The National Catholic Partnership on Disability in partnership with Loyola Press recently announced that St. John Neumann Catholic Church is the 2014 winner of the Loyola Press Parish Award.
Judges noted that St. John Neumann Parish has gone above and beyond to make their sacred space accessible to everyone, who worships there. They also stated, “The sacred space maintains its beauty and purpose while being accessible to all and allow for person with physical disabilities to worship and to minister at the parish. “Being sensitive to the needs of others is not a separate space or program; it is an organic part of the church and its community.”
Executive Director of NCPD Janice Benton says, “The parish of St. John Neumann has truly spared no effort to make their church accessible to the last detail. They have done this in an effort to ensure this today, and also for the future. This means that priests and parishioners will have access and continue their ministry at the altar.”
CDH Partners created a master plan that made sure the physical features of the church embodied a spirit of inclusion. The plan called for the construction of new 850-seat sanctuary along with the addition of classrooms and storage space. There was a conscience effort by the design team to move those who stepped into the worship center from “secular to sacred.”
Natural finishes create a sense of warmth, worship, and welcome. Parish doors are equipped with pulls so those in wheelchairs can easily navigate through the building. The main entrances have automatic door openers. The reading desk in the ambo along with the altar has been adjusted in height. An 80 by 120-foot plaza connects the existing church building to the new sanctuary. A principle feature of this church is the life-size baptismal font located in the front of the narthex. The church’s main aisle is elongated and contains light fixtures that provide beams of warm light on either side of the nave and the narthex. The tile pattern of the floor is used to connect the nave to sanctuary.
Editor’s note the following article was recently published in Religious Product News.
The day St. John Neumann Catholic Church opened the doors to its new worship space in Lilburn, Georgia, in the mid-80s, the parish had already outgrown its building. Over the next 25 years, membership grew so much that the church was holding 11 masses every weekend.
“It was wearing the clergy out,” says Ernest C. (Terry) Biglow, architect and principal with CDH Partners, an integrated design firm based in Marietta, Georgia.
When the parish consulted with CDH about an expansion at the church, they actually came with another architect’s plan in hand. The design included a new parish hall and chapel attached to the existing church building. But something about the plan did not feel right.
“The parish hall was designed at the end of an existing six-foot-wide corridor that ran through church offices, creating a circulation issue. The proposed chapel was small and awkwardly placed,” Biglow recalls. His first question to parish leaders was, “Have you ever done a Master Plan?”
They had not. This is when Biglow suggested they take time to determine the needs of the church. Then they could develop a Master Plan for the present and for years to come. It also would serve as a framework for their future building decisions. Click here to continue reading.
Editor’s note: In a recent short article on hospital safety, editors at U. S. News & World Report highlighted Paulding Hospital (a CDH design project) and the technology that is being used to keep patients safe.
The “Hospitals Make Progress on the Path to Safety” article noted WellStar Paulding Hospital has all private rooms and patient-facing handwashing stations to help prevent the spread of infection. The stations feature soap dispensers with wireless antennas that help ensure team members always wash hands upon entering a patient’s room.
The news feature also discussed the positioning of patient beds just one step away from the restrooms with lighted handrails that help eliminate middle-of-the-night falls when patients are hesitant to ask for assistance getting out of bed. Furthermore, the rooms comfortably accommodate family members. Click here to continue reading.
CDH Partners, Inc., a Marietta based architectural firm, recently announced its merger with Roswell-based L2 Designs, Inc. The announcement came as a result of the two firms working together on several projects that involved major healthcare providers. This merger helps to broaden the scope, depth, and outreach for CDH in the area of healthcare design.
Former L2 Designs’ President Libby Laguta, who has over 29 years of experience in healthcare design, joins the CDH Partners team as one of the company’s principals. Her focus will be primary on design within the healthcare sector. She is one of only 126 individuals nation wide to achieve certification with the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers.
Over the past 18 years, L2 Designs, Inc. has built a strong reputation for incorporating evidence-based design in healthcare environments. Former L2 Designs’ President Libby Laguta said, “After years of providing interior design services for my clients, I have always had the vision to furnish a total package of services, including architecture, engineering and interior design under one umbrella. Joining with CDH Partners provides a seamless opportunity for this to take place. I’m excited to be a part of the CDH team and to forge ahead in this atmosphere of camaraderie.”
CDH Partners’ President Bill Chegwidden said, “We are excited about this new opportunity. Libby will focus on expanding our design capabilities and our client base, especially within the healthcare industry.”
CDH Partners is consistently listed as one of the top 25 architectural firms in Georgia. The Marietta based firm was founded in 1977 and offers architectural design, interior design, and engineering. Over the years, it has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most progressive, client-centered architectural firms in the state and the southeast.
Editor’s note: Paulding Hospital was recently spotlighted in Healthcare Design Magazine. It is a CDH Partner’s design project. This new Paulding Hospital opened its doors in April 2014.
In 2009, WellStar Paulding Hospital in Hiram, Ga., just outside Atlanta, was facing a dramatic growth in its local population, with an average 3.45 percent increase expected annually in Paulding County over the next five years. This reality pushed the need to consider replacing its existing 50-year-old, 32-bed hospital.
However, the decision came at a time when the organization was struggling financially, says Mark Haney, president of WellStar Paulding Hospital. Because of its commitment to the community and the potential for growth, WellStar decided to move forward. “We had a great culture,” Haney says, “and had been achieving strong metrics [for patient satisfaction and safety] once we started focusing on how to do things differently.” They decided to put that same focus on the design of its new building.
Getting it right
Project visioning began in 2009 and included a guiding principle sharply focused on safety. However, the project was quickly put on hold to await the outcome of the Affordable Care Act and how the legislation might affect the direction of its capital spending. In the meantime, WellStar continued its research on a new building by participating in The Center for Health Design’s (CHD) Pebble Project initiative.
Through the Pebble Project, Haney and his team visited peer facilities and heard from others on what they’d done on their own projects. “If I’d just researched all of this, I wouldn’t have soaked in all the knowledge that I did at this level,” Haney says. “The educational value of visual research by visiting other sites was extremely valuable.” He also says the effort allowed the team to think more innovatively and incorporate approaches into the building design that may not have been considered before. Please continue reading (click here).