Remodeling

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Columbus, OH

PRESS RELEASE – North Broadway United Methodist Church

The interior remodel of the 1969 two story childcare wing of the North Broadway United Methodist Church has begun in Columbus, Ohio.  New lighting, HVAC systems and energy efficient windows are a major part of the renovation.  New finishes are being installed, including flooring, paint, and lighting. All restrooms in the wing and staff offices will be reworked.

Owner: North Broadway United Methodist Church, Columbus, OH
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

2019-06-14T12:32:31+00:00 June 14th, 2019|Church Building, Church Design, Press Release, Remodeling|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Centerville, Ohio

PRESS RELEASE – Far Hills Church

The Far Hills Church purchased a local car dealership in Centerville, Ohio and chose The McKnight Group to remodel this facility into their church. The facility consists of 37,600 sf. A new front entry canopy is being added to the building.  The interior will have twelve classrooms, multiple restrooms, mechanical and green rooms, a large foyer and a 725-seat sanctuary.  A warming kitchen and pantry will be added along with a new office.  The upper level of the facility will be renovated to include an elevator, new stairs, children and youth worship space and two additional classrooms and breakout room on the second level.

Owner: The Far Hills Church, Centerville, OH
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

2019-05-17T16:53:15+00:00 May 17th, 2019|Church Building, Church Design, Press Release, Remodeling|

Common Obstacles, Real and Perceived, to Remodeling Your Church Building

Remodeling your church is a big decision, one that can be difficult to make because of both real and perceived obstacles. In this post, we look at three of the obstacles we’ve seen church leaders face and discuss how they can be addressed.

Poorly Used Space

One common obstacle to church remodeling is the idea that you don’t have enough room to accomplish what’s needed, but our experience is that churches  may have space — they’re just not using it very well. For example, when extra classrooms aren’t being used, they can become storage locations or junk magnets. The space to expand existing programs might easily be found after a big rummage sale or a more efficient storage plan.

Another situation we’ve seen is that a church’s ministries change in size, but the spaces don’t. This means that a shrinking ministry may still be using the largest room in the building while a growing ministry is outgrowing the space allocated to it. This is where a church remodeling discussion can be helpful. Focusing on your church vision for the future rather than the glory days of the past can help make needed changes clearer.

Finally, you can look beyond your church building to the land around it. Is that land being used efficiently, or might there be room to expand your existing church building to accommodate additional ministries?

Church Building Code Upgrades

Whenever you begin a church remodeling project, you need to know whether it’s a big enough project to trigger a building code review. If you’re just tearing out old carpeting or repainting, you’re most likely not going to encounter problems. But the moment you start tearing down walls or changing doors around, you’ll likely need to upgrade the part you are remodeling to meet current codes.  In some cases, you may cause an entire church building system (i.e. fire alarm, etc.) to need an upgrade to meet the latest building codes.

Not all code upgrades are expensive. Some can be made with minimal expense. However, the older your church building is, the greater the possibility of incurring an expense you may not have counted on to upgrade your facility to meet current building codes. Therefore, it’s always wise to consult with a church building professional before you begin any church remodeling project.

Lack of Unity about Church Remodeling

As we’ve said many times, your building is a tool for your ministry. People are the critical component for any successful church vision. A lack of unity around your church remodeling project can be a major obstacle to achieving your church vision. In the example mentioned above, if you take the larger space from the ministry that’s declining and give it to the ministry that’s growing, you can create some friction and hard feelings if everyone isn’t on the same page.

This means that one of the first tasks for church leaders when considering a church remodeling project is to get everyone on board with your vision for the future.

Vision is a key component of any successful church building project, so we talk about it frequently in our i3 webinars. If you’re ready to start getting your entire church community on board with a remodeling project or want to learn more about church building, sign up today for our next free i3 webinar.

2019-05-14T17:45:02+00:00 May 14th, 2019|Church Building, Remodeling|

Re-purposing an Existing Warehouse with a Creative Church Design

Sometimes your church vision changes so radically that you need a new church building to hold it. However, that doesn’t mean a new building needs to be constructed. Here is another situation where an existing structure, built for another purpose, is converted into a functional church building.

We’ve talked about converting big box stores and school buildings. In this example, we worked with a church to convert a warehouse for church building use.

A New Home for Linden Life Fellowship

Linden Life Fellowship is one church community with two histories. In 2014, two different churches in the Columbus, Ohio, area merged to form this new community. Each group had a small existing church building, but they needed something larger in order to worship together. After they approached The McKnight Group for help, we looked at available buildings in their area. We found a carpet warehouse and drafted a creative church design to meet their ministry needs.

From Warehouse to Church Building

As you can see here, small outside changes transformed this church building from less industrial to more attractive. But in this situation, we focused most of the time and money in the interior church design. As pictured, the prior warehouse had an unfinished interior, which meant clearing the space for its new use required less work.

We subdivided the warehouse to create classrooms, restrooms, and a kitchen, along with the foyer, which you see here. This entry area includes some nice seating areas and a fireplace (the focal point) that encourage guests and attendees to sit down together and get to know each other. We carpeted the entire church building with neutral shades and created a color palette that blends with the building’s façade. Bringing the same style of stonework from the entryway into the fireplace created a cohesive feel for the entire church building.

A Modern Church Design for Worship

A welcoming space for worship is one key component of any good church design. Here, you can see we designed a bright room that seats about two hundred people. It includes a sound booth and a simple, very flexible platform that draws the eye to that portion of the room. Ceiling tiles and a modern light system now cover the building structure that were once visible in the interior pre-remodel photo above.

Converting this warehouse into a functional, attractive church building was a case of good stewardship for this newly merged community. Remodeling other types of existing buildings with a good church design is always one possibility for any church community. We’ve seen car dealerships, grocery stores, strip centers, and school buildings transformed into functional church buildings.

To learn more about creative church design possibilities, sign up for our free i3 webinars, where we share the latest information on a variety of church design and building trends and innovative ideas. To learn more, visit our webinar page.

2019-04-30T18:14:01+00:00 April 30th, 2019|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

Creating the Church Building You Need: Another Schematic Design Example

A church design can be as good as a photo in illustrating what’s possible with your church building vision. Once again, we’re examining a church building situation using a schematic design to help illustrate how church leaders refocused their historic church property and created a design that meets their vision and needs for the future.

Historic Wayne Street Methodist Church, St. Marys, Ohio

Wayne Street Methodist was worshiping in a 100-year-old church building, but they were having problems. The building’s foundation was crumbling, cracks were appearing, and engineers determined that it would take almost half-a-million dollars to correct the problems and keep their historic church building standing. We met with the church leaders to talk about what they could do and about what other options might be available to them for that amount of money.

Looking at their property overall, we noted they had an empty field to one side of their main parking lot. We suggested creating a new worship center church design from scratch and re purposing their existing fellowship hall (pictured)to meet their needs, designing a modern, inviting church building space that incorporated portions of the existing building.

A Church Design for a Modern Church Vision

The new and remodeled sections of the Wayne Street church are shown in color on this schematic design. At the top, in purple, is the existing fellowship hall. As you can see in these photos, the older hall was in good shape and serviceable but not exactly welcoming. It was also bordered by a hallway that was used to move between the old worship space and the fellowship hall.

We converted both the hallway and the old fellowship hall into a new multi-ministry room that serves as a foyer in addition to its traditional function as a fellowship hall and dining space. This area is now brighter, warmer, and includes a café that makes good use of the existing kitchen facilities. New restrooms are accessible from the fellowship hall and are right outside the doors to the worship center.

A New Worship Center and Welcoming Church Building Entrance

In addition to transforming the fellowship hall into a more appealing and functional space, we built a new worship center free from structural concerns and a limiting, historic church design. As you can see in this image, we incorporated some of the stained-glass windows and other features of the former church building to maintain the church’s connection with its history.

Finally, we incorporated a new main entry point into the church design. This photo shows how seamlessly the entrance weaves together the new worship center to the left with the existing fellowship hall building on the right. The vestibule leads into either the fellowship gathering space or into the worship center itself.

Do you have an aging church building that no longer meets your modern church vision for ministry in your community? There may be more innovative church design possibilities than you can imagine. Contact us today to discuss how we might help transform your church design to meet your needs and sign up for our next i3 webinars to learn more about designing church buildings that work.

2019-04-16T15:28:18+00:00 April 16th, 2019|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

Church Building Steps from Start to Finish: Zoning Considerations

As we cover the church building process from start to finish, the next step to look at is zoning. Whether you’re starting from scratch or considering a major church remodeling project, you will need to ensure that your church design meets the zoning requirements for the area of town in which it is built.

Zoning 101

Every city and town in America have their own set of maps showing what can and can’t be built in various areas. While zoning can feel restrictive, it is often put in place to prevent some very frustrating situations. For example, people don’t want a noisy manufacturing facility to be built in the midst of a quiet residential neighborhood. So, it is required that your proposed or current church building meet the zoning requirements for where it is placed.

The Church Building and Conditional Use

In 90% of the zoning classifications we’ve encountered, church buildings are considered conditional use properties. The good news is that conditional classes, not being specific, are not explicitly excluded from most zones in a municipality. The bad news is that because a specific use isn’t specified, it usually means having to go before government authorities to get approval. Sometimes this involves meeting with the zoning officer, while at other times it involves an official public hearing.

Typical Church Design Zoning Restrictions

Occasionally church leaders ask us why they cannot do something with their church design that another church, across town or in another city, has done. The likely answer is that the other church’s zoning regulations are different. For example, in a downtown area with high-rise office buildings and apartment complexes, the building height limit will be higher than that of a suburban residential neighborhood.

Another restriction relates to lot coverage. Some cities restrict a church building with a maximum lot coverage of 20-30% of the available land. If you are looking to expand with a church remodeling project on a four-acre lot, you will need to make sure that your new design does not cover more than one acre with church buildings. This can be less of an issue in a more open space in a residential neighborhood than a restricted space in a downtown location, but still important to consider.

Parking is another zoning requirement consideration. Regulations usually want one parking spot for every three or four people in your worship space. If you hope to expand your church’s footprint in the future, we suggest you allow one parking spot for every two or two and a half people currently in your sanctuary.

Planning Ahead

If you are thinking about constructing a new church building and haven’t yet purchased your land, you should be checking into the zoning requirements for each property you consider. If you have specific questions about zoning, we’re happy to help, so give us a call at 800-625-6448. We also welcome your thoughts on topics we might cover in our free 2019 i3 webinar series. We be announcing the list soon.

Our next step in this series addresses more codes—ones of the building variety.

2018-11-06T19:17:09+00:00 November 6th, 2018|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

Church Building Steps from Start to Finish: The Design Phase

In a recent and ambitious i3 webinar, we covered all the steps in the process of constructing a new or remodeled church building, from start to finish.

Step one was about determining the catalyst – the right reasons for your church building project. In step two, you need to convert that understanding into a practical, workable, overall plan. This is the design phase and it’s also the time to bring in church building professionals.

Getting a Needs Assessment

The first step in the church design phase is a needs assessment, which is a professional review of what you need for fulfilling your ministries. There are consequences for every decision that you might not have the expertise to understand. A professional will, however.

For example, let’s say you want to increase participation or develop a new children’s program. From a church building perspective, what does that mean? Do you want classrooms, a children’s church, a multi-use facility, an activity center? Did you think about the need for restrooms and storage to go with each of these? Have you considered the regulations governing safe exits and modern parental safety concerns in the church design? This is why you need professional help.

Getting a Church Building Professional’s Perspective

It’s not enough to get just any architect or designer to work with you. Professionals who design offices can give you the right square-footage requirements, but they won’t understand how to analyze your current building limitations in terms of the ministries you want to achieve. When you work with church building professionals, they understand that a church vision and the associated ministries have special sets of requirements.

Getting Your Church Remodeling or New Building Documentation Together

The final element in the design phase is gathering all the documentation needed. For example, for a church remodel, you need to have available all existing blueprints and plans for your current church building and the property as a whole.

If you’re starting from scratch, you still need property documentation. In this case, design professionals need the topographical survey of the land to know the boundaries, any rights of way, and elevation changes over the property because no piece of land is completely flat.

In addition to the property, architects need information about the church community to design an appropriate church building. This information includes operations (when and what types of worship services and other activities, which may overlap and impact parking and hallway usage) and numbers (church attendance, percentage of children, etc.).

Since these factors greatly influence the design and layout of your church building, it’s easy to see that the average office-design professional probably won’t understand the value and importance they add to your church vision.

We believe it’s never too early to involve professionals in your church remodeling or new building project. Contact us today with your questions—and with suggestions for our 2019 i3 webinar series now being finalized.

In our next “start to finish” step we’ll address zoning-code review.

2018-10-23T17:04:16+00:00 October 23rd, 2018|Church Building, Remodeling|

Discerning Transformation: When a Church Renovation Is in Order

Our philosophy at The McKnight Group is that a church building is a tool for ministry. As with any tool, it can get worn out, outdated or even damaged and no longer be efficient at fulfilling its purpose. When it happens, church leaders often begin discussing the need for a new church design to fit their evolving vision for ministry in their community.

But this raises a very important question: How do you know when it’s time to invest in a church renovation? Here are three components to a good discernment process. If these elements are in place, you’re probably ready to consider a new church building or renovation project.

#1: A Vision for Ministry in Your Church Building

The first and most important component is a clear and compelling vision for ministry. A church design needs to support the kinds of ministry that you want to achieve in your community. To learn more about how to discern and perfect a great vision for ministry, check out this post on the subject.

It’s also important that the great majority of your attendees—leadership and worshippers—are on the same page about this vision. When it’s time to raise money for your church renovation, it will be critical that the congregation agrees on the outcome. If not, you could end up with a tool that doesn’t work in the way you want it to.

#2: Understand What Your Active, Growing Ministries Need in a Church Design

The second component in the successful church renovation discernment process involves a close examination of the various ministries that use your church building. Which of your ministries are growing and thriving? Which could do even more if they had larger or better space in which to thrive?

It might be a preschool that’s bursting at the seams or an outdated youth ministry space that’s no longer appealing to kids in the neighborhood. Perhaps, your vision for ministry involves an after-school program or Christian school, but you’ll need to renovate your church building before that can happen.

#3: A Well-Planned and Affordable Budget for Your Church Renovation

The last critical component to a successful church renovation is to make certain that you can afford it. You need to pay careful attention to your resources and understand what’s possible. It’s great to begin by dreaming large, but it’s just as important to be realistic about what you can afford.

This does not mean giving up on the big picture. Instead, it might mean completing your church renovation in stages, or choosing different options to support your various ministries. When you work with an experienced church design team like the McKnight Group, we can help you plan the creative church renovation project solutions that will work with your available resources.

Remember that resources aren’t limited to finances. Time, land and people are other components which need to be carefully worked into the full equation. That way, when everyone is on board at all levels, you can begin a church renovation with confidence that the end product will support your vision for ministry.

To learn more about church renovation projects and how an experienced church design team can help, sign up for our free i3 webinars. You can find them at the bottom of our home page.

2018-09-18T18:15:43+00:00 September 18th, 2018|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

Church Design: Planning a Renovation for Your Church Renovation

We live our lives in stages. It took many steps to reach where we are today. The same is true with the lifecycle of a church and of the church building itself. There are many steps and stages that occur over time — some large, others small. Sometimes, church leaders work with a church design that addresses immediate needs. At other times, it’s possible to intentionally plan ahead. In this post, we share the story of a church that actually included a future renovation into their current one when planning their new church building.

Introducing Beavercreek Nazarene

The leadership of Beavercreek Nazarene in Beavercreek, Ohio, had a vision to grow their church. In the beginning, during the early 1990s, they had a worshipping congregation of about 300 people and they needed a new sanctuary to keep growing. They had dreams of seeing 1,000 people in attendance in the future, but they also knew if they built a worship center to accommodate that many, those current 300 attendees would look small and lost in comparison.

Introducing an Innovative Church Design Solution

Their innovative church design solved this problem with two stages of church renovation. They decided to construct a full-size church building but build a pair of walls into the back of the sanctuary, as you see here in this first picture. Behind those walls are classrooms and offices. This left space for 600 in the worship center, which was plenty of room to grow without the congregation appearing too small.

A dozen or so years later, when the Beavercreek congregation had become large enough, they took out those back walls, as you can see in this later photo, and enlarged the worship center to seat the full thousand they had originally envisioned.

Advantages to Planning Multiple Church Renovation Stages

There were several advantages to this staged church renovation process. First, the outer shell of this worship center only needed to be constructed once. All the infrastructure was in place for expanding the sanctuary, which made it very cost-efficient to do when the time came. It also meant that attendees didn’t lose what they felt was “their” worship space when it came time for the second church renovation.

In the beginning, that first church design also housed offices and classrooms in one consolidated church building. Later, when the entire sanctuary space was needed for worship, they also had a larger congregation to draw from in funding the construction of a second space to house the classroom and offices for the church.

Planning ahead with your church design is an excellent way to be good stewards with a limited budget but without limiting your church’s vision for the future. If you’d like some help thinking about innovative solutions, sign up for our free i3 webinars on our website, which give you lots of examples of church designs that address specific church visions and needs. You can also give us a call at 800-625-6448 to talk about your particular church building needs.

2018-09-11T18:02:23+00:00 September 11th, 2018|Church Building, Church Design, Remodeling|

The McKnight Group Announces Construction Start | Lakeside Park, KY

PRESS RELEASE – Immanuel United Methodist Church, Phase Two

The McKnight Group completed Phase One remodel at Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside Park, Kentucky in 2017 which consisted of approximately 9,400 SF.  A facelift for the lower level children’s classrooms and a fresh new look for the multiuse room.

The McKnight Group has just begun Phase Two for this church which will include a new foyer addition, remodel of the Wesley Hall, existing sanctuary, classrooms, offices, and restrooms. The remodel / addition will be approximately 26,000 SF.

Owner: Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside Park, 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

2018-08-23T15:48:08+00:00 August 23rd, 2018|Church Design, Press Release, Remodeling|