members a place to gather and get to know each other.

By building a new multi-ministry room, we enabled the nearby college to use the space as a students’ chapel, as well as a venue for student concerts and other college functions. The new façade allowed for a larger, drive-under canopy, and we also installed a full-service kitchen and an entirely new children’s area.

This church renovation and addition really opened up a world of possibilities for Trevecca Community Church.

Grove City Church of the Nazarene

Grove City CON1Not all church building transformations need to be on such a massive scale. For Grove City Church of the Nazarene, located in Grove City, Ohio—part of their vision was to draw in more children and youth. We helped them do this in several ways that really made a difference. First, as you can see on this floor plan, we built a youth building with two different platforms, one on each side. One was for children, the other for youth. This meant that the two ministries didn’t have to take down their sets every week in order for the other group to gather, let alone have to reassemble the sets without losing pieces or missing steps in the reconstruction.

Not only was that good stewardship of time, it gave the pastors and volunteers more opportunity to focus on the kids and less on tearing down and setting up.

Grove City CON2Grove City Church also added an arcade to one side of the youth building. This was perfect because of their location: situated right across from a public high school. Opening this arcade after school gives students a safe space to play and hang out, grab something to eat from the café—and most importantly, get to know the church. Church leaders and youth group members can now more effectively build relationships with other young people at the school and help fulfill Grove City Church’s vision of bringing youth to Christ.

Over the years, the facility was remodeled several times.  First, the platforms and arcade changed to appeal to the evolving preferences of teens. The children’s platform changed as new programs were developed. Later, as the church grew and built more space, the Christian school took over this room and added a wood floor. As the children moved to a new building, their platform was ripped out and bleachers for the sporting events were installed.

Helping Your Church Building Remodel Target Your Audience

As you can see from these examples, a church remodel can be designed with a specific purpose or audience in mind. One reason we share our free i3 webinar series is so church leaders like you can get a sense of the many ways that a facility can be designed to support a church’s vision. To learn more, sign up today or give us a call at 614-875-1689 to discuss your unique needs.

2017-02-28T12:27:04+00:00 February 28th, 2017|Church Building, Remodeling, Uncategorized|